Curriculum as Institution and Practice
Essays in the Deliberative Tradition
Routledge – 1998 – 232 pages
This volume brings together a collection of essays by William A. Reid that present and elaborate the deliberative tradition of curriculum theory, and examine the implications of a deliberative perspective for approaches to policy making and school systems. The essays illustrate the development of Reid's understanding of the deliberative tradition and his efforts to extend it from a focus on practice to one that embraces conceptions of schooling as an institution.
Institution and practice are the key concepts which guide and illuminate the central thesis of the book: To be effective, a theory of curriculum must be able to talk not only about questions of desirable practice, but also about questions of how practice may be aided or constrained by the nature of the institution within which it takes place. This significant new contribution to the literature of curriculum studies:
*represents a unique attempt to synthesize what have often been treated as quite separate issues: questions of the philosophical basis for curriculum decision making, questions of processes of decision making, and questions of the nature of schools and classrooms;
*presents its material in an evolutionary way, focusing on the continuing development of ideas, rather than on a "rhetoric of conclusions"; and
*offers a summing up of thought and achievement in the deliberative tradition that is not otherwise available.
Contents: Preface. Introduction. Part I: Curriculum as Practice. The Idea of the Practical. Practical Reasoning and Curriculum Decisions. The Method of the Practical. Curriculum Research Within a Practical Perspective. Schwab's Conception of Liberal Education. Does Schwab Improve on Tyler? Part II: Curriculum as Institution. The Institutional Context of Curriculum Deliberation. The Problem of Curriculum Change. Curricular Topics as Institutional Categories. Curriculum Change and the Evolution of Educational Constituencies. On the Origins of the Institutional Categories of Schooling. The Institutional Character of the Curriculum of Schooling. Appendix: The Language of Deliberation: A Glossary.