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ERIC Number: EJ926507
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0963-8253
The Seesaw Curriculum: It's Time that Educational Policy Matured
Elliott, John
FORUM: for promoting 3-19 comprehensive education, v53 n1 p15-29 2011
The author claims that the UK coalition government's White Paper, entitled the Importance of Teaching, continues to polarise curriculum and pedagogical thinking in England into subject-centred versus child-centred camps and in doing so takes sides with the former. He argues that government reports--such as Hadow, Spens and Norwood--have been concerned with the role and status of the traditional subject-based curriculum of the elite grammar schools in a mass educational system. In this policy context cycles of curriculum development and reform have tended to "seesaw" from the subject-centred to the child-centred curriculum poles and back again. Attempts to reconcile these conflicting perspectives by locating the subject-centred curriculum in the realm of educational ends and the child-centred perspective, as exemplified by the thought of John Dewey, in the realm of educational methods. In this way the child-centred approach is used to improve and broaden access to the traditional subject-based curriculum, while being rendered subservient to it. The author goes on to examine Dewey's own integrated conception of the relationship between subjects and the child-centred perspective and its implications for curriculum and pedagogy. These are compared with the views on curriculum design and teacher training expressed in the White Paper. The author concludes that there is a growing gap, between the partial models of mind and its development that inform government policy in the field of education and advances towards a broader and more integrated model. From the latter standpoint educational policy-making in England will look increasingly disordered.
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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; United Kingdom (England)