Presentation Title

Viral Curriculum Studies: Towards a Popularization of the Curriculum Field

Type of Presentation

Individual presentation

Brief Description of Presentation

Among the most significant issues facing the curriculum field today is the issue of its popularization. For a field with such significant and widespread implications, it remains relatively unknown to both the general public and to a significant portion of teachers, school administrators, and educational leaders. However, recent developments in social media (viral social media in particular) have generated a platform with unprecedented opportunity to expand the ideals of the field into the broad consciousness of the general public.

Abstract of Proposal

Among the most significant problems facing the curriculum field today is that of its popularization. Namely, outside of a small handful of educational scholars and graduate students, almost nobody knows that it exists. This is a problem for two main reasons: 1. because the curriculum field has not significantly permeated the public's broader social consciousness, there are likely many individuals who would have been brilliant curriculum scholars who never entered the field in the first place simply because they did not know that it exists; and 2. unlike our counterparts in psychology, biology, environmental science, physics, engineering, medicine, mathematics, and any myriad of other various disciplines, the general public is, by-and-large, not crying out for our representation (whether it be in person or in ideology) in positions of power regarding educational issues or in the power structures surrounding policy. This, at least partially, explains why virtually none of the contributions of the curriculum field over the last fifty years have entered into the official curriculum (Apple, 1993) of the vast majority of schools, districts, state-level educational policy-making, or national-level educational policy-making in any kind of systemic way, save for a few rogue teachers applying curriculum studies, often acting in spite of, rather than in line with, the official curriculum of their particular space.

Recent developments in the nature of media (namely, the development of social media as a standalone platform) have fundamentally altered the ways in which information is spread in our society, particularly among children, youth, and young adults. Compared to the radio, television, film, newspaper, and other major forms of media, social media provides a platform for information to spread with unprecedented speed, and, at that, exists as perhaps the most predominantly grassroots form of media that exists with such a high degree of popularity. In addition, a subset of social media, viral social media, provides a space in which grassroots ideas, and individual people, can spread across the social consciousness in almost instantaneous fashion.

This presentation attempts to: (1) historicize and analyze the current status of the field's popularization: namely, the extent to which the field exists in the popular consciousness of our society, whether explicitly or implicitly; (2) historicize and analyze the current nature of social media: namely, the exploration of its (brief) history, the analysis of its current state, and speculation of its near future; and (3) explore the potential for the rapid, grassroots expansion of the popularization of the curriculum field, using social media in general, and viral social media in particular, as the vehicle for its permeation into the broader social consciousness of our society.

Apple, M. W. (1993). Official knowledge: Democratic education in a conservative age. New York: Routledge.

Start Date

2-24-2018 8:10 AM

End Date

2-24-2018 9:40 AM

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Viral Curriculum Studies: Towards a Popularization of the Curriculum Field

Among the most significant problems facing the curriculum field today is that of its popularization. Namely, outside of a small handful of educational scholars and graduate students, almost nobody knows that it exists. This is a problem for two main reasons: 1. because the curriculum field has not significantly permeated the public's broader social consciousness, there are likely many individuals who would have been brilliant curriculum scholars who never entered the field in the first place simply because they did not know that it exists; and 2. unlike our counterparts in psychology, biology, environmental science, physics, engineering, medicine, mathematics, and any myriad of other various disciplines, the general public is, by-and-large, not crying out for our representation (whether it be in person or in ideology) in positions of power regarding educational issues or in the power structures surrounding policy. This, at least partially, explains why virtually none of the contributions of the curriculum field over the last fifty years have entered into the official curriculum (Apple, 1993) of the vast majority of schools, districts, state-level educational policy-making, or national-level educational policy-making in any kind of systemic way, save for a few rogue teachers applying curriculum studies, often acting in spite of, rather than in line with, the official curriculum of their particular space.

Recent developments in the nature of media (namely, the development of social media as a standalone platform) have fundamentally altered the ways in which information is spread in our society, particularly among children, youth, and young adults. Compared to the radio, television, film, newspaper, and other major forms of media, social media provides a platform for information to spread with unprecedented speed, and, at that, exists as perhaps the most predominantly grassroots form of media that exists with such a high degree of popularity. In addition, a subset of social media, viral social media, provides a space in which grassroots ideas, and individual people, can spread across the social consciousness in almost instantaneous fashion.

This presentation attempts to: (1) historicize and analyze the current status of the field's popularization: namely, the extent to which the field exists in the popular consciousness of our society, whether explicitly or implicitly; (2) historicize and analyze the current nature of social media: namely, the exploration of its (brief) history, the analysis of its current state, and speculation of its near future; and (3) explore the potential for the rapid, grassroots expansion of the popularization of the curriculum field, using social media in general, and viral social media in particular, as the vehicle for its permeation into the broader social consciousness of our society.

Apple, M. W. (1993). Official knowledge: Democratic education in a conservative age. New York: Routledge.