What Is Curriculum Theory?: 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

What Is Curriculum Theory?

3rd Edition

By William F. Pinar


230 pages

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Paperback: 9781138649842
pub: 2019-05-21
Hardback: 9781138649835
pub: 2019-05-20
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315625683
pub: 2019-05-08
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This primer for prospective and practicing teachers asks students to question the historical present and their relation to it, and in so doing, reflect on their own understandings of what it means to teach, to study, to educate, and to become educated in the present moment in the places we inhabit.

Not only the implementation of objectives to be assessed by standardized tests, curriculum is communication among older and younger generations, informed by academic knowledge, and characterized by educational experience. Pinar’s concept of currere–the Latin infinitive of curriculum–is invoked to provide an autobiographical method for self-study, enabling both individuals and groups to understand teaching as passionate participation in the complicated conversation that is the curriculum.

New to the Third Edition:

  • A new allegory-of-the-present: the Harlem Renaissance
  • New section on technology
  • New section on the future of curriculum
  • Expanded section on Freedom Schools
  • Educators depicted as truth-tellers in this "post-truth" era of "fake news"

Provocative, compelling, and controversial, What Is Curriculum Theory? remains indispensable for scholars and students of curriculum studies, teacher education, educational policy, and the foundations of education.

Table of Contents

Part I. The Problem That Is the Present

1. Curriculum Theory

2. From Autobiography to Allegory

Part II. The Regressive Moment: Reactivating the Past

3. The Harlem Renaissance

4. Mortal Educational Combat

Part III. The Progressive Moment: The Future in the Present

5. The Dissolution of Subjectivity

6. The Future in the Past

Part IV. The Analytic Moment: Understanding the Present

7. Anti-Intellectualism and Complicated Conversation

Part V. The Synthetical Moment

8. Subjective and Social Survival

About the Author

William F. Pinar is Professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

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