Transnational curriculum studies (TCS) examines the fluid dynamics of knowledge creation, knowledge circulation, and knowledge representation across nation-state borders. It challenges the rigid architectures of state power and brings local concerns to the global context such as antiracist pedagogy and climate change issues. At the same time, TCS opens spaces for collaborative study of the same curriculum issues across nation-states from multiple perspectives. Curriculum scholars have extended scholarship to respond to various sociopolitical, cultural movements. Issues studied include human rights, recognition, and epistemicide through a framework that emphasizes hybrid identities and power operations across nation-states. Feminist postcolonial scholars within this field also highlight unequal power operations among nation-states, particularly for “marginalized” communities. They interrogate discourse on equity, power, and exploitation as a consequence of transnationalism. TCS scholars critically examine important questions on recolonization of knowledge through Eurocentric, patriarchal ideologies and the social reproduction of knowledge through curriculum. They also incorporate Indigenous approaches to knowledge learning and dissemination with the support of transnational curriculum inquiry. Key issues in TCS include global inequity and postcolonial discourse in transnationalism, transnational subjectivity and identity discourse, and epistemicide in curriculum and integration of Indigenous knowledge. Future directions for TCS arise from ontological, pedagogical, and methodological issues, which include collaborating with those in the field of border studies as physical and metaphorical spaces in research, linguistic issues in academic communities, and transnational curriculum studies for social actions and transformation. TCS contributes to opening space in curriculum theorizing to draw from multiple ways of knowing, including Indigenous epistemologies.
Hongyu Wang and Jo Flory
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.