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?
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
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
Curriculum Shorts (Some short musings about curriculum) A broad and balanced curriculum for every pupil is a necessary part of a rich education, what should it mean in practice? The most obvious places where the aims of ‘broad and balanced’ take second place to ‘pragmatic narrowing’ are during the stress times of education provision – … More A Broad and Balanced Curriculum
Curriculum Shorts (Some short musings about curriculum) Pedagogy, ‘the method and practice of teaching’ (OED) was all the rage a few years ago. The all-singing-all-dancing ‘outstanding’ lesson as defined by lesson observation tick-lists was the elusive elixir that could be sprinkled throughout a school to ensure great outcomes for all. Thankfully this mirage has been … More How to Teach Your Curriculum
Curriculum Shorts (Some short musings about curriculum) One of the best things about being an independent-minded teacher is that you can sit in meetings, smile and nod away at all the latest initiatives, work out how to pay lip-service to them and, then, when the classroom door closes go about your merry business in the … More Collaborative Curriculum Design
Curriculum Shorts (Some short musings about curriculum) A curriculum should make sense. At first this might seem to be an obvious statement, who, after all, would pursue a curriculum that did not? And yet it is possible to end up with an incoherent curriculum if various factors are not in place. Firstly the planned curriculum … More Curriculum Coherence
Curriculum Shorts (Some short musings about curriculum) Interleaving two or more pieces of curriculum content that are deliberately chosen as they juxtapose well and/or offer interesting viewpoints and perspectives, and arguments can work really well. When I teach drama I interleave the three practitioners Brecht, Stanislavsky and Artaud. I start by looking at how each … More Interleaving and Curriculum Design