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ERIC Number: ED502477
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Pages: 170
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 355
ISBN: ISBN-1-9053-1432-9
Pupils' Experiences and Perspectives of the National Curriculum and Assessment. Final Report for the Research Review
Lord, Pippa; Jones, Megan
National Foundation for Educational Research
This report is the final report for the research review on pupils' experiences and perspectives of the curriculum, carried out by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) on behalf of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). It draws together the work from the full six years of this project, which spans literature from 1989 to date. The first report for this project was produced in February 2000. A series of annual updating reports has been supplied by the NFER to the QCA from 2001-2005 inclusive. In total, 314 publications have been summarised for the review ((23 of these are from this latest update to the review). The review considered research which: (1) Took into account the pupils' experience and perspective; (2) Focused on the curriculum (including the whole curriculum, the National Curriculum, individual subjects, assessment, cross-curricular themes and skills, and work-related learning); (3) Was published from 1989 onwards; and (4) Was conducted in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland. Reported findings include: (1) Learners see the curriculum as relevant to passing exams, getting grades, and as a passport to their next steps; (2) Across the curriculum, pupils' enthusiasm decreases as they get older; (3) Enjoyment and motivation across the curriculum continue to decrease throughout key stages 3 and 4; (4) Pupils' enjoyment of the curriculum is associated with a sense of ease, fun, newness, progressive accomplishment and appropriate challenge; (5) Learners appreciate supportive and collaborative approaches, with preferences for increasing responsibility and autonomy as they get older; (6) Variety is espoused; (7) "Too much writing" and "too many facts" form an underlying current in pupils' views; (8) Appropriate level of challenge is important to pupils' engagement, enjoyment, progression and achievement; (9) Pupils value accessibility and equal opportunity across many aspects of the curriculum considered in this review; (10) Implicit messages permeate pupils' experiences and perceptions; and (11) Pupils appreciate explicit measures or markers in the curriculum. Over the time period of the total review, there have been developments and changes in the curriculum and associated policy contexts. The particular focus that research takes on the pupil has also changed and developed. As well as exploring their perspectives, involving pupils in research through consultation, action research, in-school evaluation, school councils and so on, has come to the fore. A future review may focus on the pupil voice. A number of researchers have highlighted that it is not only the curriculum, but also their personal involvement in their teaching, learning, personal, social and other development that affects their views. Six appendixes are included: (1) Aims; (2) Research Strategies and Methodology for the Review: (3) Glossary of Terms; (4) Substantive Typology; (5) Methodology Typology; and (6) Selected Examples of Methodologies Employed in the Research. (Contains 2 notes, 6 figures and 2 tables.)
National Foundation for Educational Research. The Mere, Upton Park, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 2DQ, UK. Tel: +44-1753-574123; Fax: +44-1753-637280; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Foundation for Educational Research
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Northern Ireland); United Kingdom (Scotland); United Kingdom (Wales)