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Overcoming the crisis in curriculum theory: a knowledge-based approach

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This paper begins by identifying what it sees as the current crisis in curriculum theory. Following a brief history of the field, it argues that recent developments have led to it losing its object––what is taught and learned in school––and its distinctive role in the educational sciences. Arising from this brief account of the origins and nature of this ‘crisis’, the paper argues that curriculum theory must begin not from the learner but from the learner’s entitlement to knowledge. It then develops a framework for approaching the curriculum based on this assumption which is illustrated by an example of how the Head Teacher of a large secondary school in England used these ideas. Finally, it examines three widely held criticisms of the knowledge-based approach developed here and the issues that they raise.

Keywords: curriculum; knowledge; specialization; subjects

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2013.764505

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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