Is educational research asking the wrong questions about the enacted curriculum?

Weblog, Mar 09, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Is standardisation of curriculum 'an (un)stable and precarious achievement'? It is disquieting, writes Artichoke, "that after reading Edwards this seems increasingly likely." These reflections are based on a reading of Lanier's You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto. Some good stuff here, like this: "innovate in order to find a way to describe your internal state instead of trivial external events, to avoid the creeping danger of believing that objectively described events define you, as they would define a machine."

Artichoke considers this in turn with respect to Richard Edwards Translating the Prescribed into the Enacted Curriculum (paywall, sorry) which draws "from actor-network theory (ANT) [to] provide alternative readings of the translations of the prescribed into the enacted curriculum." What we see is essentially a critique of knowledge translation, which has become popular in some public policy circles. Artichoke quotes Latour, "To translate is to betray: ambiguity is part of translation." 'Translating' (evidence-based) theory into practice is a one-way interaction, where what is really needed is diversity and conversation.
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