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ERIC Number: EJ918959
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0939
Curriculum Theory, Curriculum Policy and the Problem of Ill-Disciplined Thinking
Harris, Richard; Burn, Katharine
Journal of Education Policy, v26 n2 p245-261 Mar 2011
This paper examines the implications of policy fracture and arms length governance within the decision-making processes currently shaping curriculum design within the English education system. In particular, it argues that an unresolved "ideological fracture" at the government level has been passed down to school leaders whose response to the dilemma is distorted by the target-driven agenda of arms length agencies. Drawing upon the findings of a large-scale online survey of history teaching in English secondary schools, this paper illustrates the problems that occur when policy-making is divorced from curriculum theory, and in particular from any consideration of the nature of knowledge. Drawing on the social realist theory of knowledge, we argue that the rapid spread of alternative curricular arrangements, implemented in the absence of an understanding of curriculum theory, undermines the value of disciplined thinking to the detriment of many young people, particularly those in areas of social and economic deprivation. (Contains 7 notes, 1 table, and 3 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)