Educators have spent 130 years, from Dewey to Pinar, developing curricula in North America that have contributed to the development of the idea of an “individual self”. Such emphasis on individuality has inadvertently resulted in a narcissistic self, i.e., an individualized, consumeristic type of self that is much in line with the neoliberal agenda. We humans, have reached a point in which a new structure for the self is needed. This dissertation demonstrates that we are more interconnected and interdependent than we previously admitted and, ultimately, aims to prove that we are in fact communal selves, routinely influenced and constructed by the people, animals, and environment that surround us. Ultimately, this dissertation aims to offer teachers a framework for community development and wholesome inclusion, by means of developing curricula with the idea of “communal selves” as a point of departure. In the realm of dreaming and imagining, our communal selfhood could reach the minds and hearts of every human being and shift the way we relate to each other.
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Thesis advisor: Bingham, Charles
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