The Curriculum Foundations Reader

Winner of the 2022 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award

  • Explores major questions in American education history with narratives essays and curated historical sources to connect readers with educators across time.
  • Encompasses an analysis of the lived educational experiences of teachers and students across the twentieth century focusing on issues of educational equity.
  • Provides comprehensive, inquiry-based analysis on curriculum issues by challenging the compartmentalized understanding of philosophy and curriculum foundation  
CFR Cover

About the Curriculum Foundations Reader

CFR brings readers into classrooms and communities to explore critical curriculum issues in the United States throughout the twentieth century by focusing in on the voices of teachers, administrators, students, and families. Framed by an enduring question about curriculum, each chapter begins with an essay briefly reviewing the history of topics such as student resistance, sociopolitical and culturally-centered curricula, curriculum choice, the place and space of curriculum, linguistic policies for sustaining cultural heritages, and grading and assessment.

Multiple archival sources follow each essay, which allow readers to directly engage with educators and others in the past. This promotes an in-depth historical analysis of contemporary issues on teaching for social justice in the fields of curriculum studies and curriculum history. As such, this book considers educators in the past—their struggles, successes, and daily work—in order to help current teachers develop more historically conscious practices in formal and informal education settings. 

Reviews for the Curriculum Foundations Reader

​“The authors intentionally disrupt the view that the past and present, theory and practice have to remain separate. Instead, they created this book so that current and future teachers can engage in historical context while personally and critically learning from primary sources. This book is one of the most inclusive foundations of education texts as issues around race, ethnicity, gender, and disability are weaved throughout, rather than solely in a separate chapter.”
Dionne Danns, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Indiana University Bloomington, USA

 “This is the kind of book my students and I have been waiting for! The authors expertly interweave historical sources with careful analysis and insightfully demonstrate how curriculum is perpetually constructed and reconstructed. Rather than treat instructional practice as a story with linear development, the book creatively illustrates how American schooling is a delicate interplay of theory with practice, change with curricular traditions, and politics with classroom decision-making.”
David Gamson, Associate Professor of Education in the Department of Education Policy Studies at Penn State University, USA

Table of Contents

Chapter I – Introduction: Exploring the Enduring Questions of Curriculum in Context

Chapter II – Where to Teaching & Learning Happen?

Chapter III – Who is Excluded? Who is Empowered? Marginalization & Resistance in the Curriculum

Chapter IV – Who is at the Center of the Curriculum?

Chapter V – Who Chooses What is Taught?

Chapter IV – Which Languages?

Chapter VII – How do we Know what Students Have Learned?

Chapter VIII – Ongoing Curriculum Lessons

About the Authors

Ann Marie Ryan is Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Chair of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching at the University of Texas at San Antonio, USA.

Charles Tocci is Assistant Professor of Education at Loyola University Chicago, USA.

Seungho Moon is Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies at Loyola University Chicago, USA.  

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