Curriculum as Zen: Five Moments Inspired by Aoki

Mika Yoshimoto


Avraham Cohen (2008) recalls, "There is an idea in Zen, the Gateless Gate" (91). This paper discusses curriculum-as-lived/living pedagogy in the philosophical context of Zen. Often, second language curriculum is seen as being linear - however language learning goes beyond these categorizations. Inspired by Aoki's (2000) article Locating living pedagogy in teacher 'research': five metonymic moments, I sought an understanding of the conflicts between curriculum-as-planned and curriculum-as-lived.  In Zen, emptiness is crucial to entering a space void of relativity that embraces difference, change and impermanence.  Operating from this space, Hori (1994) suggests we strive to teach without teaching by opening ourselves to the possibilities thriving in our students' voices. Moved by Aoki's moments, I observe my own five moments of Zen.  In a practical reality, we face unending questions.  Zen might offer a peaceable suspension of this problem.

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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

The journal is published by the Foundation for Curriculum Theory and is associated with the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice, held in the autumn of each year. JCT is indexed in The Education Index.

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