chapter  3
36 Pages

Critical Curriculum Leadership

In chapter 2, I discussed the emerging new professional curriculum leadership identities of two principals who (somewhat unconsciously) helped foster back-to-basics curriculum agendas and practices in their schools. Th is chapter introduces an emerging critical identity of curriculum leadership in two other schools. Grounded in the work of the Frankfurt School and curriculum studies (e.g., Apple 2004; Bourdieu, 2001; and Freire, 1993), critical curriculum leaders are ultimately concerned with dialectical relationships among suff ering and oppression, curriculum content, cultural politics, and social inequities. Th ey believe in the democratic imperative of curriculum leadership and work toward agency, growth, the empowerment of children and adults in their communities, while grounding curriculum decisions in curriculum theory and learning/achievement. Finally, critical leaders rely on public intellectual skills and discourse as an analytical tool aimed at social change. Th e unity of curriculum theory and leadership practice and the use of discourse as an analytical tool rather than a means of control, are also important to critical curriculum leaders.