Curriculum matters

Education for Everyone

The June 2017 edition of Education Politics contains several articles on the school curriculum. These raise a number of issues which need discussion. My concern is that they all come from a similar viewpoint. That viewpoint certainly expresses ideas commonly held from the centre to the left of politics. An informed discussion will, however, require the expression of a rather wider range of views.

It is suggested that the idea that “Really useful knowledge is knowledge calculated to make you free”, whatever its precise meaning, is a useful counterweight to the “Govian” idea of “powerful knowledge”. But one might ask (1) if knowledge can really be defined by whether or not it was “calculated to make you free” (Newton’s laws of motion are certainly useful irrespective of whether he “calculated” them to make you free) and (2) the idea of “powerful knowledge” was developed by Michael Young (using the work…

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