Curriculum and intra–dialogic spaces: consciousness and becoming in identity construction based on human rights values
Becker, Josephine Annie
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The growing marketisation of education has resulted in curriculum being conceptualised as a predesigned means to an end. Many South African scholars such as Jansen, (1999, 2009, 2011) and Du Preez (2009, 2011, 2012) have critiqued the instrumental nature of the post-apartheid curriculum and pleaded for an ethical perspective on curriculum conceptualisation that would encourage the construction of dialogic spaces in curriculum. This study questions technical and critical approaches to curriculum conceptualisation and advocates a reflexive conceptualisation of curriculum, intra-dialogue, identity construction, consciousness, becoming and human rights values within an ethical perspective to curriculum conceptualisation in the post-structural paradigm. The central theme of this reflexive reconceptualisation is the hope of continual revolutionary new beginnings by which identity construction (who we are) and the realisation of human rights values in the ethical relation self:other can be re-imagined. This hope has also been central to the (re)structuring of the post-apartheid curriculum premised on the values of The South African Constitution and Bill of Rights (1996). Curriculum, structured within a predesigned market-related and instrumental approach to curriculum, can however not aid identity construction, re-imagine a new society or realise human rights values. A new society is re-imagined between teacher:child, disrupting how and what they know of self:other and re-imagining new ways of knowing and being with self:other rooted in human rights values. The conditions for intra-dialogue, namely the ethical relation self:other and spaces of togetherness, are also interrelated elements in intra-dialogic curriculum spaces. The ethical relation teacher:child roots intra-dialogic curriculum spaces in human rights values and the consciousness of responsibility for self:other. Spaces of togetherness situate teacher:child in specific and non-linear space and time in which they narrate their different life experiences from which identity is constructed. Intra-dialogue is the disruptive, revolutionary and intentional action between self:other as simultaneously singular in equal difference and together in a shared humanity. Human rights values are dialogic, relational and revolutionary in nature. Human rights values are realised when teacher:child within intra-dialogic curriculum spaces premised on equal difference, freely confess autobiography and continually (re)construct identity and the relation self:other. In equal difference teacher:child are received and defined as someone – unique, dignified and irreplaceable. As equal and irreplaceable partners teacher:child disrupt, deconstruct and re-imagine the ethical relation self:other. Within intra-dialogic curriculum spaces, teacher:child can reclaim the revolutionary capacity of curriculum and revolutionise self, self:other, education and society in continual becoming.
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