Tác giả :


I am happy to be in this sharing with you but please let me start by stories as they can ease my way of thinking. In the chilly winter last year, I saw a lonely rabbit. It was sitting quietly on the pine tree in front of my house. At that moment, I thought it must have been very lonely in the isolation with the cold snow falling. “So poor you”, I whispered to the rabbit. Later, as time went by, the rabbit kept moving around that tree, and it went so far from it. This morning, I went to campus and met it again, sitting alone in the cold weather with the yellow leaves falling around. I wonder if the rabbit didn’t feel as lonely as I thought. Is it true that the rabbit feels happy with its selection - the pine tree? And, if the answer for these questions is “Yes”, then all of my previous thoughts and my compassion for it are definitely wrong!

           
Last week I attended a mock defense of my friend who worked with the homeless in Japan. The attendees and I almost burst into tears when hearing the stories of those homeless people. However, the most surprising thing appeared at the end of the research: The participants were happy with their situations and consider it as a meaningful part of their life. They respect that kind of life and would like not to remove it, but they hope for more caring from the government and the society. It is at this point, those policy makers partially find out the answer for their problem: “Why there exist many housing facilities for the homeless but they still choose to wander their life on the street in such a progressive country like Japan?”

Writing down these stories, I partially find out the answer for my puzzle in doing research in education -“Where to start?” I learn from my own experiences that a researcher when conducting research should start from the lives, and from the people in those lives. To me, by traveling to their “worlds”, we can understand what it is to be them and what it is to be ourselves in their eyes (Lugones, 1987). Bridging this starting point into the world of curriculum in education, I do believe that curriculum should be from the learners and for the learners. Egan (1979) negotiated on the what question in curriculum. He came to the belief that children’s needs and interests should be allowed to decide some of what curriculum should contain. Also, other factors such as individual differences, styles of learning, ability to learn, development stages, and socioeconomic background had to be taken into account when deciding content of curriculum. In my perspectives, Egan’s answers for the question of what are truly ethical as the children are the destination of curriculum, so they should be the departure of curriculum design. However, Egan’s perspectives face with problems because he recognizes that curriculum does not exist independently within education context. Instead, it should be addressed in other sub-areas such as educational psychology, philosophy, sociology, administrative, and policy studies.


And now, resonating with myself as a “novel researcher” in education and in curriculum, I definitely put a strong belief in my commitment to start from the learners, the children, the participants to understand them and then be able to think over on what can be beneficial for them in curriculum revolution. Meaningfully, I choose narrative inquiry as my research methodology as it can help unpack the children’s experiences in matters related to curriculum. These experiences can help me understand the children’s “worlds” (Lugones, 1987) as the first step to know them and pave the ways for further research on improving curriculum. Similarly to the children, the rabbit in my story has its own world, and I did not understand it in the right way. This evening when coming back, I will smile at it, knowing that the rabbit is not lonely; in contrast, it is happy with its partner – the pine tree!

References

Egan, K. (1979). Competing voices for the curriculum. In Gibson, S. (2012), Canadian Curriculum Studies: Trends, Issues, and Influences. Pacific Educational Press.

Egan, K. (1979). What is curriculum? In Gibson, S. (2012), Canadian Curriculum Studies: Trends, Issues, and Influences. Pacific Educational Press.

Lugones, M. (1987). Playfulness, “world”-travelling, and loving perception. Hypatia,  2(2), 3-19.


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