Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns
- Michael Stephen Schiro - Boston College, USA
Curriculum Development | Education Studies | Social/Philosophical Foundations
It describes and analyzes four educational visions that have influenced, and continue to influence, American schools and educators. The authors also describe the effects that these competing visions can have on the professional lives of educators over the span of their careers. This provides readers with a sympathetic understanding of the four conflicting visions of curriculum that will enable them to both reflect on their own educational beliefs and allow them to more productively interact with educators who might hold different beliefs.
o Presents readers with a clear, sympathetic, and unbiased perspective on the major curriculum philosophies (ideologies, viewpoints, or visions for schooling) that have exerted influence on American educators and schooling over the last century
o Stimulates readers to better understand their own beliefs while also providing them an understanding of the range of alternate ways of thinking about the fundamental goals of education
o Helps educators to more effectively clarify and shape their own curriculum goals, as well as empower them to realize their goals as educators
o Enables readers to more easily accept changes in their own evolving curricular beliefs and pursue new curricular initiatives.
"Provides readers with a clear, sympathetic and unbiased understanding of the four conflicting visions of curriculum that will enable them to more productively interact with educators who might hold different beliefs. The book stimulates readers to better understand their own beliefs and also to provide them with an understanding of alternate ways of thinking about the fundamental goals of education" —SIRREADALOT.ORG
"Schiro (Boston College) has written a text that examines curriculum theory for experience and pre-service educators with the purpose of understanding educational philosohpies or ideologies that they are likely to encounter in their teaching."
"Not only are the chapters extremely comprehensive, the organization of the book is extremely thoughtful and provides a variety of activities for the neophyte and experienced teacher."
“This is the perfect book for both undergraduate and 'graduate' students of education and curriculum studies (yes, graduate students!). In fact, it is one of the best books I have read detailing the four main `ideologies' of curricula, namely, the Essentialist, the Social Efficiency, the Progressive, and the Social Reconstruction models of curriculum.
The back of the book contains the following quotation: "A clear, unbiased, and rigorous description of the major curriculum philosophies that have influenced educators and schooling over the last century..." It is all of this, and more!
(1) It is written to appeal to theorists (academics) and practitioners. Although it is a thorough and in-depth study of the ideologies, it is devoid of dense, academic jargon; the idiom is clear, direct, and accessible (all technical terminology is thoroughly explained). E.g., students and practitioners having difficulty with the convoluted writings of contemporary scholars of curriculum, will find this book a welcome change!
(2) It adopts a `historicist' approach to the presentation of its subject-matter, which means that the author defines and analyzes the various `ideologies' in light of their contextual emergence and importance. This book is not simply presenting `facts' for memorization; the positions `live,' as it were, as historical realities!
(3) It provides the rigorous foundational knowledge needed in order for students to truly grasp the writings of contemporary philosophers of education and curriculum studies, e.g., when juxtaposing these `ideologies' a student sees more clearly `why' it is that proponents of the `scholar academic ideology' are opposed to the `child-centered ideology.' This allows the student to situate the views of Adler and Dewey within a legitimate historical context, which emerge as a product of a particular ideological world-view, of which education and curriculum are inextricably a part.
If you're a curriculum planner, evaluator, advocate, developer, or burgeoning theorist, you must have this book! “
I've been teaching courses on curriculum for many years and see Schiro's Curriculum Theory as a valuable reading, in particular for my 4th year teacher education students. What I like in particular about the book, apart from the content itself, is how well the book is structured and organized.
A good book for teachers and students of education. Creative and innovative way of presenting and rather difficult and conflicting visions of curriculum.
clearly describes the major curriculum philosophies which have infulenced the education system for many years
This text draws the curtain back and reveals what is going on behind the scenes in education, in a very readable and practical way. It makes very clear the comparison between different curriculum ideologies, presenting the information objectively. Anecdotal examples help the reader relate the theory to their practice and add interest. Titles of wide ranging additional relevant reading materials are provided. Really good to have the extension activities available online. My students really engaged with the realisation of the different ideologies that underlie what they are teaching, and some have described how this is impacting positively on their practice as they experiment with adapting their planning and delivery. They have become much more aware of their potential influence on their students when considering the different perspectives presented by Schiro. An excellent resource for trainee teachers.
offers easy to follow categories on major movements in curriculum but the level is more suited for undergraduate or possibly M.Ed. not doctorate level.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Schiro Web Extension Activities