After currere: the meaning of education in North American curriculum studies

Todd Alan Price, Daniel J. Castner


This essay addresses the question: how is the term “education” defined in American educational discourse in general and in the field of curriculum studies in particular? In democratic nation states like the U.S., education is primarily defined in instrumental and socio-political terms. While these conceptions of education have each generated fruitful understandings, something appears missing in the contemporary meaning. This article explores the relationship between language and education. We overview a brief history of curriculum studies, highlighting the traditional and critical factions of the field. Then, we argue that the various manifestations of instrumentalism and multiple forms of criticality that have permeated curriculum studies have also influenced specialized fields of education such as the education of young children. With this history(s) and these factions in mind, we explore the instrumental and developmental roots of curriculum studies, currere, and the possibilities for post-reconceptualization. We conclude with a call for educational theorizing that advances a discourse “after currere”, that is distinctly educational in essence and purpose

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Euro-JCS is indexed in CAPES/QUALIS (Category: Education |  Classification: B3)

ISSN: 2182-7168



Associação Portuguesa de Estudos Curriculares (NIPC: 506240061)

Instituto de Educação da Universidade do Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal

The journal is associated with the European Association of Curriculum Studies.