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May 23, 2019

Thinking About the Curriculum 1

Who decides the school curriculum?

I'm meeting later today with the Education Fabians Policy Group 3rd Open Seminar to discuss "The school curriculum: who decides? what criteria might be used?" As someone involved with the first and second versions of the National Curriculum nearly thirty years ago, I recognise these fundamental questions. They do need constant reconsideration. In practice, we have a written curriculum, a taught curriculum, a tested or examined curriculum, and a learnt curriculum. I leave it to the reader to draw the Venn Diagram. One answer to the question of 'who decides' is that older people generally decide what younger people should be taught. Who constitute, or should constitute, that group of older people is a matter of serious debate. This reminded me of a bit of compulsory reading during my own training as a teacher in the 1960's. It was called 'The Saber-Tooth Curriculum' written by J Abner Peddiwell in 1939. I attach it below for your interest.

The Saber-Tooth Curriculum

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