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date: 28 November 2023

Curriculum in a Third Spacelocked

Curriculum in a Third Spacelocked

  • Hongyu WangHongyu WangOklahoma State University
  •  and Jo FloryJo FloryOklahoma State University


Curriculum in a third space has become an important theory in the field of curriculum studies in the postcolonial and postmodern context, in which new approaches to social and cultural differences in education have been developed. Curriculum and education in the early 21st century face the challenging tasks of responding in a time of uncertainty, complexity, paradoxes, and crisis: How do educators navigate the central relationship between the knower and the known while both are destabilized in a postmodern condition? What are curricular responses to the issue of identity, difference, and power relationships at schools in order to carve out alternative pathways beyond dualistic either/or thinking? How can differences and tensions be transformed into productive sites for curriculum and pedagogical creativity? The notion of the third space characterized by the alterity of psychical and social difference, the necessity for cultural translation, and the creativity of dynamic hybridity, addresses such critical questions. Curriculum in a third space embraces creative tensionality, decentering and estrangement, and making passages in the midst of hybridity. Translating between the planned curriculum and experienced curriculum mobilizes the highly contested site of identity, difference, and community into an ongoing process of attending to the language of the (maternal) other, building connections between the human subject and the academic subject, and nurturing a curriculum community that welcomes the stranger. As the notion of a third space is often formulated in intercultural, transnational, and global situations, internationalizing curriculum studies becomes a movement of differentiating and passaging within, between, and among the individual, the local, the national, and the global in a third space. Aligned with such a vision of curriculum, a pedagogy of a third space is also set in motion by hybrid resistance, openness to displacement, and fluid interdisciplinary collaboration. Pedagogies in specific subject areas open up third possibilities through building dynamic relationships between school knowledge and home experiences, transforming pedagogical relationships, and navigating blended classrooms of face-to-face and digital interactions.


  • Curriculum and Pedagogy

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