chapter  2
76 Pages

The content of the curriculum

ByDouglas Barnes

One irony of the curriculum is that, since in most countries of the world education is the main means of selecting pupils for different levels of employment, any curriculum content used in public examinations appears to have social utility, especially in the eyes of the pupils, and of their parents. The Schools Council project 'The Aims of Primary Education' arranged a series of meetings for several hundred teachers at which they discussed their aims, and arrived finally at a list of 72 aims which made sense to them. On the basis of a great deal of research into the basis upon which children and adolescents make moral choices, Lawrence Kohlberg has mapped out six levels of moral judgment. Topics such as transport, water or local government seem difficult to justify in a humanities curriculum; they are derived from a different logic, perhaps that associated with the teaching of the conventional school subjects across disciplines on a project or enquiry base.