What makes a curriculum ‘knowledge-rich’?

Clio et cetera

The terms ‘knowledge-based curriculum’ and ‘knowledge-rich curriculum’ have become increasingly popular, particularly amongst educational traditionalists, but the terms are difficult to define. As critics of traditionalism note, all curricula contain knowledge (and we might ignore for a moment the extremists who say knowledge is not important), and therefore it makes no sense to call a curriculum ‘knowledge-based’. This is a fair criticism, although it is worth pointing out that, by the same logic, it also makes no sense to refer to a ‘skills-based’ curriculum, as all curricula involve skills. Yet what is also clear is that there is sufficient disagreement about curriculum models to have some need of different ways of describing these curricula.

My preference is to define the sort of curriculum I am in favour of as ‘knowledge-rich’. A reasonable analogy here is the eating of vegetables. It is widely accepted that eating vegetables is good for you, and I suspect…

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