Open architecture curriculum: Towards an education committed to pluralist democracy

Rodrigo Travitzki, Lilian L'Abbate Kelian


This paper aims to identify elements that will help with the process of thinking through curriculum issues based on the concept of open architecture. We argue that this concept can be an interesting driver of practice and debate concerning curriculum development in different contexts. More generally, we seek for viable public education that is more deeply committed to pluralist democracy; a pluralism with some consensus, but not on everything, as argued by Chantal Mouffe, in support of Paulo Freire’s claim that no one frees anyone alone but in communion. The paper describes origin of open architecture in computing, highlighting the free software movement. Then, we briefly discuss the transposition of this concept to the educational field. We also describe some communities for practice and innovation. Teacher communities should be the main foundation of the open architecture curriculum. Teachers should be transformative intellectuals with the responsibility, among others, to listen to student voices. Finally, we describe examples of the open architecture curriculum, some real, some imaginary. The concept of open architecture can also help when conducting comparative studies to enable a better understanding of curricular differences between nations, particularly with regard to flexibilization and centralization policies.


curriculum theory; education policy; pluralism; open architecture; collaborative community

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