Knowledge and curriculum
A curriculum sets out what pupils ought to learn, and there is thus a fundamental connection between knowledge and curriculum. Most of my posts on this blog have focused on the nature of academic knowledge, why this is central to school curricula, and how this knowledge might be structured within a curriculum model.
In a recent post I suggested five changes that could improve the current GCSE History. In this post I want to expand on one of those ideas: that all boards introduce a [...]
How useful are generic educational ideas?
The philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre once made a helpful distinction between a ‘practice’ and an ‘institution’. For MacIntyre, a practice is a social activity that [...]
What did I mean by ‘the curriculum is the progression model’?
The term ‘the curriculum is the progression model’ is increasingly thrown around today, not least because it has become part of the language of the school inspectorate. I [...]
The Importance of Subject Leadership – or, why do we need more Giles Fullards?
I did my PGCE in 2006-2007 under Christine Counsell at Cambridge: it would be hard to imagine a more rigorous welcome to the world of teaching, and I have written plenty [...]
Why is England’s education revolution faltering?
It has been over a year since I wrote a post on this blog, and my writing in the year before was infrequent at best. There are a range of reasons for this, mostly involving a [...]
Can we have shared professional meaning in teaching?
I have a longstanding interest in how teachers create meaning from the things that they teach. Indeed, this question was right at the heart of two papers I had published a [...]
Relevance, meaning and the myth of the empty vessel
We all should now know that Yeats never said that “education is not the filling of a pail”. The sentiment, however, is true. Various ‘constructivist’ theories of [...]
Critical thinking and domain specificity
As a consequence of a pleasant Twitter thread over the weekend, I am currently revisiting two papers that have heavily influenced how I think about the idea of ‘critical [...]
Getting past gobbets: creating well-read pupils in history
Pause, for a moment, and think back to your own school days, however distant those may be. Think back to your English Literature lessons, and see if you can produce a quick [...]
Why does pedagogy dominate curriculum?
In my previous blog post, I argued that one of the reasons we have ended up at the door of very prescriptive approaches to pedagogy – such as scripted lessons – has come [...]
Curriculum neglect, pedagogical prescription and the problem of the scripted lesson
I read an interesting blog post today that took a critical look at an approach to curriculum that involves providing teachers with scripted lessons and very limited choice [...]
Can one know before one understands?
Consider the following: “I know about Magna Carta” What does this statement tell us about what you know? The answer here, I think, is that it does not tell us very much. [...]
Is it more important to understand than to know?
I read an interesting post by Debra Kidd today about how, in history and other subjects, we should aim not just to know, but also to understand. I have written before about [...]
Ofsted and the curriculum
Ofsted yesterday published a blog by Sean Harford, and it was rather good. It said some very sensible things about the curriculum in schools, and it gave a helpful steer in [...]
The scourge of curriculum: genericism’s destructive power
It is not difficult to find problems in contemporary education. Many of the problems are acute and obvious and, quite understandably, therefore attract a great deal of [...]
Why can’t undergraduate historians read and write?
Based on some of the feedback I’ve had on Twitter about this post, I want to preface it by saying that – despite the Clickbait title – this article is not a [...]
On Rousseau and ‘progressive education’
In a comment that has become popular in the current debates, E.D. Hirsch noted in Cultural Literacy that the two stand-out names in ‘progressive’ thought are Rousseau and [...]