Pragmatising the curriculum: Bringing knowledge back into the curriculum conversation, but via pragmatism

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Abstract

In this paper, I explore the role of knowledge in the curriculum through a discussion of John Dewey's transactional theory of knowing. I do so against the background of recent calls to bring knowledge back into the discussion about the curriculum in which pragmatism has been depicted as a problematic form of relativism that should have no place in contemporary curriculum theory and practice. I show that rather than being a form of relativism, pragmatism actually moves beyond the modern opposition of objectivism versus relativism. Dewey's transactional theory of knowing moves the question of knowledge from the domain of certainty to the domain of possibility. I show in this paper how Dewey develops this argument and give reasons why this is an important contribution to the ongoing discussion about knowledge and the curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-49
Number of pages21
JournalCurriculum Journal
Volume25
Issue number1
Early online date2 Jan 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

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