Curriculum and the idea of a cosmopolitan inheritance

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Abstract:

The ancient idea of cosmopolitanism is a topic of renewed interest today. Scholars and practitioners in many fields are examining what it means to conceive all human beings as linked by their membership in a shared cosmos. Some people focus on political cosmopolitanism, others on moral, cultural, or economic cosmopolitanism. This paper examines educational cosmopolitanism by elucidating the idea of curriculum as a cosmopolitan inheritance. It argues that curriculum can generate a cosmopolitan sensibility, by which one means an outlook that regards life experience as universally educational. It suggests that a cosmopolitan sensibility can assist people in working through some of the tensions that accompany global and local change in our time. It can position them to reconstruct creatively cultural and individual values rather than abandon them in the face of the ceaseless pressure of globalization. A cosmopolitan sensibility edifies human beings by helping them perceive why all persons, in principle, can be creative guardians and practitioners of creativity itself.

Keywords: cosmopolitanism; critical inheritance; curriculum; meaning-making; sensibility

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220270802036643

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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