Gabriel Harvery’s 16th Century Theory of Curriculum


  • Stephen S. Triche Nicholls State University


Curriculum is typically understood to be a 20th century construct organized around the modern content disciplines. Gabriel Harvey’s 16th century oration on rhetoric disrupts this understanding by demonstrating that the practice of thinking about and developing the course of study that students engage is a much older phenomenon. Harvey further presents a way of thinking about curriculum outside of the content disciplines by organizing the teaching and study of rhetoric around the ancient three-fold tool of education, Nature, Art, and Exercise. While these concepts do not appear explicitly in modern curriculum studies, they continue to underlie our current ideas about education and recur in the works of John Dewey, Alfred North Whitehead, and William E. Doll. 

Author Biography

Stephen S. Triche, Nicholls State University

Associate Professor of Education at Nicholls State University has served on the faculty in the department of Teacher Education since the summer of 2000. During this time, Dr. Triche has taught graduate education foundation courses in Philosophy and History of Education, as well as Curriculum Studies and Social Studies. He is the coordinator for the Masters’ Program in elementary and secondary education at Nicholls. Dr. Triche regularly presents on the history and philosophy of curriculum. His book, Reconceiving Curriculum: An Historical Approach, was published in 2009, and has articles published in the History of Education journal in 2005 on Peter Ramus and JCT in 2011 on the Purtians contribution to our modern understanding of technology. He has served on the publications committee for the International Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies. In 2008 he was program chair and president for the Southeast Philosophy of Education Society Conference.






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