Classroom Processes R ich ard Byers
In The Curriculum Challenge, Ashdown et al. (1991) brought together a collection of chapters which raised a host of issues in response to the implementation of the original National Curriculum in special schools in 1990. Much has happened since. Most schools moved swiftly through a phase of shock and hostility into a period of development, testing out the hypothesis of the first set of orders against the reality of classroom experience. Although this may have resulted in the National Curriculum monopolizing the energies of practitioners and policy-makers alike for a period, while some people concentrated on mobilizing an anti-National Curriculum backlash, the tendency of all upheavals is to move inexorably towards balance. Schools experiencing an unaccustomed sense of relative calm should not allow themselves to become complacent, however. While some of the issues raised for debate in books, articles, professional development centres and staffroom discussions since 1990 have been resolved, many others, like the heads of the hydra, arise in their place to prompt fresh debate and reinvigorated development. This is a process to be welcomed. The school that stops and congratulates itself on having arrived is a school that is in danger of dying on its feet.