chapter  5
5 Pages

Coda: the study of the curriculum

ByDouglas Barnes

The way in which teachers and administrators organise the curriculum is not based on abstract logical considerations, but is a response both to the exigencies of the practical situations they find themselves in, and to ideologies about what knowledge and skills are important. To consider curriculum as a political issue – whether in the macro-politics of the national arena or the micro-politics of the school – throws an entirely different light on curriculum-planning. Curriculum theory is certainly not 'theory' in the sense that a philosopher of science would use the word: it is not a body of concepts and relationships that can be defined so unambiguously that it can be used to generate testable predictions about what will happen in schools. Young wants an approach to the curriculum that asks more challenging questions about the role played by different curricula in differentiating children from one another and inducing them to accept different views of themselves and their future lives.