Understanding the school curriculum: theory, politics and principles

Comparing curriculum developments around the globe, Understanding the School Curriculum draws on a range of educational, philosophical and sociological theories to examine the question “what is a curriculum for?” In considering different answers to this fundamental question, it explores a range of topical issues and debates, including: tensions and dynamics within curriculum policy; the implications of uncertainty and rapid social change for curriculum development; the positive and negative influence of free market ideologies on public education; the impact of globalisation and digital technologies; and arguments for and against common core curricula and state control. It examines the possibility of a school curriculum that is not shaped and monitored by dominant interests but that has as its founding principles the promotion of responsibility, responsiveness, a love of learning, and a sense of wonder and respect for the natural and social world. Understanding the School Curriculum is for all students following undergraduate and masters courses in curriculum, public policy and education-related subjects. It is also for all training and practising teachers who wish to combine a deeper understanding of major curriculum issues with a critical understanding of the ways in which ideologies impact on formal state education, and to consider ways of producing school curricula that are appropriate to the times we live in.

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