Myth Seven – Teaching knowledge is indoctrination

The Wing to Heaven

This blog post summarises chapter 7 of my book Seven Myths about Education. It will be published on March 5th 2014 by Routledge. To read the introduction to this sequence of posts, click here. Click here to preorder if you are in the UK, and here if you are in the US.

In this chapter I look at some of the political arguments against teaching knowledge – the idea that it is impossible to make a politically ‘neutral’ selection of knowledge to teach to pupils, and that we should therefore not teach knowledge at all. The purpose of education should be less about pupils receiving knowledge and more about pupils sifting opinions and working with their own experiences. Here I look at the work of some influential curriculum theorists who all started writing in the 1970s: Michael Young, Michael Apple, Vic Kelly and John White. I then look…

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