Reconceptualising the curriculum: from commodification to transformation

Parker, Jan (2003). Reconceptualising the curriculum: from commodification to transformation. Teaching in Higher Education, 8(4) pp. 529–543.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1356251032000117616

Abstract

This article inveighs against the prevalent commodified discourse in Higher Education especially as it impacts on curriculum planning, quality assurance and learner typologies. It expresses a concern that educational research, in offering models drawn, but now divorced from, practice, may contribute to this negative impact. As an example, a polarised model distinguishing features of 'traditional' from 'emerging' curricula is criticised as contributing to this commodification; as diminishing the status of university teachers, as offering an instrument to reductive quality assurance systems and as militating against the disciplines operating as communities of practice. In contradistinction to this dichotomizing model, but extrapolating from the same article, a 'both/and' model outlining elements of process- and discipline community-based 'transformational curricula' is offered. It is perhaps impossible to write about the evils of externalised models and reductively abstract discourse without contribut ing to that very effect. The article therefore ends with two voices which are not those of educational researchers.

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