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Pedagogies of the Imagination: Mythopoetic Curriculum in Educational Practice

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I have long admired the mythopoetic tradition in curriculum studies. That admiration followed from my experience as a high-school teacher of English in a wealthy suburb of New York City at the end of the 1960s. A "dream" job-I taught four classes of 15-20 students during a nine-period day-in a "dream" suburb (where I could afford to reside only by taking a room in a retire I have long admired the mythopoetic tradition in curriculum studies. That admiration followed from my experience as a high-school teacher of English in a wealthy suburb of New York City at the end of the 1960s. A "dream" job-I taught four classes of 15-20 students during a nine-period day-in a "dream" suburb (where I could afford to reside only by taking a room in a retired teacher's house), many of these often Ivy-League-bound students had everything but meaningful lives. This middle-class, Midwestern young teacher was flabbergasted. In one sense, my academic life has been devoted to understanding that searing experience. Matters of meaning seemed paramount in the curriculum field to which Paul Klohr introduced me at Ohio State. Klohr assigned me the work of curriculum theorists such as James B. Macdonald. Like Timothy Leonard (who also studied with Klohr at Ohio State) and Peter Willis, Macdonald (1995) understood that school reform was part of a broader cultural and political crisis in which meaning is but one casualty. In the mythopoetic tradition in curriculum studies, scholars labor to understand this crisis and the conditions for the reconstruction of me- ing in our time, in our schools.


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I have long admired the mythopoetic tradition in curriculum studies. That admiration followed from my experience as a high-school teacher of English in a wealthy suburb of New York City at the end of the 1960s. A "dream" job-I taught four classes of 15-20 students during a nine-period day-in a "dream" suburb (where I could afford to reside only by taking a room in a retire I have long admired the mythopoetic tradition in curriculum studies. That admiration followed from my experience as a high-school teacher of English in a wealthy suburb of New York City at the end of the 1960s. A "dream" job-I taught four classes of 15-20 students during a nine-period day-in a "dream" suburb (where I could afford to reside only by taking a room in a retired teacher's house), many of these often Ivy-League-bound students had everything but meaningful lives. This middle-class, Midwestern young teacher was flabbergasted. In one sense, my academic life has been devoted to understanding that searing experience. Matters of meaning seemed paramount in the curriculum field to which Paul Klohr introduced me at Ohio State. Klohr assigned me the work of curriculum theorists such as James B. Macdonald. Like Timothy Leonard (who also studied with Klohr at Ohio State) and Peter Willis, Macdonald (1995) understood that school reform was part of a broader cultural and political crisis in which meaning is but one casualty. In the mythopoetic tradition in curriculum studies, scholars labor to understand this crisis and the conditions for the reconstruction of me- ing in our time, in our schools.

16 review for Pedagogies of the Imagination: Mythopoetic Curriculum in Educational Practice

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ioana

    This collection of essays explores mythopoetic dimensions of pedagogy from various perspectives. While each contributor has his or her own individual understanding of mythopoetic, Patricia Holland and Noreen Garman provide a broad theoretical foundation for the collection--essentially they construct the mythopoetic as both critical and interpretive (two 'paradigms' in the field of educational research that are often understood as distinct-the critical dimension as normative, the interpretive as This collection of essays explores mythopoetic dimensions of pedagogy from various perspectives. While each contributor has his or her own individual understanding of mythopoetic, Patricia Holland and Noreen Garman provide a broad theoretical foundation for the collection--essentially they construct the mythopoetic as both critical and interpretive (two 'paradigms' in the field of educational research that are often understood as distinct-the critical dimension as normative, the interpretive as interested in meaning). The message: the mythopoetic domain is not simply the 'la-la' land of imagination where nothing is *real*, but in fact is political in its very being and requires reflexive, continuous self-questioning. I personally enjoyed the first half of the collection ("Mythopoesis and Curriculum Theorizing") but found myself glossing over the second part ("Mythopoesis in Educational Practice", save a few articles, for example Mary Doll's "Capacity and Currere"). While the first part often offers profound interpretations and inter-disciplinary connections, the second part is more descriptive of actual classroom practices and overall has the very 'social sciency' feel to it, and not a rigorous one at that (categorizing things in stages and steps, writing them in bulleted lists, quoting long passages of 'lived experience' accounts, quoting secondary sources who quote primary sources, using language like 'representation' when talking about art, and so on). Overall, however, the message of the work is solid and powerful. Even the chapters I did not enjoy so much I found challenged some of my held assumptions, and for that I highly recommend this collection. As Leonard and Willis write in the conclusion, perhaps this work will help teachers or others who already practice or experience within this dimension to articulate their experiences, and to come forth and tell their stories--to make themselves known. Or perhaps this work will help us better understand how we live in the myth of Western science, and how we may otherwise envision our worlds. It's worth your time (though based on this first edition's price, I would find it in a library).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jared

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  4. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  5. 4 out of 5

    Celia

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Heinold

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

  9. 5 out of 5

    LP

  10. 4 out of 5

    Garrett

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tumpalponti

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael Edmiston

  13. 5 out of 5

    Víctor Iglesias

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heather Caswell

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hardimah

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan Persing

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