The Im/Possibility of an Ethos of Curriculum Work


  • Elizabeth Wood
  • Samantha Paredes Scribner
  • Robert J. Helfenbein
  • Paula A. Magee
  • Deborah B. Keller


An interdisciplinary faculty reading group on Pinar's (2007) Intellectual advancement through disciplinarity provided the opportunity to explore questions related to working in curriculum. Their individual commentary reflects a struggle for, and against, individual disciplines as they make sense of curriculum inside of a shared ethos. Each draws from personal history, the scholarly fields they come from, and the external realities in which those histories are made. The im/possibilities that are then implied through this ethos is work that is provisional, contingent, and ultimately bound by commitment, not only to discipline, but also to the mutual protection of a common purpose.

Author Biographies

Elizabeth Wood

Elizabeth (Elee) Wood is associate professor of Museum Studies and Education at Indiana University-IUPUI, and public scholar of museums, families and learning at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Her research interests include critical museum pedagogy, phenomenology, object-based learning and informal learning in the community.

Samantha Paredes Scribner

      Samantha Paredes Scribner is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University-IUPUI. Her research interests include educational leadership, school-community partnerships, organizational theory and urban school reform.

Robert J. Helfenbein

Robert J. Helfenbein is associate professor of Curriculum Studies at Indiana University-IUPUI. Dr. Helfenbein has published numerous research articles and book chapters about urban education, cultural studies and curriculum theorizing, and co-edited Unsettling Beliefs: Teaching Theory to Teachers (2008) and Ethics and International Curriculum Work: The Challenges of Culture and Context (forthcoming).

Paula A. Magee

      Paula A. Magee, is clinical associate professor of Teacher Education at Indiana University-IUPUI. Her research interests in urban education intersect around the areas of science education, equity, elementary teacher education and inquiry-based teaching.  

Deborah B. Keller

Deborah B. Keller is lecturer of Social Foundations of Education at Indiana University-IUPUI. Her research focuses on service-learning in pre-service coursework. She teaches Cultural Foundations courses and an introductory Education course.