The Knowledge Turn in the UK National Curriculum

93e7b19f5d3f80980efd83b3fad4fbe7?s=47 Paul Cornish
February 04, 2012

The Knowledge Turn in the UK National Curriculum


Paul Cornish

February 04, 2012


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  3. “A school shouldn't start with curriculum content. It should start

    with designing a learning experience and then check it has met national curriculum requirements.” (Guardian)
  4. Learning can be trivial, dangerous or wrong. It is essentially

    a technical process – it emphasises skills that can be honed and practised, and accelerated, as if this were an end in itself. Lambert (2010)
  5. •  Equity: “Outside looking in” (Wheelahan) •  Loss of traditional

    academic subjects- skills for a knowledge economy promoted •  Playing exam system •  Pupils ‘learning’ without teaching
  6. The current turn toward knowledge follows three decades of the

    marginalisation or turning away from knowledge in UK education. (Mitchell, 2011)
  7. •  Move to 2 year KS3. (Weeden & Lambert) • 

    Focus on the ‘Pedagogic adventure’ without knowing destination (Lambert) •  Emphasize values over knowledge (Civitas) •  Promote personal responsibility (Civitas) •  Knowledge not high on Ofsted agenda •  Exam league tables- playing the system. •  Learning Pathways (Weeden) •  Spatial distribution of outstanding teachers •  Poor knowledge from Primary Schools
  8. •  Lack of subject specialists at KS3 •  Poorly written

    curricula – lack of understanding of curriculum making •  Move away from textbooks •  Focus on teaching exam technique over acquisition of knowledge •  Lack of understanding as to what is essential core knowledge in subject area •  Move to sexy topics (amazing places, geography of extreme sport) without a knowledge base
  9. The National Curriculum should set out clearly the core knowledge

    and understanding that all children should be expected to acquire in the course of their schooling. It must embody their cultural and scientific inheritance, the best that the past and present generations have to pass on to the next. DfE The Importance of Teaching (2010)
  10. Gove- Importance of Teaching (DfE 2010) Prince’s Teaching Institute Hirsch-

    Core Knowledge Michael Young- Bringing Knowledge Back In Ofsted
  11. Future 1: Govian Elitism Future 2: A Knowledge Society Future

    3: Objective Knowledge
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  15. •  Number of people to attempt to climb Mt. Everest:

    approximately 4,000. •  Number of people to successfully climb Mt. Everest: 660. •  Number of people who have died trying to climb Mt. Everest: 142. •  Height: 29,028 feet, or 5 and a half miles above sea level. This is equivalent to the size of almost 20 Empire State Buildings. •  Location: part of the Himalaya mountain range; straddles border of Nepal and Tibet. •  Named for: Sir George Everest, a British surveyor-general of India. •  Age: approximately 60 million years old. •  Other names: called "Chomolungma" by Tibetans and Sherpas, which means "Mother Goddess of the Earth."
  16. The accumulation of fragmentary facts as an end to itself

    is like learning a language by simply learning lists of vocabulary: you may know lots of words but you still cannot speak the language. For that you need grammar. By the same token, you cannot speak a language by only knowing some of the grammar! You need some vocabulary. Lambert (2011)
  17. I will argue… for a knowledge- based theory of the

    curriculum that recognises the distinction between the type of knowledge that can be acquired at school, college or university and the common sense or the practical knowledge that we aquire in our every day lives.
  18. Mutualistic relationship between literacy and knowledge

  19. Procedural Content Core • Kn3 • Kn2 • Kn1

  20. The basic elements that students must know to be acquainted

    with a discipline or solve problems in it. a. Knowledge of terminology b. Knowledge of specific details and elements
  21. The interrelationships among the basic elements within a larger structure

    that enable them to function together. a. Knowledge of classifications and categories b. Knowledge of principles and generalizations c. Knowledge of theories, models, and structures
  22. How to do something; methods of inquiry, and criteria for

    using skills, algorithms, techniques, and methods. a.  Knowledge of subject-specific skills and al- gorithms b.  Knowledge of subject-specific techniques and methods c.  Knowledge of criteria for determining when to use appropriate procedures
  23. …how well teachers use their expertise, including their subject knowledge,

    to develop pupils’ knowledge… (Ofsted 2012)
  24. •  Reading aloud in class •  Reading subject specific material

    (reading lists for KS3/4/5) •  Comprehension tasks
  25. •  In every major KS3 assessment include aspects Kn1, 2

    and 3 •  New KS3 assessment (to replace levels) will be designed around knowledge •  Kn1, 2 and 3 targets in books
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  27. Student  Experiences   Subject  Specialism   Teacher  Choices   Underpinned

     by   Key  NC  Subject   Concepts  linked  to   Content  knowledge   Subject-­‐  Specific   Knowledge:  Core-­‐  The   Vocabulary.  Content-­‐  The   Grammar.  Procedural-­‐   InvesFgaFon/  enquiry   Learning  AcFvity-­‐  to   assist  in  the   acquisiFon  of   knowledge.  How  does   this  use  procedural   knowledge?     How  does  this  take  the   learner  beyond  what  they   already  know?  Not  just   every  day  knowledge  from   the  world  outside  the   classroom  (Young)  
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  29. Internal: Pedagogy, Skills, Data, L&M External: Subject Associations, PTI Events,

    Universities, Subject Specific Master’s Courses
  30. “Only when the knowledge you possess transforms the mediocre into

    the excellent can what you know truly become both powerful and insightful” (Charles Swindoll) “Not knowledge of the powerful” (Young)
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