A curriculum can sometimes seem like one damn thing after another, especially if taught in blocks or thought of as a journey connecting different topics as you go from A to Y with Z being an exam. In an A level course with a syllabus demanding certain topics be studied, end of term exams, a … More Organising Knowledge: On Triangles and Ts and Russian Dolls.
It’s what you do, not how you label it that matters. What is the difference between ‘disciplinary’ and ‘substantive’ knowledge and what other ways might there be of organising knowledge? In this excellent article Christine Counsell explains that: “Substantive knowledge is the content that teachers teach as established fact – whether common convention, concept or … More Ofsted and Knowledge.
“[educationl is in fact one of the most effective means of perpetuating the existing social pattern, as it both provides an apparent justification for social inequalities and gives recognition to the cultural heritage, that is, to a social gift treated as a natural one.” (Bourdieu, 1974, p. 32) Education maintains inequality. Bourdieu argues that in … More Whose Cultural Capital?
Here is a video of a talk I gave in Birmingham, England, to the JUSCO (Junior School Collaboration) group on April 4th 2019. A big thank you due to the wonderful Chris McDonald for getting this sorted.
There has been a stormzy brewing for some time about curriculum content. The National curriculum says we ought to teach ‘the best’, I don’t agree, we each have our subjective tastes and sensibilities, I think it is better to teach children to enter into the conversation about what the best might be. That is not … More Stormzy or Mozart, Who Knows?
Here is a video of a talk I gave in the Netherlands, and the accompanying slides should you wish to follow the fun. You can download a pdf of the slides below… (might take a bit of time to download… Hopefully not too long)
Describing our viewpoints on the world, Mary Midgley used the analogy of an aquarium with a number of murky windows through which people could peer. If we think of the aquarium as a whole as ‘reality and truth’ and each window being a perspective through which we can gaze upon that reality, we can begin … More Cultural Mobility
Initially appealing, at least to me, the idea of cultural capital has begun to worry me. Though not coined by someone who admitted to being a Marxist, Pierre Bourdieu did draw quite heavily on Marxist thinking when it came to expounding his thesis. It is about power. Simply put, if you speak posh, go on … More Some Problems with Cultural Capital and Social Mobility
Curriculum Shorts (Some short musings about curriculum) We all know what we mean by a knowledge-rich curriculum but, as with all pithy phrases, we don’t. And if that isn’t a great contradiction, I don’t know what is. Knowledge-rich can mean, within certain, wide-ranging, parameters, anything you want it to mean. Lots of people can use … More Why Not A Knowledge-Rich Curriculum?
Curriculum Shorts (Some short musings about curriculum) With all the talk of curriculum coherence and sequencing and people furiously creating logical progression models and maps there is another way to go. In the United States in particular there is a liberal arts tradition of great books curricula. These programmes run alongside the main curriculum or, … More Great Books Curriculum