The glitterbomb: Mayhem and magic in curriculum design

Year: 2016

Author: Thomas, Matthew, Bellingham, Robin, McKnight, Lucinda

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

What goes on under the bland, white surface of curriculum documents? How can curriculum theory go beyond outcomes and means-end assumptions to engage with the politics and complexity of creating plans for learning? The glitterbomb as research methodology explodes the neatly bound documents of curricula both national and local and reveals the personal, fragmented and dangerous, the suppressed furies under rational rhetorics that drive design. Through this subversive work, we materialise one of the absent subjects of curriculum discourse: the teacher. The dark arts invoked here are those of multidisciplinary, arts-based research, of taming shimmery imagery for study, of bricolage and juxtaposition. Together we will compose our own bomb, arrange shards of memory, emotion, anecdote and image, perform this impossible illusion of mastery and then watch it spin out of control, in a carnivalesque fantasy. This cluster bomb complicates neutral curriculum in a neoliberal imaginary and provides cathartic release for those under sleepwalking spells of productivity and performativity. Come join us for respite on the dark side.