Along the frontier of American curriculum studies are two traditions of scholarship and research: phenomenology and post-structuralism. In Paris in the late 1960s, post-structuralism replaced phenomenology; while their history in North American curriculum studies is quite different than it is in France, there are solid intellectual reasons for linking the two, as the editors explain in their introduction. Phenomenological essays have been composed by Tetsuo Aoki (on teaching), Madeleine R. Grumet (on phenomenological foundations of autobiography in education), Robert K. Brown (on the contribution of Max van Manen), Margaret Hunsberger (a phenomenology of reading), William F. Pinar (a phenomenology of death), Terrance Carson, (a phenomenology of action research), and David Jardine (a hermeneutical phenomenology of difficulty). Post-structuralist essays have been composed by Rebecca Martusewicz (on French feminism), Jan Jagodzinski (a post-structuralism of the body), Clermont Gauthier (a post-structuralist action research), Jacques Daignault (post-structuralist curriculum theory), and Peter Taubman (psychoanalytic post-structuralism and teaching).
A distinctive feature of the collection is a history of phenomenology and post-structuralism in North American curriculum studies, including autobiographical statements by contributors and others associated with the two movements, including Cleo Cherryholmes, Patti Lather, Susan Huddleston Edgerton, Wensong Hwu, and others.