Hermeneutics, aesthetics, and the quest for answerability: a dialogic possibility for reconceptualizing the interpretive process in curriculum studies

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This study reviews six traditional approaches to hermeneutics and presents a dialogic understanding of hermeneutics. It concludes with specific applications of hermeneutics to curriculum development practices in schools with a focus on inter-subjectivity. While 20th-century access to post-structural notions of subjectivity through aesthetic experience began to engender a language of possibility rather than a language of certitude for hermeneutic inquiry in curriculum studies, it nevertheless did not fully account for interpretation as a productive and collaborative act in the inter-subjective sense of being for the other. This study explores the dialogic emergence of this language of possibility through a review of historical and contemporary approaches to hermeneutics, and subsequently proposes an alternative understanding of hermeneutics and aesthetics to offer a reconceptualized vision of the interpretive process for curriculum studies.

Keywords: aesthetics; curriculum integration; curriculum studies; hermeneutics; philosophy of education

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220270600911039

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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