• Kevin Smith Cardiff University
Keywords: Agency, Curriculum theorizing, Curriculum, Praxis, Reflection, Reflective Practice, Walking


Since the introduction of Currere and the ‘reconceptualisation’ of the field of curriculum in the mid-1970s, critics have argued that rather than enhancing what actually happens in schools, curriculum theorising represents a further departure from the practical matters of curriculum work. In this article, I relate how I came to gain a better understanding of how Currere can complement the practical considerations of curriculum. The method of Currere, with its focus on analysing past, present and future educational experiences, corresponds well to the Chordal Triad (Emirbayer and Mische, 1998), a model for understanding agency, and also possesses a striking relationship to Freire’s concept of praxis, or the “action and reflection of men and women upon their world to transform it” (2005).  

This realisation occurred through frequent walks through the south Wales valleys. It was during these regular excursions that I ‘reconceptualised’ Currere into a form that acknowledged my histories, current contexts, and future aspirations as an educator. Through shifting my focus from the ‘running’ (Currere) to walking (Ambulare), I was able to conduct my autoethnographic research in greater consideration of the qualities of experience, of continuity and transaction, and to consider how I embody knowledge and knowing through my ambulatory expeditions. As a result of this work, I realised too far of a flight from theory or practice will not improve life in schools. Rather, it is through praxis that we come to better understand how to practically negotiate choices in the determination of action, and that these considerations are ultimately related to the achievement of agency.