Curriculum matters: educational tools for troubled times

Walter S. Gershon, Robert J. Helfenbein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is our contention that we are in a crisis of curriculum that can be seen from calls to defund public education to the reduction of children to scores on annual assessments. We also point to a crisis in studies of curriculum that the critical tools necessary to consider and critique curricular practices have been intentionally removed from schools of education. Our argument begins with a discussion of the potential significance for curriculum studies that focuses on questions of history and voice, and of resonances. In the light of such resonances and the ecologies where educational understandings reside, the second section of our paper examines the possibilities and challenges for curricular tools, as applicable in everyday interactions as they are in the more structured educational ecologies of schooling. We then apply such contextualized understandings to a formal curriculum espoused by an elite U.S. university in order to better articulate both what curriculum studies can do and why curriculum remains such a significant aspect of our understanding. Our work ends with a brief concluding section that suggests what else the curriculum might do and the kinds of things we are concerned are increasingly overlooked, from historical knowledge to contemporary cultural expressions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Curriculum Studies
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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