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Arts of the Eclectic

  • By: Thomas W. Roby IV
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

What constitutes an effective relationship between theory and practice is contested in education. Curricula based solely on either have proved ineffective in closing the gap between the curriculum guide and the learning moment. Joseph Schwab's unique solution to this problem is arts of the eclectic, whereby educational problems are examined through multiple perspectives instead of a solitary theory. He called this process polyfocal conspectus, which is needed because no single theory from the social sciences, for instance, can explain or define the curricular basis for effective teaching. The use of three or four theories in combination is key to the problem-posing stage of curriculum deliberation, in which the problematic situation is defined in various ways by each theory. The art of discerning the integrated approach ...

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