Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Narcissism and Presentism

This is an important video when describing curriculum development and how it could offer a journey out of the current culture of narcissism and presentism. I wanted to watch this video as reference to my post on "Personal Curriculum Mapping". It supported well my belief that it is important every individual be engaged in curriculum development. And from my perspective, the development of their own curriculum. I have embedded the video and included the main points that meant the most to me and my idea of personal curriculum mapping.


William Pinar "Allegories of the Present: Curriculum Development in a Culture of Narcissism and Presentism" from Tallinna Ăślikool on Vimeo.

  • Curriculum is mostly focused upon economy and society. In general, it is not localized to community needs. Most curriculum development is procedural and assessment focused.
  • Curriculum development should encourage ongoing forms of intellectual engagement.
  • Advanced capitalism has created an environment of narcissism and presentism. People have retreated from public life. People no longer engage with the past or future.
  • Allegory (storytelling) provokes reflection and engagement to the past and future. It also is an internal and external journey as one will reflect internally to the history. Allegory stretches in many directions and allows individuals to find personal relation to the story. Study of history is important, it fits very well to allegory.
  • Curriculum guidelines should be no more than guidelines. Teachers should have freedom to explore wherever their imaginations take them.
  • Intellectual labor is also an emotional undertaking. Allegory allows for intellectual depth mediated by the learner.
  • Allegory and analogy both connect the individual internally to external objects, events and other people. They connect people to the world. Contributing to curriculum development connects us to others, the past, present and future.
  • Self-reflective understanding transforms the present.
  • Move from curriculum standardization to curriculum differentiation. Working through the legacies of the past enables finding the future.
  • Presentism. All that we have is now. One task follows another task. It erodes the lived links among originality, creativity, spontaneity, anger, risk-taking, excitement, pleasure, discomfort, anxiety, all of humanity.
  • I don't want teachers to be the same, a good mix of people. We need teachers to be individuals. We need an intellectual differentiation.
  • The tests that only make sense are those that are devised by the teachers for the particular class.
  • Outcomes based curriculum are manipulative and too limiting, we want to keep the future open. It is the excitement of becoming educated.
My take away; distinctiveness of continents, nations, states, provinces, cities, municipalities, neighborhoods, families and individuals is good for humanity. Diversity will keep our knowledge base broadening. Curriculum development  needs to include the learner. It would connect the learner to the past, present and future of the subject domain when they have greater responsibility in creating the curriculum.

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