The best which has been thought or said?

Bunsen Blue

This blog is my contribution to the Curriculum in Science Symposium organised by Adam Boxer. Links for other posts are below.

With Ofsted announcing a focus on curriculum and nearly three quarters of secondary schools in England being free to make their own curriculum choices as academies, the ground for asking questions about curriculum is more fertile than ever.

In 2014, Gove declared: “I want every child to be able to go to a state school which excels, which nurtures their talents, which introduces them to the best that has been thought and written…”. The final phrase of this line is reminiscent of Matthew Arnold’s line (the title of this post) from his collection of essays, ‘Culture and Anarchy’ compiled in 1869. Critics immediately jumped on this: who is to judge what is the ‘best’? And when Gove put ‘dead white men’ firmly on the curriculum, uproar was inevitable. Ironically, as

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