Skip to main content

Critical Issues in Curriculum and Instruction - TED 6300: Home


Welcome. This Libguide has been developed for students in Critical Issues in Curriculum and Instruction. TED 6300. Dr. César Augusto Rossatto.

Course Objectives and Student Outcomes



Curriculum often represents not only a configuration of particular interests and experiences, it also forms a battleground where different versions of authority, history, power relations, the present, and the future struggle to prevail. Thus this course wants to provide theories in general that not only confirms the voices of teachers and of subordinate groups in the student population, but also links the purpose of schooling to a transformative vision of the future.


Students come to school with knowledge that they have already learned in their immediate surrounding relationships.  Some of these experiences and cultural knowledge become dominant over others in social relations of power, creating a condition called hegemony.  This course intends to challenge this kind of knowledge if it represents the cultural knowledge of elite that builds the legitimated curriculum of school, students from disenfranchised cultures need ways to critique these structures and express their own cultural identities.


Teachers regularly teach “who they are.”  This course proposes to challenge our own perceptions and views about life and schooling.


Schools frequently reproduce the culture at large, thus this course will offer alternative ways of viewing our practices.


TED 6300 suggests a curriculum for the development of a critical consciousness in the everyday contexts of classrooms.


This curriculum would focuses on personal and social transformation by enhancing critical thinking and by building a vision and hope of a better future via a language of critique.


This curriculum would consist of the following components and principles, which represents TED 6300 course’s objectives and outcomes:


1. Educators start with the idea that includes a moral concept in which the obligation to the “Other” means to acknowledge, accept, and respect one another’s knowledge, as opposed to a teaching and learning process of insertion.  Teachers and students learn to confront the myths that hold them and others in oppression by identifying dominant and subordinate ways of living life. They learn to challenge old beliefs and practices and build new languages of liberation based on meaning, identity, and self-empowerment.


2. Knowledge is constructed from daily life experiences as well as reflections about the past and how it relates to and/or dominates the present and future, with the hope that students can explore their own connectedness to historical processes that may seem distant to them. The knowledge production process is based on a praxis of dialectics, as opposed to static development. Students learn “to be themselves” in a process of critical reflexivity.


3. The relationship between content and student reality is often reconstructed. By identifying the underlying assumptions of content areas, student realities can more easily be compared to those represented in the curriculum; content areas studied in school are not in and of themselves helpful to students in understanding their own realities. This would ultimately reconstruct the relationship between popular knowledge and knowledge as historically disciplined.


4. Since this curriculum is guided by the knowledge of students, it must be reoriented frequently as students change their concepts of life.  Freirean critical pedagogy is a basic instrument that schools can employ to organize their transformative actions and one from which students will directly benefit. In this sense, the conceptualization of the curriculum is constructed in a process that involves the participation of many stakeholders in the school community. This would lead to the comprehension that a curriculum is dynamic and can be reoriented frequently, according to new ways of reading the word and the world.


5. The school ought to be transformed into local spaces privileged to receive, consider, and disseminate the culture and knowledge of marginalized communities for the purposes of deconstructing dominant ways of knowing and reconstructing a language of hope. Equal importance would be given to connecting these conceptual gains to children’s utilization and life perceptions toward activities in which students see immediate applications and concrete results. The school would also validate its space as a center for participation and organization of the school community in conjunction with other social movements. This would create a new understanding of the political nature of schools and schooling.


6. Since the world is socially constructed and shaped by human action or inaction, teachers and students ought to realize that the world can be reinvented. Thus, students are viewed as active participants in transforming the world, as opposed to passive recipients of secondhand knowledge. Again, their own stories and life histories become important, as they formulate their own interpretations and create knowledge.


7. Teachers and students learn to change their views of themselves and their relation to the world. For teachers, teacher education programs should be models for the unlearning of old beliefs and practices that maintain hegemony. Both teachers and students need to learn the value of reflecting on their position in the here and now by looking critically at their current context, how it is influenced by the past, and how this would further build visions of the future.


8. Teachers and students participate in the rewriting of the world and in the making of a new history revitalized by democratic and critical postmodern pedagogies. A curriculum centered on present social, economic, and historical conditions can begin a re-conceptualization of society.


9. Education ought to be socially contextualized and aware of power, as well as grounded on a commitment to an emancipatory world and history making. Students should understand that their temporal perceptions and beliefs are based on worlds that they, as well as the larger society, have made. In this context, knowledge and meaning are always new: They are constructed by the immediate interactions between teacher and student.


10. Teaching ought to be a dedicated art of “risk taking.” Practitioners need to recognize that they operate in conditions of uncertainties and conflicts over knowledge and historical representations that demand a form of thinking in action. For example, the teacher becomes a testament or witness to improvising changes in his or her lesson to connect students to the curriculum.


11. Teaching ought to be extended by a concern with critical self- and social reflection. Teachers need to conceptualize a critical metaperspective on the hegemonizing processes of classroom conversation, classroom learning, and curriculum decisions that negate the social narratives of students. Through this reflexive process, students will gain a critical consciousness and a sociopolitical awareness of their school experience, asking whose interest it serves, and looking at the world through their own perspectives.


12. Teaching ought to be committed to democratic and self-directed education. Students need to understand that they possess the right to speak, to disagree, to point out the opportunities for improvement that teachers can undertake, and to call for a renegotiation of the curriculum. In this way, students gain an ownership of their own education.


13. Education ought to be concerned with diversity. In thinking in terms of race, class, and gender, differences are embraced as sites of creativity and critique in a multicultural society, thus allowing students the ability to conceptualize multiple perspectives and power relationships on issues of diversity acceptance and production as well as to build a sense of communal identity.


14. Education ought to be committed to action. It ought to challenge passivity by constructing meaning and initiating action. Teaching needs to subvert the disposition toward inaction while it reinforces a notion of praxis.


15. Education ought to be concerned with the affective dimension of human beings. Students need to learn that knowledge is created not only through reason, but through emotion and affective capacity. Drawing from feminist conceptions of passionate learning and connectedness, thinking ought to be developed both through emotion and logic. In classroom dialogues, emotional reflection must be encouraged. For example, students ought to be able to express anger at the ways that their own historical and knowledge has been omitted from mainstream curricula.


16. The potential of this curriculum indicates values of consciousness to be cultivated in contemporary social life. Theories and practices related to educational change project the creation of a new conceptualization of life perceptions, in order to develop a permanent process of effective change conducive to the development of a better future. Therefore, personal and social transformations are based on new perceptions and conceptualizations and liberation to eliminate the root causes of problematic beliefs and passive behavior that are contained within the historical hegemony of the social order. For this reason, fundamental change occurs when ample participation begins at personal and micro levels and then grows to larger ones. This course curriculum principles indicates that this is possible by constructing the realization among people that they can be agents of their own history, where everyone is an ethical co-participant. This involves a change of mentality, which means unlearning old beliefs based on problematic ideologies.


Last, a curriculum for critical consciousness would give special consideration to children’s perception and utilization of time toward activities embodying social collective transformative optimism. It should address specifics such as advance planning and goal orientation, instead of immediate gratification. In addition, the content of the course builds global awareness and interdisciplinary approaches allowing educators to bring into class their own academic interests, and work within a critical multicultural perspective. 


The course assists educators to engage specially disenfranchised young learners to integrate activities realistic to their historical, geographical, cultural, political, and economic backgrounds into emancipatory alternatives for social upper mobility and social justice.  This course models and foster discussions about social issues that include personalized and moral values, citizenship, and problem posing approaches as additional means to build character, meaning, and social identities.

Subject Guide

Sebastian Diaz's picture
Sebastian Diaz
University of Texas at El Paso
Room 322
915 747 6721

500 W. University Avenue : El Paso, TX, 79968-0582 : (915) 747-5672
Copyright | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer
State Reports | UT System | Customer Service Statement | Site Feedback | Required Links |