The American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies (AAACS) supports at least two notions of advancement that emerge out of its historical location and its relationship with the International Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies (IAACS).
As conceptualized in relation to local configurations within the United States, advancement refers to the importance of maintaining a formal curriculum studies field. This field emerged historically within the larger discipline of education, and now permeates several disciplines. It entails rigorous attention to cultural issues and methodological concerns involved with understanding curriculum as many kinds of texts, including, but significantly extending beyond, curriculum-as-administrative-text. The importance of this conceptualization of advancement extends to institutional issues at the tertiary level. This includes, for example, consideration of the politics of placement, of where, when, and how curriculum studies exists as an independent arena of research and teaching as well as an organizing concept within or across departments.
Advancement as it is conceptualized in relation to IAACS’ mission refers to the importance of placing curriculum studies in an international frame of reference. This can entail, among other things, examinations of how the field of curriculum studies exists and operates in particular locales, analyses of curriculum histories in cross-national perspective, and investigations into the relationships among curriculum formation, epistemology, ontology, governance, and state-formation in international perspective.
The intellectual advancement of U.S. curriculum studies requires, then, serious and sustained attention to scholarly production within and outside the United States. To support such serious and sustained attention,JAAACS, an on-line journal, will publish research essays that critique and contextualize (theoretically, historically) new scholarship, interweaving past and present ideas in the field, On occasion two or more new books and/or essays/articles will be juxtaposed to suggest new trends, pointing out distinctions among points of view. With the book(s) and article(s)/essay(s) situated at the illusory center, JAAACS research essays will explore not only ideas in these texts but also their relations to culture, society and the historical moment. In attending to the complicated conversation that is the present and past scholarship of curriculum studies worldwide, JAAACS research essays will make a significant contribution to the advancement of U.S. curriculum studies.