Indigenous storywork is a multifaceted framework of seven principles for working with Indigenous traditional-cultural and life-experience stories for educational, curricular, and research purposes. The principles include respect, responsibility, reverence, reciprocity, holism, interrelatedness, and synergy. These Indigenous storywork principles were developed through research with Indigenous Elders, storytellers, and cultural knowledge holders who were mainly, but not exclusively, from British Columbia, Canada. The principles of respect, responsibility, reverence, and reciprocity prepare educators, curriculum developers, and students to understand the epistemological aspects of Indigenous stories such as their nature and purposes. Developing cultural contextual considerations that influence the respectful representation and telling of stories; enacting ethical responsibilities for the stories, storytellers, and story listeners-learners; creating reverential teaching and learning spaces for Indigenous stories; and developing reciprocal relations that sustain Indigenous stories are examples of preparatory education for Indigenous storywork. The principles of holism, interrelatedness, and synergy facilitate pedagogical processes of working with Indigenous stories to create and spark meaning-making with the stories. The circle of Indigenous storyworkers has expanded from Canada to the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. These storyworkers share how aspects of Indigenous storywork are used for curriculum purposes in kindergarten to grade 12 school subjects, such as math, science, and literacy, as well as in university programs, such as teacher education. Decolonizing and Indigenizing approaches is an integral part of the preparation of future Indigenous storyworkers. A critical examination and understanding of the colonial impact of laws, policies, and education on Indigenous peoples, their Indigenous knowledge systems, and Indigenous stories is needed to move to Indigenizing approaches where the Indigenous community members, Elders, youth, educators, and allies work cooperatively for curricular purposes. Indigenous storywork is a means for these approaches. Together Indigenous storywork principles form a basis or foundation for curricula that educates the heart, mind, body, and spirit.
Jo-ann Archibald – Q’um Q’um Xiiem
Martin Mwongela Kavua
Educational reforms have been made from time to time since independence in Kenya. These reforms have been effected through commissions of education in the context of the country. Among education commissions that have steered reforms in Kenya are the Kenya Education Commission, the National Commission on Education Objectives and Policy, the Presidential Working Party on the Second University, the Commission of Inquiry into the Educational System of Kenya, and the Taskforce on the Realignment of the Sector to the New System. The main challenges facing the education sector have been issues of access, equity, quality, relevance, availability of educational resources, and efficiency in managing them. Moreover, the education system has been blamed for some of the challenges in the education sector, necessitating system change from the 8+4+4 to the 2+6+3+3+3 system. Challenges facing education reforms include inconsistency in carrying out reforms fueled by lack of a guiding philosophical framework, a top-down decision-making process, limited backing for inclusive education in policy, and curriculum-based challenges. Going forward, a bottom-up approach to education reforms, an evidence-based decision-making for reforms in education, and an implementation of inclusive education may play a significant role in reforming the education system.
Roza Valeeva and Aydar Kalimullin
Teacher training in Russia began at the end of the 18th century and has been transformed many times over the past two centuries. The reforms were connected with the development of a comprehensive school system, which became a mass phenomenon in the 19th century. The transformation was most active when the country went through social and economic growth. Up to 2011 Soviet teacher training traditions and principles strongly influenced the Russian teacher education system. It was the period of significant change of shifting from a 5-year program, called “specialist’s degree,” to bachelor’s and master’s degree programs as a response to the Bologna process. At the beginning of 2010 a range of organizational problems and content-related problems of teacher education arose: the reproductive character of teaching in higher education institutions implementing training programs for future teachers; the predominant single-channel model of the system of teacher training not providing students with opportunities to implement transitions between teaching and non-teaching areas of training; and the lack of the system of independent assessment of the quality of future teachers training. These problems prompted the government to start a reform of teacher education in the country from 2014 to 2017. Teacher education in Russia in the early 21st century is a complex system of continuing teacher training which gives students a chance to enter the teaching profession through a number of different ways. The main structural levels of the system of continuing teacher education in Russia are vocational training educational institutions funded by local governments (teacher training colleges), higher education institutions (specialized teacher training higher education institutions, classical universities, non-governmental [private] universities, non-pedagogical universities), and educational institutions of continuing professional development and professional retraining. The types of educational institutions correlate with the degree levels. The content of teacher education is based on the Federal State Educational Standards. All teacher training universities that provide teacher education programs follow these Federal State Educational Standards when they develop their educational programs. Teacher education in Russia determines the quality of professional training in all social spheres. In the early 21st century, graduates from teacher training universities have started working in different professional areas, including social, educational, cultural, and administrative fields.
The evolution of curriculum development in schools reflects the evolution of knowledge and civilization itself. What knowledge is of most worth? How shall it be codified, structured, and transformed into curriculum for the acculturation and growth of successive generations so that the future is better than the past? How can the school be designed and equipped as a productive and democratic learning environment? These are some of the questions that intersect with the fundamental factors of the education process, namely the learner, the curriculum, and the society. When these fundamental factors are set in opposition or isolation, the possibility for educational progress is impeded or set back. Embracing the idea of progress and the science of education, the experimentalist movement over the first half of the 20th century sought to dissolve the dualisms carried from ancient Greece (e.g., mind/body, intellect/emotion, abstract/concrete knowledge) in endeavoring to create new designs and structures for curriculum synthesis to meet the democratic prospect and the universal educational needs of the rising generation. In sum, the experimentalists reconstructed curriculum development into a process of problem solving for educational progress, holding to the paradigmatic principle that the structure and function of the school curriculum must be in congruence with the nature and needs of the learner for effective living in the democratic society. The paradigm holds the fundamental factors in the education process as necessarily interdependent and in harmony. The curriculum paradigm explains why so many reforms imposed on the schools predictively are destined for failure simply because they set the fundamental factors in conflict with each other. The march of democracy in global affairs will require a resurgence of the progressive vision for the curriculum of the democratic classroom and school in which students are engaged openly with each other and with the teacher in investigative cooperation, collaboration, and consultation.
Julie Gorlewski and Isabel Nuñez
Curriculum, while often conceived as a static entity delivered as a neutral set of facts arranged in disciplinary categories, is, in reality, a pedagogical artifact—a product generated as a result of decisions made by a range of stakeholders who represent different cultural imperatives linked to contested perspectives about the purposes of school. Students’ and teachers’ experiences of school, then, are dialogic performances of a curriculum that promotes various levels of power and privilege, as well as understandings of equity and diversity. Therefore, whether or not it is recognized, the curriculum delivered in schools serves to either maintain or interrupt the status quo. Given the number of students who participate in public education, curriculum contributes a great deal to shaping the national narrative. Curriculum contributes to social movements, and the nature of the curriculum determines the direction of the movement. Since curriculum development and implementation involves myriad decisions, influence is wielded by those with decision-making power. Social status and cultural capital, both of which are historically linked with political power, largely determine who makes curricular decisions, as well as how decisions are made. These conditions pose challenges for those who have been historically marginalized within educational institutions. Despite obstacles related to systemic inequities, different forms of curriculum can and do contribute to the creation and perpetuation of social movements. Moreover, educators who understand how educational institutions function, how curricular changes occur, and how curriculum can be a source of and vehicle for change can create conditions for transformative activist curricular movements.
Dana L. Stuchul and Madhu Suri Prakash
Ivan Illich’s curriculum vitae provides the frame through which to elaborate three insights—neither curricular, ideologic, utopian, nor messianic, yet penetrating contemporary givens: the institutionalization of values, the “ritualization of progress,” and the perversion of persons under the regime of scarcity. The former priest—whose challenges to the Church as It extended to similar corporate entities of the State and institutions alike rendered him a pariah—was arguably least understood at the moment he was most known. Yet, reviewing the entirety of his corpus, the judgment of Agamben resonates: “Now is the hour of Illich’s legibility.” This “legibility” reveals Illich’s project: his commitment to the struggle for both justice and freedom in the form of cultural, technological, and institutional inversion. His three insights—interculturality, the hidden curriculum of schooling, and a politics of limits—sought to contribute to a redirection of societies away from ecological, cultural, and social demise. His contributions address the following questions: What are the limits—ecological, technological, economic, political—within which pluralistic societies can exist? What do a society’s chosen “tools” say about what it means to be human? What are the terms—justice and freedom—within which the contemporary crises of global pandemic, of climate collapse, and of widespread immiseration and dispossession can be addressed?
To contemplate the question or concern of peace in curriculum studies, and as has been taken up in the field, is to traverse terrain neither simple nor singular. Peace as a concept, and an ideal, is itself complex and contested, elusory even, and approached in manifold ways, often in relation to other equally intricate and disputed ideas, like violence, war, justice, freedom, hope, and love (as well as human rights, hospitality, citizenship, and cosmopolitanism)—historically informed and context-specific as well. The challenges, too, in undertaking such a task are further compounded as concerning curriculum studies, where there is neither a clearly established nor a cohesive body of work upon which to turn or draw here, where no formalized attention has been given systematically to the study of peace, peace education, or peace studies in relation to such. Nevertheless, one could argue that the field of curriculum from its inception, and enduringly so, has been implicitly and integrally connected to the interest of peace and point to a diversity of work therein, of some breadth and depth, to support this claim and examine this interest. The contemporary scholarship that has emerged in the field and explicitly addressed matters of peace and nonviolence, as well as the work of peace advocates and educators, portends further advancement of this line of inquiry—particularly in response to the growing threats and realities of inequality, conflict, violence, war, ecological devastation, and genocide worldwide—in the hopes of creating a more beautiful world of justice, harmony, and human flourishing via education.