The "Taming" of the School: Injecting Play and Chaos into the Curriculum to Liberate Learning

By Danielle Klein.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 26, 2014 $US5.00

Postmodern and post-structural approaches to curriculum design can disrupt the static, passive learning processes modernism establishes within present educational systems. Complexity science offers an alternative within the postmodern paradigm to challenge traditional notions of how we learn by calling attention to the influence of chaos and play in our educational discourses. Within the context of language, chaos and play can be used as tools of transformation in the curriculum to relax the boundaries around fixed knowledge and linear pedagogy students often experience in the classroom. A complex education informed by aesthetics challenges the modern paradigm and provides a solid framework to understand how educational structures can move beyond mechanistic processes and procedures. In particular, the design and activity within the English Language Arts classroom is an optimum place to begin looking for opportunities to transform how students are educated through the use of questioning and shared discourse. In this paper I explore the changing notions of how meaning is established and the roles both the student and teacher play in the creative learning process.

Keywords: Curriculum, Reconceptualization of Curriculum, Postmodern Paradigm of Education, Aesthetic Education, Teacher - Student Relationships, Language Arts Classroom, Shakespeare, Influencing Curriculum Structure, Transformative Power of Learning, Post-structuralism

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 20, Issue 2, March 2014, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 26, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 574.867KB)).

Danielle Klein

Graduate Student, Graduate School of Education, Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and Research, Lousiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Danielle Klein is currently a doctoral student in education at Louisiana State University. A graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, and a former high school English teacher in New York City, Ms. Klein has reentered the classroom as a student to pursue her interests in understanding the knowledge gaps that students possess when entering into post-secondary education. She is particularly interested in the curriculum of, and the activity within, the English classroom, and how the learning in that space prepares students to internalize a locus of control. She is also interested in how students can access classic works of literature, particularly Shakespeare, through scaffolded imagery.