Teaching with an Attitude: Finding Ways to the Conundrum of a Postmodern Curriculum


Several scholars in the field of education have questioned the constituent aspects of a curriculum that would better respond to the rising demands in contemporary societies. The relevance of such enquiry finds its place in the very transformations in today’s societies marked by significant changes in the ways of knowing, being, and acting primarily due to the advent of new digital media in more recent globalizing processes. As Burke (2009) has stated, if schools wish to maintain their relevance in society, they must take into account such changes by first and foremost acknowledging the new and complex ways of making meanings in out-of-school literacy practices as equally legitimating those happening within school contexts. Along with Burke (ibid.), this paper advocates the need of rethinking the notion of curriculum in the light of the new ontologies and epistemologies of postmodernity. Such task proves itself to be a conundrum inasmuch as the very notion of curriculum has been traditionally founded on modern principles such as linearity, stability, and universality (Silva, 2009). In view of this, how can educators respond to the challenge of redefining what should be taught in schools in postmodern times so that students would better perform in relation to the self and the other within their social practices? This paper aims to analyse the relationship between postmodern philosophical concepts, curriculum theory and educational practice by presenting the notion of curricular attitude (Duboc, 2012) as a local redesign of teaching practices within a Brazilian educational context. Despite being situated in the field of foreign language teaching, the notion of a curricular attitude might be of interest of other areas of knowledge since it seeks to revisit teaching practices in the light of wider philosophical concerns.

Share and Cite:

Duboc, A. (2013) Teaching with an Attitude: Finding Ways to the Conundrum of a Postmodern Curriculum. Creative Education, 4, 58-65. doi: 10.4236/ce.2013.412A2009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Bauman, Z. (2001). Modernidade líquida. Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Editor
[2] Biesta, G. (2006). Beyond learning: Democratic education for a human future. London: Paradigm Publishers.
[3] Bourdieu, P. (1996). Razoes práticas: Sobre a teoria da acao. Campinas: Papirus.
[4] Britzman, D. (1991). Practice makes practice: A critical study of learning to teach. United States: State University.
[5] Brown, D. (1994). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Regents.
[6] Burke, A. (2009). Ch.3: Checkmarks on the screen: Questions of assessment and new literacies in the digital age. In A. Burke, & R. Hammett (Eds.), Assessing new literacies: Perspectives from the classroom (pp. 35-54). New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.
[7] Comber, B. (2001). Ch. 17: Critical literacies and local action: Teacher knowledge and a “new” research agenda. In B. Comber, & A. Simpson (Eds.), Negotiating critical literacies in classrooms (pp. 272-282). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
[8] Comte, A. (1978). Curso de filosofia positiva; Discurso sobre o espírito positivo; Discurso preliminar sobre o conjunto do positivismo; Catecismo positivista. Sao Paulo: Abril Cultural.
[9] Cordeiro, J. F. P. (2002). Falas do novo, figuras da tradicao: o novo e o tradicional na educacao brasileira (anos 70 e 80). Sao Paulo: Ed. Unesp.
[10] Doll Jr., W. E. (1997). Currículo: Uma perspectiva pós-moderna. Porto Alegre: Artmed.
[11] Duboc, A. P. M. (2012). Atitude curricular: Letramentos críticos nas brechas da formacao de professores de inglês. Ph.D. Thesis, Sao Paulo: Universidade de Sao Paulo.
[12] Foucault, M. (2009). A ordem do discurso (19th ed.). Sao Paulo: Loyola.
[13] Foucault, M. (1984). What is Enlightenment? In P. Rabinow (Ed.), The Foucault reader (pp. 32-50). New York: Pantheon Books.
[14] Giddens, A. (2002). Modernidade e identidade. Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Editor.
[15] Giroux, H. A. (1993). O pós-modernismo e o discurso da crítica educacional. In T. T. Silva (Ed.), Teoria educacional crítica em tempos pós-modernos. Porto Alegre: Artes Médicas.
[16] Graves, K. (1996). Teachers as course developers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[17] Green, B. (1997). Reading with an attitude; or deconstructing “critical literacies” response to Alan Luke and Peter Freebody. In S. Muspratt, A. Luke, & A. Freebody (Eds.), Constructing critical literacies: Teaching and learning textual practice (pp. 227-242). Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
[18] Hall, S. (2004). A identidade cultural na pós-modernidade (9th ed.). Rio de Janeiro: DP&A.
[19] Kalantzis, M., & Cope, B. (2008). New learning: Elements of a science of education. Australia: Cambridge University Press.
[20] Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006). Understanding language teaching: From method to postmethod. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
[21] Kumaravadivelu, B. (2012). Individual identity, cultural globalization and teaching English as an international language: The case for an epistemic break. In L. Alsagoff, W. Renandya, G. Hu, & S. L. Mckay (Eds.), Teaching English as an international language: Principles and practices (pp. 9-27). New York: Routledge.
[22] Kress, G. (2000). A curriculum for the future. Cambridge Journal of Education, 30, 133-145.
[23] Kress, G. (2008). O ensino na era da informacao: Entre a instabilidade e a integracao. In R. L. Garcia, & A. F. B. Moreira (Eds.), Currículo na contemporaneidade: Incertezas e desafios (3rd ed.). Sao Paulo: Cortez Editora.
[24] Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2006). New literacies: Everyday practices and classroom learning. New York: Open University Press.
[25] Lyotard, J. F. (2004). A condicao pós-moderna. Sao Paulo: José Olympio.
[26] Macedo, R. S. (2007). Currículo: Campo, conceito e pesquisa. Rio de Janeiro: Vozes.
[27] Menezes de Souza, L. M. T. (2006). Language, culture, multimodality and dialogic emergence. Language and Intercultural Communication, 6, 107-112. http://dx.doi.org/10.2167/laic230.0
[28] Menezes de Souza, L. M. T. (2011). O professor de inglês e os letramentos no século XXI: Métodos ou ética? In C. Jordao, R. Halu, & Martinez, J. (Eds.), Formacao “desformatada” prática com professores de língua inglesa (pp. 279-304).. Campinas: Pontes.
[29] Monte Mór, W. (2008). Critical Literacies, meaning making and new epistemological perspectives. Rev. Electrónica Matices en Lenguas Extranjeras, 2.
[30] Monte Mór, W. (2010). Caderno de orientacoes didáticas para EJA – Inglês. Sao Paulo: Secretaria Municipal de Educacao.
[31] Monte Mór, W. (2011). Critical literacies in the Brazilian university and in elementary/secondary schools: The dialectics between the global and the local. In R. F. Maciel, & V. A. Araujo (Eds.), Formacao de professores de línguas: ampliando perspectivas (pp. 307-318). Jundiaí: Paco.
[32] Morgan, B. (2010). Fostering conceptual roles for change: Identity and agency in ESEA teacher preparation. Kritika Kultura, 15, 34-55.
[33] Morin, E. (2005). A cabeca bem-feita: Repensar a reforma, reformar o pensamento. Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Brasil.
[34] Muspratt, S., Luke, A.; Freebody, P. (1997). (Eds.). Constructing Critical Literacies. Cresskill, New Jersey: Hampton Press.
[35] Pennycook, A. (2001). Critical applied linguistics: A critical introduction. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
[36] Richards, J. C. (1989). The context of language teaching. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
[37] Shor, I. (1999). What is critical literacy? The Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice, 1.
[38] Silva, T. T. (2010). Documentos de identidade uma introducao às teorias do currículo (3rd ed.). Belo Horizonte Autêntica.
[39] Torres, C. A. (2003). Teoria crítica e sociologia política da educacao. Sao Paulo: Cortez.
[40] Wooldridge, N. (2001). Tensions and ambiguities in critical literacy. In B. Comber, & A. Simpson (Eds.), Negotiating critical literacies in classrooms (pp. 259-270). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.