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Informing the shape of the curriculum: new views of knowledge and its representation in schooling

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Fundamental reform of American secondary schooling will require more than just revising the structures and relationships within schools; it demands as well a serious rethinking of the curriculum, the heart of teaching and learning. Drawing on several school-based examples, the paper illustrates the differences between 'subject matter learning' and disciplinary learning. It then proceeds to explore some of the problems posed by using disciplines as the primary source of authority in shaping the curriculum, and goes on to propose a more radical, alternative model for thinking about curriculum. This alternative attempts to integrate more evenly the influence of disciplines with other influences on the curriculum, such as the child's world, the particulars of context and the knowledge of professions.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1997-11-01

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