Reconceptualizing Curriculum Development: Inspiring and Informing Action, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Reconceptualizing Curriculum Development

Inspiring and Informing Action, 1st Edition

Edited by James Henderson, and Colleagues


238 pages

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Reconceptualizing Curriculum Development provides accessible, clear guidance on curriculum problem solving and educational leadership through the practice of a synoptic curriculum study. This practice integrates three influential interpretations of curriculum—curriculum as deliberative artistry, curriculum as complicated conversation, and curriculum as currere—with John Dewey’s lifetime work on reflective inquiry. At its heart, the book advances a way of studying as a way of living with reference to the question: How might I live as a democratic educator?

The study guidance is organized as an open-ended scaffolding of three embedded reflective inquiries informed by four deliberative conversations. Study recommendations are provided by a carefully selected team. The field-tested study-based approach is illustrated through a multi-layered, multi-voiced narrative collage of four experienced teachers’ personal journeys of understanding in a collegial study context. Applying William Pinar’s argument that a "conceptual montage" enabling teachers to lead complicated conversations should be the focus for curriculum development in the field’s current ‘post-reconceptualist’ moment, the book moves forward the educational aim of facilitating a holistic subject/self/social understanding through the practice of a balanced hermeneutics of suspicion and trust. It closes with a discussion of cross-cultural collaboration and advocacy, reflecting the interest of curriculum scholars in a wide range of countries in this study-based, lead-learning approach to curriculum development.


"This book is a thoughtful reminder of what curriculum and teaching have meant in the past and could mean again in a brighter future."

Nel Noddings, author of Education and Democracy in the 21st Century

"Curriculum work really starts with people, not with theories. Professor Henderson understands this. This magisterial work offers a strong analytical focus on the pedagogical features of the curriculum – on the interactive life of the teacher and the student. The field of Curriculum Studies has long languished with a multiplicity of theories that has challenged its disciplinary integrity. Too many of its practitioners have pledged avoidance to institutional and normative concerns. Professor Henderson’s work defies this trend and offers renewed promise to fulfill the historic involvement of curriculum professors in the work of the school. We have waited too long for this thoughtful and exciting line of inquiry."

Peter Hlebowitsh, Dean and Professor, University of Alabama, USA

Table of Contents


Foreword (William F. Pinar)

Preface (James G. Henderson)

Chapter 1—A New Curriculum Development: Inspiration and Rationale (James G. Henderson)

Part I: Lead-Learning Invitations (James G. Henderson)

Chapter 2—Teaching for Holistic Understanding: Inspirational Events in Study and Practice (Daniel J. Castner)

Chapter 3—Embodying Holistic Understanding: Democratic Being in Trying Times (Jennifer L. Schneider)

Chapter 4—Sowing Holistic Understanding: Building a Disciplinary Community (Christine Fishman)

Chapter 5—Deliberative Conversation: Cross-Paradigm Critique and Negotiation (Wendy Samford)

Chapter 6—Deliberative Conversation: Possibilities of Equity in Everyday Schooling (Boni Wozolek)

Chapter 7—Deliberative Conversation: Consciousness-Raising for Democratic Interdependence (Beth A. Bilek-Golias)

Chapter 8—Deliberative Conversation: Inspiriting Teaching through Mythopoetic Inspiration (Petra Pienkosky Moran)

Part II: Collegial Stories and Commentary (James G. Henderson)

Chapter 9—Lead-Learning Stories: A Narrative Montage (Jen Griest, Jennifer L. Schneider, Susan School, & Konni Stagliano)

Chapter 10—Generative Leadership: Protecting the Good Work (Catherine E. Hackney)

Chapter 11—Build It and They Will Come: A Cross-Cultural Conversation on Lead-Learning Possibilities and Challenges (Tero Autio, Aboudou Hamidou Berthé, Donna Adair Breault, Rosemary Gornik, Thomas E. Kelly, Kauko Komulainen, & Wen-Ling Lou)

About the Book’s Collaborative Team



About the Editors

James G. Henderson is Co-Coordinator, Teacher Leader Endorsement Program, Kent State University, USA.

About the Series

Studies in Curriculum Theory Series

In this age of multimedia information overload, scholars and students may not be able to keep up with the proliferation of different topical, trendy book series in the field of curriculum theory. It will be a relief to know that one publisher offers a balanced, solid, forward-looking series devoted to significant and enduring scholarship, as opposed to a narrow range of topics or a single approach or point of view. This series is conceived as the series busy scholars and students can trust and depend on to deliver important scholarship in the various "discourses" that comprise the increasingly complex field of curriculum theory.

The range of the series is both broad (all of curriculum theory) and limited (only important, lasting scholarship) – including but not confined to historical, philosophical, critical, multicultural, feminist, comparative, international, aesthetic, and spiritual topics and approaches. Books in this series are intended for scholars and for students at the doctoral and, in some cases, master's levels.

Persons interested in submitting book proposals or in serving as reviewers for this series are invited to contact

Professor William F. Pinar

Canada Research Chair
University of British Columbia

Faculty of Education

Department of Curriculum Studies

2125 Main Mall

Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4


EMAIL: [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Aims & Objectives
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects