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Balkanization of Curriculum Studies

  • By: William H. Schubert
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Derived from political fragmentation of the Balkan Wars in 20th-century Europe, the term balkanization applies to curriculum studies because the discipline has also experienced processes of division into smaller entities that are hostile to one another. The phenomenon is, however, more complex and requires historical background to comprehend.

The curriculum field emerged in the early 1900s largely to facilitate the project of universal schooling in the United States. Different schools of thought about the character of curriculum inquiry emerged in what Herbert Kliebard referred to as a crucible, that is, a place in which ideas and practices of several prevailing interest groups (humanist, developmentalist, social efficiency, and social meliorist) were combined with or repelled by one another and with progressive influences of John Dewey and others. ...

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