The Syllabus as Curriculum A Reconceptualist Approach
Can the syllabus constitute the curriculum? In this volume, Rocha explores curriculum theory through the lens of the syllabus. By critiquing curriculum studies and the entire field of education, overrun by the social sciences, Rocha provides an integrated vision of philosophy of education and curriculum theory, rooted in the humanities.
Through an original reconceptualization, this text draws from a broad range of sources – ranging from Classical Antiquity to the present – offering a rich context for understanding curriculum as a philosophically salient concept, contained within the syllabus. The Syllabus as Curriculum features actual syllabi created and taught by the author in undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of British Columbia, Canada. These curated syllabi work as exemplars and media, supported by pedagogical commentary and context. Inspired by Augustine’s Confessions, each part of the book culminates in a metaphorical "garden," which serves as a meditation on the syllabus in three senses: correspondence, essay, and outline.
An original, powerful, and corrective contribution to the literature on curriculum studies, this work invites teachers and scholars from across the foundations of education, especially philosophy of education, art education, and those invested in curriculum theory, to see their contribution in more direct and integral ways.
Foreword by William F. Pinar; Preface: The Poesis of Teaching ; Forethought: Directions, Transition; Introduction: Curriculo Perennis, Curriculum Vitae; Part One: Love - Syllabus as Correspondence; Syllabus One: Education, Knowledge, and Curriculum (A - E); Syllabus Two: Philosophy of Education; Syllabus Three: Critical Social Theory; Syllabus Four: Assorted Letters (A - M); First Garden: Syllabus as Correspondence; Part Two: Art - Syllabus as Essay; Syllabus Five: Teaching Philosophy ; Syllabus Six: Humanities-Based Research; Syllabus Seven: Educational Theories (A - C); Syllabus Eight: Ethics (A - C); Second Garden: Syllabus as Essay; Part Three: Order - Syllabus as Outline; Syllabus Nine: Eros and Education; Syllabus Ten: Pedagogy of the Oppressed Revised, Revisited; Syllabus Eleven: Philosophical Research in Education; Syllabus Twelve: Customs of Supervision; Third Garden: Syllabus as Outline; Conclusion: Towards a Wounded Curriculum; Afterthought: The Jetsons and Sesame Street; Epilogue: Humanities, What is it Good For?;
"In Sam Rocha’s poetic hand, the syllabus emerges as a complex educational entity bearing the provocation and promise of the reconceptualization of the curriculum field and the secret of curricular objects: that they are imbued with the phenomenological event of their creation. Rocha composes the syllabus as curriculum not only in wholehearted wonder at the poesis of teaching but also with remarkable openness to the wounds of educational experience—to the human suffering manifest as the teacher meets the student in the labor of study, as the student seeks the teacher who "speaks from within." The Syllabus as Curriculum thus unveils a "basic woundedness" of education that demands love, art, and order—each tempered and exceeded by the others—if curriculum attuned to the presence of human persons is to appear. As such a curriculum, this brilliant book—its profound appearance in the world—offers nothing less than passage into the sacred study of the humanities."
Brian Casemore, George Washington University, US.
"Sam Rocha powerfully re-situates the syllabus in the scene of study, teaching, and learning. In its offerings between teacher, student, and worlds, Rocha finds, the syllabus curates a poetics of thought, study, dialogue, inquiry, and action. Engaging the genre, composition, and delivery of curricular matter, Rocha calls attention to the critical importance of engaging knowledge as poiesis, as in the making. If we are taking care and paying attention to the composition and content of the syllabus, Rocha radically argues, curriculum can serve as an artistic act of co-creation that initiates thought and an invitation to thinking, learning, and acting in self and other. In this moment of great educational turmoil and change, Rocha movingly reminds us that curriculum remains as a reservoir of knowledge, regenerating our way through uncertain times."
Aparna Mishra Tarc, York University, Canada.