Embodying the Curriculum

Revising and revisioning curricula can seem like a daunting task when (often) it requires faculty members to find “spare time” to complete what has become a highly bureaucratic task. A curriculum is often considered the sum of its parts—outcomes, courses, learning activities, assessments. However as P. B. Joseph (2011) demonstrates, programs reflect the cultures of their discipline, their institution, and their society. Additionally, the graduate is meant to exemplify, or even embody, that culture. How can faculty members reflect on curriculum development from a student-centred perspective and begin to embed elements that promote social justice? By applying theories of embodiment and performativity to curriculum revision, faculty members are encouraged to consider the whole student, including disciplinary and social values (Butler, 1999; Foucault, 1979). It is possible to challenge traditional attitudes toward curriculum development that emphasize the bureaucratic nature of mapping and assessing a program, often disembodying the student, and foster meaningful curriculum revision by facilitating a transformative learning experience for faculty. Attendees will participate in a creative theming activity, guided value-based reflection, and collaborative mapping that integrate practical applications of embodiment and performance theory. At the conclusion of the session, we will explore how the activities can be transferred to participants' educational contexts. By integrating collaboration, relationship-building, reflection, and engagement with diverse perspectives into faculty support practices, curriculum creation and revision becomes a transformative process and encourages learner-centred curriculum change.

Curriculum, Embodiment, Performativity, Faculty Resources, Curriculum Design

Pedagogy and Curriculum

Workshop Presentation

  • Susan Joudrey
    • Senior Educational Developer, Curriculum, Centre for Learning and Teaching, Dalhousie University, Canada Canada