What Does Gandhi Mean for Curriculum Theory?
Rethinking Education in New Times
Routledge – 2014 – 160 pages
Revealing the tensions between his personal struggles as a mortal grappling with desire and his public persona as a spiritual and political figurehead, this book examines Gandhi’s educational efforts—his curriculum and pedagogy. Exploring the ways he used personal triumphs and pitfalls in his teaching of the public, it considers the extent to which educators’ own lived histories frame their present outlooks and beliefs and exert influence on their curriculum and pedagogy. By highlighting such interrelationships, it situates the teaching life of Mahatma Gandhi at the center of perennial problems and questions in the curriculum field: negotiating the borders been educative experiences and disciplinary formation, appropriate distances between teachers and students, and tendencies toward dominance in spite of liberatory intentions. Using post-structural, psychoanalytic, and autobiographical theories, it argues that Gandhi’s efforts to eliminate antagonisms without harming opposing subjects was as much an internal struggle as it was a struggle with social structures, one that can speak with great force to educators who recognize the pivotal roles of the personal and social in the classroom.
Erik Malewski is Associate Professor in the Curriculum Studies Program at Purdue University. He has traveled extensively in India, conducting and presenting research at various colleges and universities and has conducted archival research on Gandhi.