UBC Graduate Research

The question of awareness in curriculum theory Kumar, Ashwani


In this paper I accomplish two tasks: 1) I discuss three ways—Awareness-As-Information Transmission; Awareness-As-Social Criticism; and Awareness-As-Self Reflection—in which the notion of awareness has come to be viewed in curriculum theory; 2) I propose a fourth way—Awareness-As-Meditative Inquiry—to understand, broaden, and enrich the existing meanings of the notion of awareness. It will not be inaccurate to propose that “awareness” has been a central concept in the field of education. While there exist differences over the meanings and significance of the term “awareness,” it would be hard to find an educator who would not place “awareness” at the core of educational theory and practice. As part of my research, I have identified three ways in which the notion of awareness has come to be viewed in curriculum theory: Awareness-As-Information Transmission; Awareness-As-Social Criticism; and Awareness-As-Self Reflection. In my understanding, while these three ways of looking at the notion of awareness are very important, they lack a deeper consideration of nature of self and its complexity as well as the possibilities of its profound transformation. In order to broaden and enrich the concept of awareness, I propose a fourth way—Awareness-As Meditative Inquiry—based on my study of the works of Jiddu Krishnamurti. More specifically, I engage with three key questions in this paper: 1) What is awareness-as-meditative inquiry? 2) What inhibits awareness-as-meditative inquiry? 3) What facilitates awareness-as-meditative inquiry? [The Explorations & Education Conference is the collaborative effort of graduate student representatives from the Graduate Student Council for the Faculty of Education, the Department of Educational Studies and the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy. The goal is to "to create a safe space for the exchange of academic ideas and to create opportunities particularly for graduate students (at all levels of study) to present their ideas and research".]

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