Since I was asked to have carefully prepared the chapter 5 reading of Jane Roland Martin's book, Education Reconfigured, for Monday, I have set up this page for my group members and others to post. Following is an article summary in a mix of my and borrowed words.

The chapter is entitled "Culture as Curriculum" and it is accurately entitled. In it Martin proposes that learning is a 'curriculum of encounter'. Curriculum can never be academic subjects objectively expressed in a culture-free environment, because every author of curriculum sees knowledge through the lens of their own culture. Sometimes these writers of education can have hidden, and even not so hidden, bias which "can sabotage the best-laid plans for making the best kinds of people and cultures". Some examples of hidden curricula could be racism, misogyny, dishonesty, and mendacity. Education is a process of initiation into civilization. Or put another way, education is much more than schooling. And so, we do well to ask is there a body of learning, any discipline which has is exempt of cultural influence. Might there be a subject that are given and stand outside the time, history, and culture. The answer that Martin proposes to that question is negative, curricula are not written in stone.

Therefore, it is critical that we institute a 'cultural bookkeeping project' so as to evaluate the knowledge being received, as it may be promoting values or artifacts of culture no longer worthy of transmission. Martin reflects upon 'the' curricular question posed so directly by Herbert Spencer, the 19th c. British social theorist. He once asked: "What knowledge is of most weight?" Though Spencer's eventual answer was science, Martin attempts no such answer. Instead she re-formulates the question from the curriculum of encounter philosophy to be expressed as: "What culture stock (aspect) is most worth?" Without answering Martin allows the reader to form their own answer for each of us is in fact an educator, and each a writer of curriculum, albeit always through our cultural experience.

Nice summary of many of Martin's points Serge. Notice how philosophers like to pose questions but not answer them!! We'll do more on this on Tuesday. KS