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Reconsidering the technologies of intellectual inquiry in curriculum design

Costa, Cristina; Harris, Lisa


Lisa Harris


© 2017 British Educational Research Association. This paper reports on the design and delivery of classroom pedagogies and students’ engagement with it in two different UK universities. Under the banner of curriculum design and Bourdieu's curriculum principles, the study set out to create modules that provided students with an interdisciplinary perspective on how the web is changing the way citizens live, interact and learn. Focusing on the idea that the web is becoming a tool of intellectual inquiry and an instrument of reproduction of knowledge inequality, the goal of this research was to transform knowledge practices by encouraging a learning habitus that relies on knowing how to learn rather than becoming ‘knowledgeable.’ The paper concludes that the Bourdieuian perspective on curriculum design still holds currency in the digital age, given that it shares an epistemology of practice similar to that advocated by a digital participatory culture. We also offer a critique to our approach, using Bourdieu's logic of practice to examine how education as a field displays (hidden) rules that students embody as their learning habitus. As students’ learning practices become doxified through their educational trajectories, learners find it difficult to engage with a curriculum that aims to diversify pedagogical structures and reflect a changing society.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 2, 2017
Journal Curriculum Journal
Print ISSN 0958-5176
Electronic ISSN 1469-3704
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 4
Pages 559-577
APA6 Citation Costa, C., & Harris, L. (2017). Reconsidering the technologies of intellectual inquiry in curriculum design. Curriculum Journal, 28(4), 559-577.
Keywords Pierre Bourdieu, curriculum design, learning habitus, participatory culture, higher education, the web
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Additional Information Additional Information : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The Curriculum Journal on 31st March 2017, available online:


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