On the Way to a Postmodern Curriculum Theory – Moving from the Question of Unity to the Question of Difference1


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Abstract

This article will examine the consequences of highlighting ‘subject and difference’ in one of the curriculum theories that has been inspired by postmodernism. The term postmodernism is here first and foremost meant to signify the attempt to combine politics and morality with epistemology in accordance with Levinas, Lyotard and Bauman. The article will highlight some themes that need to be developed further for a postmodernism-inspired curriculum theory. A starting-point is a critique of the type of curriculum theory which has its base in “the new sociology of education”. From this critique, focused on universal claims, the Habermasian-inspired universalism is quickly and critically dropped and left behind, and another form of reasoning is embarked upon. The latter is inspired by a ‘minotarian politics’ concept and tries to dissolve universalism as a prerequisite for critical conversations. With this background and with the help of Levinas, the article sets out to talk about ‘difference’ without reduction to the Same and finally suggest a direction for a postmodern curriculum theory with a ‘normative’ focus on knowledge.

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