The Reason of Schooling: Historicizing Curriculum Studies, Pedagogy, and Teacher Education, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Reason of Schooling

Historicizing Curriculum Studies, Pedagogy, and Teacher Education, 1st Edition

Edited by Thomas S. Popkewitz


280 pages

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Problematizing the "reason" of schooling as historical and political, in this book leading international and interdisciplinary scholars challenge the common sense of schooling and the relation of society, education, and curriculum studies. Examining the limits of contemporary notions of power and schooling, the argument is that the principles that order school subjects, the curriculum, and teaching reforms are historical practices that govern what is thought, acted on, and talked about. Highlighting the dynamics of social exclusion, the normalizing of people through curriculum, and questions of social inclusion, The "Reason" of Schooling underscores the urgency for rethinking curriculum research.


"Three questions provide a focus for the volume: What principles of “reason” historically order schooling, its subjects, and reforms? What historical conditions make those subjects possible? How can those conditions, and especially the problems of exclusion, be rethought?…Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and practitioners."

- R. R. Sherman, emeritus, University of Florida, in CHOICE, April 2015

"The ‘Reason’ of schooling: Historicizing curriculum studies, pedagogy and teacher education makes a signi?cant contribution to the ?eld of curricu-lum studies, highlighting the most current global concerns in education. The book makes three signi?cant contributions to the ?eld of practice and policy: discussions around the intersections of various historical trails informing decision-making, the science of education as social dis-course to change social conditions, and social epistemology as a strategy to revise critical stud-ies of education."

- Anna E. Du Plessis, Learning Sciences Institute Australia,The Curriculum Jounral, 2016

"Very little about schooling is taken for granted in this volume. The authors question the logic and values that underlie both widespread and local educational discourses. They historicize key concepts in discussions of school reform: teacher quality, interest in science, learning outcomes, teaching methodology, integration, adolescent development… They place these concepts, literally or figuratively, in quotation marks and examine how they arise or operate as ideologies within specific historical contexts."

- Houman Harouni, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain

Table of Contents




  1. Curriculum Studies, The Reason of "Reason" and Schooling. Thomas S. Popkewitz

  3. The Construction of Society and Conceptions of Education: Comparative Visions in Germany, France, and the United States around 1900. Daniel Tröhler
  4. Cold War, Hot Peace, and Systems of Reasoning about Youth. Nancy Lesko
  5. Discourse On (Teaching) Method: Challenging the Reason of Contemporary Teacher Education. Daniel Friedrich
  6. The Disaster that Founds Public Education: Social Inequity, Race, and Rebuilding the New Orleans School System after Hurricane Katrina. Amy Sloane
  7. Voluntary Servitude as a New Form of Governing: Reinstating Kneeling-bowing Rites in Modern China. Weili Zhao

  9. Genius as an Historical Event: Its Making as a Statistical Object and Instrument for Governing Schooling. Catarina Silva Martins
  10. "Catholic" Secularism and the Jewish Gaucho School: Salvation Themes of The 19th Century Argentinean Citizen. Ezequiel Gomez Caride
  11. Chasing The Chimera’s Tails: An Analysis of Interest in Science. Lars Bang and Paola Valero
  12. Numbers in Telling Educational Truth: Fabrications of Kinds of People and Social Exclusion . Thomas S. Popkewitz.

  14. Transgression as Democratic Convivenza: Italian School Policy and the Discourse of Integration. Jamie A. Kowalczyk
  15. Back to the Basics: Inventing the Mathematical Self. Jennie Diaz
  16. The Social Question Revisited: The Configuration of the Social Dimension in the European Education Space. Kenneth Petersson, Ulf Olsson, John B. Krejsler
  17. Fictions of the Transcendent and the Making of Value in Music Education in the United States. Ruth I. Gustafson
  18. The Problem: Historicizing the Guatemalan Projection and Protection of the "Indian." Ligia (Licho) López

About the Editor

Thomas S. Popkewitz is professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 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