chapter  Chapter Twelve
21 Pages

Students and the Means of Production: Negotiating the Curriculum

WithGarth Boomer

The "Language Across the Curriculum movement argued that through conversation and personal writing of an exploratory kind, students will come to internalise and own ideas for themselves. In 1978, a National Working Party on The Role of Language in Learning established a network of teachers who undertook to test the feasibility of negotiating the curriculum with students from Year 1 to Year 12 in various states of Australia. Teaching could become one massive confessional, plumbing the depths of teachers' and students' psyches if one were to take 'coming clean' to its limits. A major tenet behind negotiation is that those in power should be as explicit as possible about the designs they have on students. It is contended that where power figures withhold information about their intentions, the relatively powerless are likely to be worked over without the chance of defending themselves.