Date of this Version
Published in International handbook of progressive education, edited by Mustafa Yunus Eryaman, Bertram C. Bruce (New York: Peter Lang, 2015), pp. 277-291.
Historically, educators and philosophers have struggled to define the role and the value of formal curriculum and its impact on classroom praxis. As the current accountability movement dominates discussions in education, educators are pressured to implement increasingly standardized curricula. The authors of this chapter consider the tensions arising from this trend, situated first within contrasting theories on teaching and learning. They then explore the concept of phronesis through an interpretive biography of one teacher-artist, Frieda, whose praxis also demonstrates the aesthetic and artistic side of the teaching-learning process. This 90-year-old teacher-artist's experiences implementing her curriculums suggest that it is always possible to implement one's praxis, despite societal or legislative impediments. Frieda's story shows how a teacher's praxis can incorporate Eisner's artistic approach to curriculum as well as many of Dewey's principles of child-centered pedagogy.