Curriculum as Meditative Inquiry by Ashwani Kumar (auth.)

By Ashwani Kumar (auth.)

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Invoking Fromm’s (1968) emphasis on “hope,” Macdonald ([1981a] 1995) urges us: We must, as Erich Fromm [1968] says, keep up our hope; which he defines as the willingness to keep working for what we believe in with the full realization that we may never see it come to fruition in our lifetime. (170) Macdonald died in 1983 at the relatively young age of 58 due to kidney failure. Macdonald’s significant contribution to curriculum theory was celebrated at the 1984 Conference on Curriculum Theory and Practice at Bergamo on November 2, 1984, which was organized 30 Curriculum as Meditative Inquiry in his honor (Apple 1985; Burke 1985; Grumet 1985; Huebner 1985; Molnar 1985; Pinar 1985; Spodek 1985; Wolfson 1985a, 1985b).

My interactions with Professor William Pinar23 on this paper and afterward further encouraged me to think on the importance of self-understanding. Although I was doing fine in my course work, during the second year of my doctoral program I began to experience an inner intellectual crisis. I would often say to myself: Everybody is so much concerned with thinking and analysis, but why is nobody seeing that the very instrument—intellect—that we depend upon is an intrinsic part of our consciousness, which, as I can see, is in perpetual crisis.

Significantly, along with enriching the field with his theoretical contributions, Macdonald also worked in the area of curriculum development that is “embodied in the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of Milwaukee Social Studies Project . . that addressed social problems and that encouraged students to identify their own values through a method of critical inquiry” (Burke 1985, 112). In 1966 Macdonald became professor at the UWM where, later on, he was promoted as the director of Doctoral Studies and chairperson of the Department of Curriculum.

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