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Fictionalising a future for a field: Engaging possibilities in curriculum research

Cheryl J. Craig

Through the use of fictionalisation, a narrative inquiry tool that allows for the “trying on” of future possibilities, I survey the state of the US curriculum field in the aftermath of Schwab’s “practical”. I note that the theory–practice binary, which Schwab explicated in the 1970s, morphed into a highly convoluted theory–practice–policy divide by the 2000s. I demonstrate the latter in the narrative exemplar of my teacher education practices I include. To end, I sketch seven research possibilities that would help to address the disarray that currently marks the curriculum field. These potential opportunities include: (1) studying how the same curriculum policy plays out in different sites; (2) inquiring into the interface between paradigmatic and narrative forms of knowledge in teaching and teacher education; (3) paying more attention to metaphorical ways of knowing; (4) examining the need for both fluid and stable forms of curriculum inquiry; (5) exploring the contributions that digital stories might make to the curriculum field; (6) unpacking cultural implications embedded in curriculum studies; and (7) discerning the curriculum questions that are most worthwhile to ask.

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