Curriculum and International Democracy: A Vital Source of Synergy and Change


  • Richard D. Sawyer


International democratic education (IDE) promotes principles of self-determination, a commitment to social justice for all people, and the engagement of cross-border dialogue grounded in local meanings with global implications. However, educators and students who wish to promote IDE are challenged by their perceptions of their personal and national narratives. The central question of this paper stems from these challenges: How do students and educators begin to imagine new possibilities for international democratic education when they go beyond the form that they know and have lived? The paper uses a kaleidoscope as a metaphor for a narrative and transformative curriculum and presents examples of the curricular concepts of currere and duoethnography. The paper further offers thoughts about how curriculum, both theoretical and lived, can play an exceptionally important role in the field of international democratic education.

Author Biography

Richard D. Sawyer

Richard Sawyer is Chair of the Ed.D. program at Washington State University and editor of the journal Northwest Passages, Journal of Educational Practices. His research interests are qualitative research methodologies and curriculum theory in response to the often instrumental and dehumanizing implications of large-scale, neo-liberal reform policies. Richard Sawyer can be contacted at