Practicum Action Inquiry

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Practicum Action Inquiry

Practicum Action Inquiry

Statement of the Problem

Curriculum inquirers draw on a wide array of research traditions filled with controversies, contradictions, and complexities. As early as 1938, John Dewey developed logic: the theory of inquiry in which matter and form are intertwined in a flux of continuous movement among the past, present, and future situated in contexts. For Dewey, conception without perception is empty and perception without conception is blind. Human importance should be the primary purpose of inquiry. A separation of matter from form, conception from perception, operations from humans, or inquiry from contexts leads to cultural waste, confusion, and distortion of human condition. Dewey's theory of inquiry is the foundation of forms of curriculum inquiry.

Parallel with Dewey's democratic ideas, the work of W. E. B. Du Bois, Anna Julia Cooper, and Carter G. Woodson also greatly influenced curriculum inquiry with activist orientations that connect the personal with the political, the theoretical with the practical, and research with equity, equality, and social justice. For instance, research on teachers that flourished during the progressive era promoted Dewey's democratic ideal in education and many aspects of life; action research in social sciences originated by John Collier and Kurt Lewin in the 1940s counteracted racial prejudice and promoted more democratic forms of leadership in the workplace. (Hamilton, 1978)

Relation of the Problem to the Specialization

Prior to the 1970s, Joseph Schwab created three important concepts for curriculum inquiry: the practical, the four commonplaces of curriculum (learners, teachers, subject matter, and milieu), and two forms of inquiries—stable inquiry and fluid inquiry. Ambiguous, incomplete, and fluid aspects of inquiry that focuses on changing real-life situations and contexts rather than on pre-established theories is central to curriculum inquiry. In the 1970s, various forms of curriculum inquiry flourished as the field was reconceptualized. Dwayne Huebner introduced phenomenology to curriculum studies and called for an exploration of experience of curriculum through five value frameworks: the technical, the political, the scientific, the aesthetic, and the ethical. Like Huebner's, James Macdonald's work provoked the Recon-ceptionalization Era, influencing generations of curriculum scholars. Macdonald perceived education as a societal pivotal point to explore oneself and the broader human condition in a meaningful context.

Background and Context for the Problem

As early as 1979, drawing upon Dewey's theory of experience, aesthetics, and education, George Willis perceived phenomenological inquiry as a form of interpretative inquiry into human perceptions and the aesthetic quality of human experience. Ted Aoki explored curriculum through phenomenology, poststructuralism, critical theory, and cultural criticism. In the 1980s, David Jardine further developed phenomenological inquiry as a way not only to help understand the world, but also to change the way we live. Since the 1970s, Max van Manen used a hermeneutic phenomenological inquiry to research lived experience. Phenomenology became central to currere—a driving force for emerging forms of curriculum inquiry during the Reconceptualization Era.

William Pinar and Madeleine Grumet linked phenomenology with autobiography and advanced currere as an autobiographical form of inquiry to study one's experience in the past, present, and future and the impact ...
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