UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Currere and subjective reconstruction Wang, Wanying


Juxtaposing currere with elements of ancient Chinese philosophical thought to inform a cosmopolitan concept of spirituality, I seek to articulate how I have engaged in my own subjective reconstruction. In this dissertation I aspired to describe how my subjectivity has been reconstructed through autobiography and academic study, toward a coherent self capable of sustained, critical, and creative engagement with the world (Pinar, 2009, p. 62). All the chapters are focused on the concept of currere. The first chapter explains why I employ the autobiographical method of currere to explore my life and study in Canada. The second chapter provides an example of how I used the method of currere to acquire self-understanding. The third chapter emphasizes the concept of attunement that emerged from my own autobiographical research, described in the second chapter. The fourth and fifth chapters document how my subjectivity has been informed by academic study through the study of ancient Chinese philosophical thought. This dissertation comprises the following theoretical contributions: first, I have contributed to the scholarly effort to understand currere by proposing the concept of Chinese currere. Derived from my subject position as a Chinese woman who has studied in Beijing and Hong Kong, studying now in Vancouver, I hope to contribute to the uniqueness of a Chinese cosmopolitan theory of curriculum as experienced – the initial formulation of a Chinese currere. Second, central to the concept of Chinese currere is the concept of attunement. Attunement incorporates traces of ancient Chinese philosophical thought as it manifests itself in my life writing and reflection on the writing. In keeping with currere, attunement also emphasizes how even informal forms of study (for example, learning that takes place outside the classroom) can contribute to self-understanding and wisdom acquisition. Third, this study juxtaposes understandings of subjectivity from Western and Eastern perspectives, and provides an example of how subjectivity can be reconstructed by academic knowledge and experience. Fourth, this study provides a spiritual understanding of curriculum – especially expressed as currere. Fifth, this dissertation provides a study of the affinities between ancient Chinese philosophical thought and the concept of currere.

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