Educational Studies (EDST) 645

Curriculum: Provoking Inquiry (Revision 1)

EDST 645 Course Cover

Delivery Mode: Grouped study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Interdisciplinary Studies

Prerequisite: MAIS 601 and MAIS 602

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Program: Master of Arts Interdisciplinary Studies

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**Note: Students in Group Study courses are advised that this syllabus may vary in key details in each instance of the course. Always refer to the Moodle site for the most up-to-date details on texts, assignment structure, and grading.**


EDST 645: Curriculum: Provoking Inquiry calls into question "taken-for-granted" common practices of curriculum and focuses attention on the production of new and multiple subjectivities and possibilities.

EDST 645 is structured in four parts. In Part I students study a selection of articles that re-present major conversations within curriculum studies in the United States and Canada. These texts display a contested terrain and a field of study negotiating modernity and postmodernity.

In Parts II and III class members take up postmodern/postcolonial theory and explore implications for curriculum theory and research. Two metaphors, "curriculum as cultural practice" and "curriculum as cultural body," are employed to introduce and provoke discussions of re-visioning and re-imagining curriculum and teaching for the twenty-first century.

In Part IV, students draw themes forward and look backward on what they have been studying and the sense they are making.

EDST 645 will be of interest to teachers in the school system, as well as, those involved in various educational endeavours in work and community settings. Curriculum studies is anything but narrow. Its wide reach overlaps every subject area: cultural, political, and economic trends, philosophical concerns, and social issues. Contemporary curriculum theory and research draw on increasingly diverse disciplinary perspectives and inquiry methods. Online discussions of these course materials in light of everyday concerns promise to be provocative.

Course Objectives

EDST 645 provides students with the opportunity to:

  1. consider and explore multiple definitions of the concept curriculum and the various implications of each in a variety of educational contexts
  2. become familiar with the "body" of knowledge and research commonly referred to as "curriculum studies"
  3. develop and articulate their personal understanding and sensitivities of "curriculum," particularly their curriculum vitae
  4. develop an awareness of current curriculum conversations and be able to describe some of the competing discourses during the past forty to sixty years in Canada and the United States
  5. be able to describe the metaphor of "curriculum as cultural practice" and discuss various applications of this metaphor
  6. call into question a variety of assumptions made at the individual, academic and political levels of analysis in the struggle for more democratic social relations and education (equity issues)
  7. challenge assumptions about embodiment by suggesting fresh ways to understand the location and (dis)location of the "body" in contemporary culture
  8. discuss curriculum of difference and its implications for teaching, learning, and knowing (more specifically, to discuss the readmittance of body consciousness to educational discourse)
  9. identify and discuss various postmodern ways of re/imagining curriculum
  10. identify and discuss major themes and issues that arise from postmodern perspectives on curriculum
  11. explain and discuss some ways of revisioning and re/imagining curricular and teaching practices so that ethical commitment to education that links knowledge to the subjectivities and identities of learners can be renewed

Student Evaluation

To receive credit for this course, students must participate in the online activities, successfully complete the assignments, and achieve a final mark of at least 60 per cent. Students should be familiar with the Master of Arts—Interdisciplinary Studies grading system. Please note that it is students' responsibility to maintain their program status. Any student who receives a grade of "F" in one course, or a grade of "C" in more than one course, may be required to withdraw from the program.

The following table summarizes the evaluation activities and the credit weights associated with them.

Course Activity Weighting
Assignment 1: Pedagogical creed 10%
Assignment 2: Response Paper 1 and online moderation 20%
Assignment 3: Response Paper 2 and online moderation 20%
Assignment 4: Final Term Paper 30%
Online Participation 20%
Total 100%

Course Materials

The course materials for EDST 645 include the items listed below. If you find that any of these items are missing from your course materials package, please contact Course Materials Production of Athabasca University. You can contact us toll-free from anywhere in Canada or the United States at 1-800-788-9041. Choose option 3 from the main menu, then enter extension 6366 to be connected with the Materials Management department. You may also write in care of Athabasca University, 1 University Drive, Athabasca AB T9S 3A3; or direct your e-mail to


  • Kanu, Yatta. (2006). Curriculum as cultural practice: Postcolonial imaginations. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Springgagy, Stephanie and Debra Freedman. (2007). Curriculum and the cultural body. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.

Athabasca University Online Materials

Course Home Page: You will find Course Information (including the Assignment File and other pertinent information) at the top of the course home page. You will also find your Study Guide presented unit by unit online. You will find your assignments and links to submit your work to your professor on the course home page.

Athabasca University Library: Students are encouraged to browse the Library's Web site to review the Library collection of journal databases, electronic journals, and digital reference tools:

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, September 1, 2009.