chapter  9
1 Pages

Teachers’ perspectives on curriculum making in Primary Geography in England

BySimon Catling

The phrase ‘curriculum making’ has recently been used to describe medium-term planning and teachers’ enactment of such planning in the classroom. This narrows the term’s initial use from that in the first half of the twentieth century when it was employed inclusively from national programmes to lesson planning. While considering related studies about curriculum making, this paper focuses on the interpretation described and used by the Geographical Association (GA) to encourage more open approaches to medium-term curriculum planning in England by teachers. It reports the outcomes of a small-scale study of primary teachers’ perspectives on their experiences of curriculum making during one GA project, ‘The Young Geographers Project’. It identifies a number of ‘curriculum dynamics’, including teachers’ feelings of liberation, children’s agency in curriculum making, the importance of subject knowledge, engaging with children’s everyday experiences and interests, and purposefulness for curriculum topics while retaining flexibility and openness. Reflecting on these findings, 10 features pertinent to curriculum making are noted.