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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Whatever happened to curriculum theory? Critical realism and curriculum change
Author(s): Priestley, Mark
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Keywords: curriculum
critical realism
curriculum change
curriculum theory
Issue Date: Jul-2011
Citation: Priestley M (2011) Whatever happened to curriculum theory? Critical realism and curriculum change, Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 19 (2), pp. 221-237.
Abstract: In the face of what has been characterised as a ‘crisis’ in curriculum – an apparent decline of some aspects of curriculum studies combined with the emergence of new types of national curriculum which downgrade knowledge – some writers have been arguing for the use of realist theory to address these issues. This paper offers a contribution to this debate, drawing upon critical realism, and especially upon the social theory of Margaret Archer. The paper first outlines the supposed crisis in curriculum, before providing an overview of some of the key tenets of critical realism. The paper concludes by speculating on how critical realism may offer new ways of thinking to inform policy and practice in a key curricular problematic. This is the issue of curriculum change.
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Rights: This is an electronic version of an article published in Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 2011, Volume 19, Issue 2, pages 221-237. Pedagogy, Culture and Society is available online at:; This item will be made available 18 months after publication, until then the publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. 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.

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