Curriculum and coronavirus: New approaches to curriculum in the age of uncertainty

Prospects (Paris). 2021;51(1-3):29-45. doi: 10.1007/s11125-020-09523-9. Epub 2021 Jan 5.


The coronavirus crisis has appeared like some vast, cruel sociological experiment. It has confined people to their homes, radically disturbed their taken-for-granted knowledge and beliefs, and forced them to alter behaviors once casually, even unthinkingly, employed in their everyday personal, working, and social lives. What has been learned? How might this experience stimulate a reimagining of the curriculum? More fundamentally, how might it lead to the development of a knowledgeable, intelligent, effective public, able to engage freely and equally in decision-making at all levels of social, cultural, political, and economic life, as a condition for personal freedom? This article explores the implications of "lockdown" or "confinement" to homes, which has suspended freedom of movement, limited the freedom to associate with others, and established rituals of hygiene regarding surfaces. These experiences of physical confinement and limitation of ordinary freedoms raise the central question of how to return to "normal" and, indeed, what will count as normal. In exploring the issues posed by these questions, this article offers an approach to pedagogical and curriculum practice that seeks to embed democratic practice at all levels of organization and interaction between individuals.

Keywords: Capitalism; Coronavirus; Curriculum; Education; Pedagogy.