Looking carefully at the lives of students in and out of school could, among other things, highlight the profound differences among the manifest or intended curriculum of policy statements, the taught curriculum of teacher practices, and the curriculum as students experience it when it becomes part of their own perspectives. (Schubert and Lopez, 1994, p. 5817)
While considerable research has occurred in the designed (policy) and practiced (teacher) curriculum and in the extent to which curriculum policy and practice mutually shape and set the reform agenda for one another (Elmore and Sykes, 1992; Doyle, 1992), comparatively less is known about the curriculum experienced by pupils and the relationship of these experiences to what policymakers intend or teachers enact. The studies in this volume provide detailed and up close accounts of the lives and careers of primary pupils, with a particular focus on how they navigate through, make sense of, and create new paths for the changing landscape of curriculum policy and practice. Pupils construe and construct a curriculum world that, at times, is at odds with the priorities stated in documents and outlined in plans governing what teachers require them to do. Their perspectives offer another vantage point from which to view the tensions among the intended, taught, and experienced curriculum.