How Expeditionary Learning Education’s Curriculum Formed its Square Peg into the Round Hole of the Conservative Modernization Alliance: Historical Analysis of a 100-year Journey
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Previous research has indicated that curriculum decisions made at the political level in the United States are highly driven by dominate conservative beliefs and fall within a dominant paradigm that undermines student identities with its monologist and male oriented interpretation of culture and identity. The purpose of this dissertation is to develop an understanding of the evolution of Expeditionary Learning Education’s history dating back Kurt Hahn’s original vision for a boarding school to its present day Expeditionary Learning Education curriculum. Utilizing modernization, post-modernization, and conservative modernization theories, a qualitative historical research analysis approach will be used to explore the following questions: (1) What were the theoretical underpinnings of Kurt Hahn’s original vision of boarding school? (2) What events occurred in both Germany and England that created the evolution from a boarding school to the creation of the first Outward Bound school in England? (3) How has the evolution of Expeditionary Learning Education been influenced, if at all, by the ever changing domestic, foreign, and education policies and events in the U.S. from 1950-present? (4) How did the Conservative Modernization Reform Movement, if at all, influence the selection of Expeditionary Learning Education’s curriculum program as the recommended curriculum for grades 3-5 ELA instruction in NYS?