chapter  6
Modularization as a Strategy for Unifying the Post-compulsory Curriculum
Pages 12

In this chapter I want to examine the links between two related curriculum strategies, the outcomes approach to defining the curriculum and modularization as a way of organizing a f lexible curriculum into small blocks of learning which can be combined together in different ways. I shall consider how together these strategies might contribute to the broader goal of unifying the post-compulsory curriculum. The criteria that I bring to the analysis arise from the argument first developed by Finegold and Soskice (1988) that the education and training system in this countr y is related to the economy through what they described as a low-skil l equil ibrium . Some of the links between education and changes in the economy were considered in Chapter 5. Here, it is the educational implications of moving from a low skil l equilibrium that are the focus. The analysis in Chapter 5 star ted from the assumption that it is only high-skil l economies that will stand a chance of being competitive and therefore of being the basis for stable democracies in the next decades. The question I seek to address here is the extent to which modularization, linked to a curriculum defined in terms of learning outcomes, can be the basis of a strategy for moving to a high participation/high achievement system of post-compulsory education. Such a strategy would have two goals. First, it would need to point to ways of overcoming the divisions, the fragmentation, the rigidities and the low expectations of the current system. Second, it would need to provide a framework for developing new combinations of knowledge and skil l and the incentives for learners to reach high attainment levels as well as for teachers to develop the new pedagogies that would be needed.