Investigating Our Practices (IOP)

Critically investigating the ideology underlying teaching practise Johnson, Ayala Monique


Many educators hope to facilitate certain political and philosophical ideologies through educational practise. But are their interests, and those of their subject, supported in official curricula? In researching the history of home economics education, I have found support for ecological understandings and social justice ideology. I recently applied Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to the 2007 official BC home economics curriculum, seeking to find the ideologies underpinning curricular discourse, hoping that such analyses would be useful for informing pedagogies and future curricular rewrites. My research (Johnson, 2015) uncovered neo-liberal ideology dominating language in the official curriculum. The presence of this ideology promoted a social hierarchy in which the interests of current government were foregrounded over passive and subordinate construction of educators and students. The declarative language and transmissive style of education that I found contradicted possibilities for social justice education. This conservative approach prevented transformative potentials among educators and students and reduced the personal obligation of these actors to safeguard wholism, equity and ecological health. I propose to share my research findings, as well as to model how CDA can be applied to official and unofficial curricula. This could assist educators in better understanding the underlying ideologies and meanings present in the curricula they work with daily, and how such ideologies support or hinder professional aims.

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