The Worldliness of a Cosmopolitan Education: Passionate Lives in Public Service, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Worldliness of a Cosmopolitan Education

Passionate Lives in Public Service, 1st Edition

By William F. Pinar


226 pages

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Pinar positions himself against three pressing problems of the profession:

  • the crime of collectivism that identity politics commits,
  • the devaluation of academic knowledge by the programmatic preoccupations of teacher education, and
  • the effacement of educational experience by standardized testing.

A cosmopolitan curriculum, Pinar argues, juxtaposes the abstract and the concrete, the collective and the individual: history and biography, politics and art, public service and private passion. Such a curriculum provides passages between the subjective and the social, and in so doing, engenders that worldliness a cosmopolitan education invites. Such worldliness is vividly discernible in the lives of three heroic individuals: Jane Addams (1860-1935), Laura Bragg (1881-1978), and Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975). What these disparate individuals demonstrate is the centrality of subjectivity in the cultivation of cosmopolitanism. Subjectivity takes form in the world, and the world is itself reconstructed by subjectivity’s engagement with it.

In this intriguing, thought-provoking, and nuanced work, Pinar outlines a cosmopolitan curriculum focused on passionate lives in public service, providing one set of answers to how the field accepts and attends to the inextricably interwoven relations among intellectual rigor, scholarly erudition, and intense but variegated engagement with the world.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1 "The Problem of My Life and Flesh"

Part I: On Strategically Dysfunctional Essentialism, and Other Problems of the Not Exactly Cosmopolitan Present

Chapter 2 The Agony and Ecstasy of the Particular

Chapter 3 Only the Sign is For Sale

Chapter 4 A Declaration of Independence

Part II: Passionate Lives in Public Service

Chapter 5 Jane Addams: A "Person of Marked Individuality"

Chapter 6 Religion, Love, and Democracy in Laura Bragg’s Boxes

Chapter 7 Pier Paolo Pasolini: A Most "Excellent Pedagogist"


About the Author


William F. Pinar teaches curriculum theory at the University of British Columbia, where he holds a Canada Research Chair and directs the Centre for the Study of the Internationalization of Curriculum Studies.


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