We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. Click here to find out more. Allow cookies
Selected Works

Learning, Curriculum and Life Politics: the selected works of Ivor F. Goodson

Towards a Social Constructionist Perspective

In short the Schools of Education entered into a 'Devil's Bargain' when they entered the university milieu.  The result was their mission changed from being primarily concerned with matters central to the practice of schooling towards issues of status passage through more conventional university scholarship.  The resulting dominance of conventional 'disciplinary' modes has had disastrous impact on educational theory in general and curriculum study in particular.

The Devil's Bargain over education was an especially pernicious form of the displacement of discourse and debate which surrounded the evolution of university knowledge production. University knowledge evolved as separate and distinct from public knowledge for as Mills noted:

Men of knowledge do not orient themselves exclusively toward the total society, but to special segments of that society with special demands, criteria of validity, of significant knowledge, of pertinent problems, etc.  It is through integration of these demands and expectations of particular audiences which can be effectively located in the social structure, that men of knowledge organize their own work, define their data, seize upon their problems.

This new structural location of 'men of knowledge' in the university could have profound implications for public discourse and debate.  Mills believed this would happen if the knowledge produced in this way did not have public relevance, particularly if it was not related to public and practical concerns.

Only where publics and leaders are responsive and responsible, are human affairs in democratic order, and only when knowledge has public relevance is this order possible.  Only when mind has an autonomous basis, independent of power, but powerfully related to it, can it exert its force in the shaping of human affairs.  Such a position is democratically possible only when there exists a free and knowledgeable public, to which men of knowledge may address themselves, and to which men of power are truly responsible.  Such a public and such men - either of power or of knowledge, do not now prevail, and accordingly, knowledge does not now have democratic relevance in America (Wright Mills 1979).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Next page

  • Date of publication: 15/09/2005
  • Number of pages (as Word doc): 272
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Subject:
    Curriculum Studies, Narrative Theory
  • Available in:
  • Appears in:
    Learning, Curriculum and Life Politics: the selected works of Ivor F. Goodson
  • Number of editions: 1
  • Paperback
  • Price of book: £27.99
  • ISBN: 978-0-415-35220-8
  • Purchase this book:
  • Buy used and new from: amazon