chapter  1
11 Pages

Philosophy and curriculum planning

It is abundantly clear nowadays that ultimately the crucially important questions of the curriculum are complex practical questions which no mere philosopher of education has a right to answer. Anyone who today advocates curriculum changes on purely philosophical grounds without considering the psychological and sociological factors that are relevant is simply irresponsible. For rational curriculum planning, we must, for instance, have sound empirical evidence on how children learn, we must know the demand in our society for people with specialist knowledge. On these technicalities, no mere philosopher is competent to pronounce. But if a philosopher cannot hope to give any definitive answers, this does not mean that he has nothing to say on curriculum matters, or that what he has to say is of only peripheral importance. Indeed, some of the most basic doubts and questionings about the curriculum from which we now suffer would seem to be in part philosophical in character, and philosophers have at least some centrally important things to say on them.