Reconceptualist scholarship began as a reaction to traditional ways of looking at curriculum. Whereas traditional curriculum scholarship focused on design, implementation, and evaluation of curricular materials, the work of reconceptualist scholars became more theoretical and focused on understanding of context. The more traditional curriculum scholarship had its roots in educational administration, whereas the reconceptualized curriculum thinking was based upon history, sociology, philosophy, literary criticism, political science, psychology, aesthetics, and anthropology. The shift moved much of the curriculum conversation—beginning in the 1970s and increasing through the 1980s and 1990s—from the social sciences to issues of personal authenticity and social justice.

Reconceptualist Ideas

Reconceptualist scholarship approached curriculum as an act of critical self-reflection. Reconceptualists were skeptical of dominant ideas from social science and positivist notions of knowledge. They promoted ...

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