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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Downgraded curriculum? An analysis of knowledge in new curricula in Scotland and New Zealand
Author(s): Priestley, Mark
Sinnema, Claire
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Keywords: curriculum
curriculum policy
social realism
Issue Date: 2014
Citation: Priestley M & Sinnema C (2014) Downgraded curriculum? An analysis of knowledge in new curricula in Scotland and New Zealand, Curriculum Journal, 25 (1), pp. 50-75.
Abstract: The development, since 2000, of new National Curricula across the Anglophone world signals a number of policy trends, including: a move from the explicit specification of content towards a more generic, skills-based approach; a greater emphasis on the centrality of the learner; and [ostensibly] greater autonomy for teachers in developing the curriculum in school. These policy shifts have attracted some criticism, especially from social realist writers, who claim that the new curricula downgrade knowledge. This paper offers a contribution to this debate; an empirically-based analysis of two new curricula, New Zealand’s Curriculum Framework and Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. We conclude that, while these curricula continue to accord considerable importance to knowledge in their statements of policy intent, the social realist critique is at least partially justified, since both curricula are characterised by a lack of coherence and mixed messages about the place of knowledge.
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Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in The Curriculum Journal, Volume 25, Issue 1, 2014 Special Issue: Creating Curricula: Aims, Knowledge, and Control, pp. 50-75 by Taylor and Francis. The original publication is available at:

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