Chapter 8: Pedagogy and Curriculum

In this chapter, we explore the processes for designing in education that make it different from everyday, casual or incidental learning in the lifeworld. Education is learning that has been consciously designed. Pedagogy is the design of learning activities and activity sequences. Curriculum is the design of programs or courses of study. The chapter discusses three approaches to pedagogy and curriculum: mimesis, synthesis and reflexivity.

Mimesis is imitation or copying, or learning by absorbing facts, theories, bodies of knowledge and literatures that have been presented to learners in a formal educational setting.

Synthesis is a process of gaining understanding in which learners figure out rules or discover facts through observation and experimentation, but mainly in order to get the ‘right’ answer in the artificial context of schooling and its assessments. The learner deconstructs then reconstructs knowledge without necessarily connecting closely to their own interests, motivations and experiences.

Reflexivity in education involves learners moving between different ways of knowing (developing a knowledge repertoire), connecting learning with their own experiences and identities, and applying their learning to the world.