Education Journal

The “Why” and “What” of Curriculum Inquiry: Schwab’s The Practical Revisited

2013.第41卷第1–2期(Vol. 41 Nos. 1–2).pp. 85–105

The “Why” and “What” of Curriculum Inquiry: Schwab’s The Practical Revisited


Zongyi DENG(鄧宗怡)


This article examines the “why” and “what” of curriculum inquiry from the perspective of the practical in Schwab’s (1969/1978a) paper. It critically scrutinizes the state of curriculum inquiry in China and in North America. The central argument is that curriculum inquiry is a practical undertaking centrally concerned with the practice or inner work of schooling within the societal, institutional and instructional contexts. It is a normative endeavor for its ultimate purpose is the advancement of schooling. Furthermore, this article addresses what makes curriculum inquiry curricular, and challenges contemporary curriculum theorizing (e.g., reconceptualist curriculum inquiry) as peripheral to or decoupled from the real-world practice of schooling.

Keywords: curriculum inquiry; curriculum theory; the practical; curriculum practice


為何作課程探究?甚麼是課程探究?本文從施瓦布(Schwab, 1969/1978a)實踐取向的角度檢討這兩個問題,並對中國內地和北美課程探究的狀況作批判的審視。文章的中心論點是:課程探究主要是實踐性的探究,其最終目標是改進學校教育,而關注焦點是社會文化、教育體制、學校與課堂背景中學校內部的工作。本文進一步論述課程探究的「課程」特徵,並批判課程再概念學派與學校實踐脫節。