chapter  7
Integrating Personal and Social Education into the 14–19 Curriculum
Pages 13

This chapter has both a practical and a theoretical aim. Practically, it is a contribution to the debate about personal and social education with a primary focus on the 14-19 curriculum (Inman and Buck, 1995). Theoretically, it presents an argument that, if personal and social education is to be at the centre of the 14-19 curriculum, relations between subjects and the curriculum as a whole need to be reconceptualized. As one approach to this reconceptualization, the chapter draws on the ideas of connectivity and connective specialization introduced in Chapters 5 and 6 and starts from two premises. The first is that secondary education is not just about access to the basic areas of specialist knowledge and understanding (nor, in its later phase, to learning the skills and knowledge appropriate to specific jobs); it is also and as fundamentally concerned with the personal and social education of students as future adults and citizens. The second premise is that if the importance of personal and social education is to be more than well intentioned rhetoric, a new approach to the curriculum is required that changes the relationship between personal development goals, the educational aims of school subjects and the whole curriculum goals of schools. Such a new approach to the curriculum does not depend solely on changes in the National Curriculum itself, though the narrowness, bias and rigidity of the compulsory component of Key Stage 4 remain problems and the analysis developed here, which focuses primarily on the individual school, is also applicable to reforming the National Curriculum. The crucial issue is how individual schools define their curriculum purposes and how their specialist subject teaching is developed in relation to the purposes of the school curriculum as a whole. Such an approach involves a radical inversion of current practice when the aims of subject teaching dominate other school goals. At least in the short term, the proposals suggested in this chapter are likely to be seen as going against the grain of government pressures on schools to raise GCSE and A-Level results and introduce institutional targets. They will require schools to know far more about how all the activities that make up the school contribute to its overall curriculum goals. Schools will need to develop their collective intelligence (Brown and Lauder, 1995) about those internal activities which involve the whole school-such as guidance and learner support as well as about activities

such as marking and homework which in many schools are left to departments, and about their external links with primary schools, universities, employers and other secondary schools in their area.