Facing an uncertain future: curricula of dualities

Charles Anderson, Velda McCune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article considers how best to conceptualise higher education curricula in a world marked by uncertainty, where knowledge and the foundations of knowledge are strongly contested. We then draw on conceptions of agency that derive from socio-cultural theorising to consider what ‘tools’ for thinking and practising individuals may need to deploy if they are to engage with a fast-changing world. The article highlights the large challenges that students may face in developing the forms of being and the orientations to knowledge associated with an age of supercomplexity. The concluding section, Curricula of dualities, addresses the question of how best to achieve curricula and pedagogic practices in higher education that may enable students to embark on an open-ended journey from their present ways of knowing and being. We contend that curricula for an age of uncertainty can be productively conceptualised in terms of pairs of contrasting elements that are in creative tension, e.g. play and discipline, support and challenge. Conceptualising curricula in such a way allows students’ present circumstances and orientations and their possible futures to stay in central focus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-168
Number of pages14
JournalThe Curriculum Journal
Issue number1
Early online date28 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • higher education
  • curriculum
  • student learning


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