Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices, Vol 3, No 1 (2009)

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Implicated and called upon: Challenging an educated position of self, others, knowledge and knowing as things to acquire.

Kent den Heyer


Jefferess (2008) questions the “structuring of feeling” that simultaneously creates and appeals to a global citizen as one called upon to express their benevolence by helping others as if all involved lived “outside history.” The global citizen is not implicated in the material and historical processes that create inequality, s/he merely seeks to help.


Following Jefferess, I explore how this “structure of feelings” as relates to global citizenship – or any other delineation of group membership – constitutes a curricular challenge as much as a challenge that can be met by any particular subject or discipline. Curriculum is often envisioned as a thing – a set of knowledges, dispositions, skills, or ways of knowing – to be conveyed and acquired and in which we remain un-implicated. In contrast, using a paradigmatic interpretation of curriculum, we might address these shortcomings by interpreting and arranging curriculum as an encounter with the ways in which we know and what we know do not belong to us alone. In this sense, the challenges students, society, and teachers face are curricular challenges as much as specific disciplinary concerns.


Throughline questions constitute one means to enact curriculum as encounter as reflected in a “curriculum wisdom” paradigmatic interpretation. The goal here is to assist students to become steeped in ethical contemplation and to participate more knowingly in questions of social life with an interpretation of the ways we all are implicated in the material conditions that shape what and how we claim to know.

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Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices is a non-commercial initiative committed to the ethical dissemination of academic research and educational thinking. CLTP acknowledges the thoughtful dedication of authors, editors and reviewers to develop and promote this open journal initiative. The journal receives copy-editing sponsorship from the Faculty of Education at the University of Oulu, Finland. CLTP has previously received  copy editing support from the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice at the University of Nottingham, UK.