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KNOWLEDGE AND THE CURRICULUM: TOWARDS A RECONCEPTUALISATION

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MARIA GUTIERREZ

on 24 November 2014

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Transcript of KNOWLEDGE AND THE CURRICULUM: TOWARDS A RECONCEPTUALISATION

According to Ole Haakon Johansen, the term has been used to mean the content, the educational experiences, subjects to be studied, subject matter, instructional methods, and educational activities, or more general: “the intended curriculum”.
“Real learning is still essentially the contemplative process that has its roots in the monastic tradition, and the role of the curriculum and its attendant examinations is to engender respect for whatever are the canonical texts”. (Moore and Young 2001)
What is curriculum?
NEO-CONSERVATIVE TRADITIONALISM
TECHNICAL-INSTRUMENTALISM
Subject based approach: focus on intellectual development
Desire for a “moral” education
Teacher-centred approaches
Regular testing: This curriculum sees the education as an end
"High levels of control over schools” Emmanuel Mufti.
It enforces a National curriculum: national authorities set educational policies.
What will the students really learn?

Historical traditions?
A set of discipline subjects?
Respect education in its own right, for educational authorities and for themselves?
“The sacred texts”
Real knowledge or meritocracy?
Skills-based
Means to an end
Creating a workforce
Vocational education as well as higher education
Interdisciplinary
£1.25
Monday, November 24, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
What kind of knowledge students are able to acquire at school?
POSTMODERNISM
Some theories or approaches to curriculum according to Rob Moore and Michael Young:
Critique of the two other approaches to curriculum.
Knowledge and powerful discourses.
Knowledge is related to interests of a “particular groups of “knowers”.
The curriculum maintains social inequalities.
Dominant forms of knowledge / The “voices” of marginalised or less powerful groups.

KNOWLEDGE AND THE CURRICULUM: TOWARDS A RECONCEPTUALISATION
A new reconceptualisation: curriculum based on the knowledge society.
Example: National Curriculum in England
In England, a national curriculum is now, in essence, mostly in place, first introduced by the Thatcher government. It consists of "core and foundation subjects" such as mathematics, science, technology, history, art, music, physical education, and a modern foreign language. Working groups to determine the standard goals, "attainment targets", and content in each have already brought forth their results. This is accompanied by a national system of achievement testing.

The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge they need to be educated citizens.
All schools are also required to teach religious education at all key stages. Secondary schools must provide sex and relationship education.
Example: Danish upper secondary school reform (2005)
Qualify students to higher education
Meet the needs of changes in society
Interdisciplinary work

(Danish Ministry of Educaton, Reform of upper secondary schools, 2005).
Moore and Young’s critique of Postmodernism

The postmodernists argue that knowledge cannot be separated from how it is socially and historically constructed.
 Knowledge is always and only some people’s knowledge.
 Relativism
Cannot stand alone as an approach to understanding knowledge and the curriculum.
Power and knowledge.

Refers to the “unwritten” or implicit curriculum.

Social norms and values  makes children productive citizens (David J. Wren, 1999).

According to Owens (1987) “the symbolic aspects of school activities (e.g., traditions, rites and rituals) must be considered, for these are the values that are transmitted literally from one generation of the organization to another”.

Hidden Curriculum
Aspects of Hidden Curriculum:

Social structures in the classroom, the teacher’s exercise of authority, social relationships and the teacher’s use of language.

Negative term – maintains existing social inequalities.

Three forms of capital: Economic, Social and Cultural Capital.
Cultural Capital: Forms of knowledge, skills and dispositions learned in the family which is used to access a high social position in society.
Cultural Capital like the Hidden Curriculum reproduces social inequalities.


( Goldthorpe, J. (2007). “Cultural Capital”: some critical observations.)
Bourdieu - Cultural Capital
Schwab’s approach: 'The Eclectic'
Theories are partial and incomplete: Different contemporary approaches can work as "bodies of knowledge"

“Theories (as 'bodies of knowledge') are useful as they relieve us from the necessity to go to the original sources of information... It is therefore important that the curriculum expertise has a broad theoretical frame of reference and the ability to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of the different theories” Schwab

point of departure: the practical situation
the development of the curriculum: identification and negotiation

Eg: A National curriculum like the one in England cannot be applied in a Colombian context
Situated learning
Communities of practice:

“Being alive as human beings means that we are constantly engaged in the pursuit of enterprises of all kinds (...) As we define these enterprises and engage in their pursuit together, we interact with each other and with the world and we tune our relations with each other and with the world accordingly. In other words we learn.” (Smith, 2003).

Should we rethink the way we arrange education, school, the curriculum?

Knowledge/learning
“The dominance of standardized models of education”.
Is schooling the only way to learn?
Learning as an aspect of daily life.
Internalization of knowledge.

”Learning is in the relationship between people”.
”Educators work so that people can become participants in communities of practice”.
”There is an intimate connection between knowlegde and activity”.

Implications for education
An eclectic approach to Curriculum
Technical-instrumentalism
Post-modernist critiques

Social realist approach

Neo-conservative traditionalism
Account needs to be taken of how knowledge is developed (and acquired) within particular epistemic communities or ‘cultures’ (Hoskyns, 1993 ; Collins, 1998; Knorr-Cetina, 1999)
Lack of a theory of knowledge (Moore and Young 2001), avoiding globalisation implication (Castells 1998)
SOCIAL REALIST APPROACH
Sociology
Sociology of Education
Sociology of Science
Sociology of Education


“The sociology of education broadened its concerns to other social differences and social inequalities, notably gender, sexuality, ‘race’ and disability. And, especially in relation to gender, it could certainly claim some significant influence over policy” (Whitty,Geoff 2012, p.72)
 
“The sociology of education is the study of educational structures, processes, and practices from a sociological perspective. This means that the theories, methods, and the appropriate sociological questions are used to better understand the relationship between educational institutions and society, both at the micro and macro levels” (Saha, Lawrence J, 2011, p. 300)

Sociology of science
Why Sociology of education and Science?
Social realist approach
Neo-conservatism
Instrumentalism
Postmodernist
Social realist approach
They proposed social realist approach from Durkeim, Collins and Alexander.  According to the authors these writers argue that it is the social nature of knowledge that in part provides the grounds for its objectivity and its claims to truth. (Young, Michael; Moore, Rob 2001)

How do we achieve its “objectivity and claims to truth”?
Elements and Characteristics of social realist approach
1. Knowledge-based model of the curriculum
“Such a model would need to interrogate the knowledge structures and contents of the curriculum in a way that acknowledges their social basis and their capacity (or lack of capacity) to transcend it” ( Young, Michael ; Moore, Rob 2001, p, 455)

About it (Young, Michael 2013, p, 107) claim that
“In all fields of enquiry, there is better knowledge, more reliable knowledge.. ...this knowledge is not fixed or given; it is always fallible and open to challenge”
However, sometimes there is an agreement to recognize something as knowledge:

“The natural sciences and the social sciences and humanities pose contrary difficulties... (Young, Michael 2013, p, 108)

“Learning world”
2. That powerful knowledge and its growth is characterized by cognitive norms and values
Cognitive values:  It has to be specialized on a discipline, it comes from social and scientific positions. As it comes from social aspects or scientific knowledge it has to include ethics, values, norms, theory, forms of persuasive arguments that support “knowledge”.  These norms, values, theory and social agreements are called “Cognitive norms” by (Moore, Rob 2001; p, 456)

Discipline
Who are Rob Moore and Michael Young?
Grammar schools in the UK
Tripartite system of education:
Grammar schools: Academic
Secondary technical schools: Technical
Secondary modern schools: Functional
Eleven plus examination
Still 164 state-run grammar schools in existence
Not only academically selective but socially
Benefit the most privileged background
“It is precisely the relationship between these collective codes of knowledge production (research), knowledge acquisition (teaching and learning) and changes in the societies in which they are located that should form a major focus of study for the sociology of education”  ” (Young, Michael ;  Moore, Rob 2001, p, 456)

Where do cognitive values and cognitive norms come from?
knowledge
Research
Norms
Scientific
Procedures
Values

Theory
Social

Codes

Reveal how power, science and social relations affect knowledge positively and negatively in research and curriculum.

Create networks that combine methods, methodologies, values, norms, social arrangements, knowledge that lead educationalists, scholars and everyone who is immersed into the society to participate in a “social construction of knowledge
“As Schmaus goes on to stress, he is not implying there is only one social form that these cognitive values and norms can adopt; scientific communities can adopt a wide variety of forms” (Moore, Rob 2001;)    
It goes against inequalities that is why it is center in social relations
Goals
According to OEI (Organization of Ibero-American States) 4.455 Schools are still without electricity.
ICT “Luces para aprender”
The Colombian government considers the ICT sector to be a priority, acknowledging its importance and its potential impact on the national economy.
A greatest good for the greatest number.
We need an eclectic curriculum and approach that bear in mind the needs of the school, population and country.
Moore, R. & Young, M. (2001) Knowledge and the Curriculum in the Sociology of Education: Towards a Reconceptualisation. Carfax Publishing Co. Available from:[e-book accessed.
Whitty, G. (2012) 'A Life with the Sociology of Education'. British Journal of Educational Studies, 60 (1), pp. 65-75.
Young, M. (2013) 'Overcoming the crisis in curriculum theory: a knowledge-based approach'. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 45 (2), pp. 101-118.
Saha, L. (2011) "Sociology of Education." 21st Century Education: A Reference Handbook. 2008. SAGE Publications, 299-307.
SAXE, D. (2004). ON THE ALLEGED DEMISE OF SOCIAL STUDIES: THE ECLECTIC CURRICULUM IN TIMES OF STANDARDIZATION—A HISTORICAL SKETCH. International Journal of Social Education.
Bourdie , P. (1975). The specificity of the scientific field and the social conditions of the progress of reason.
Molina Vega, D. (2013). Colombia’s Digital Agenda: Successes and the challenges ahead.
Young, M. (2007) Bringing Knowledge back in: from Social constructivism to Social realism in the sociology of education.
Johansen, Haakon. (2006) Curriculum and curriculum development. Grounds for an eclectic approach based on different viewpoints.
Department of Education, National curriculum in England (2013).
Mufti, E. & Mark Peace. (2012) Teaching and learning and the curriculum: A critical introduction
References
Rob Moore is an author, public speaker, entrepreneur, and educator at Homerton College, Cambridge.
The main areas in which he taught involved sociology of education, sociology of knowledge, social theory and sociological research methods.
Michael Young is Emeritus Professor of Education with the School of Lifelong Education & International Development at the Institute of Education.
His main research interests are in the sociology of knowledge and its application to the curriculum.
“The sociology of science rests on the postulate that the objective truth of the product --- even in the case of that very particular product, scientific truth --- lies in a particular type of social conditions of production, or, more precisely, in a determinate state of the structure and functioning of the scientific field. (Bourdieu, Pierre, p, 22)

“Postwar sociology of science was also preoccupied with the relationship between science and society, particularly between science and democracy”
“Educational theory and educational policy that take no account of [sociological insights] will be not only blind but positively harmful” (quoted in Whitty, 1997, p. 4).
Social differences and social inequalities ...its influence over policy (Whitty,Geoff 2012, p.72)
Study of educational structures, processes, and practices.
Relationship between educational institutions and society, both at the micro and macro levels” (Saha, Lawrence J, 2011, p. 300)
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