Understanding Curriculum as a Polyphonic Text: Curriculum Theorizing in the midst of Standardization

Jeong-Hee Kim, Deborah Abernathy


We live with the language of standards and standardization. This paper is a collaborative curriculum theorizing effort between a teacher educator and a high school teacher in the era of standardization. In this article, drawing upon narrative inquiry and the Bakhtinian notion of polyphony, we challenge the domination of the meta-narrative of standardization that works as an official force and explore possibilities of understanding curriculum as a polyphonic text. We argue that curriculum as a polyphonic text requires that different voices be heard without having one voice privileged over the others, producing no final, complete truth, thus promoting a genuine dialogue among stakeholders to improve curriculum.


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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.

NOTICE: As of December 2008, the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing (Volume 24, Issue 1) and all future issues
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ISSN: 1942-2563