The Scholarship of Thomas S. Popkewitz, 1970–2013
This chapter examines the Chinese traditional practice of classics reading in response to the problem of meaning in curriculum innovation, specifically with regard to pedagogic potential for diversification. It proceeds by first introducing the cosmological outlook of diversity through the interpretation of Confucian classics, suggesting that some basic terms such as equity, democracy, benevolence, religion, ethnicity, gender, and the like might not be necessary for practicing and talking about pluralism or multiculturalism. The final section of this chapter examines historical contingencies and discontinuities in the cultural struggles between China and Western modernity. The historical transformation of Chinese pedagogic discourse at the turn of 20th century shows how the emergence of modern historical consciousness fabricated an object of modern self and made the Confucian pedagogy of diversity unintelligible and irrelevant. The central theme of the chapter is to illuminate the Chinese historical sense of pedagogic diversity and consider alternative directions for curriculum reform in China.