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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Between a rock and a hard place? Curriculum for excellence and the quality initiative in Scottish schools
Author(s): Reeves, Jenny
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Keywords: curriculum policy
quality assurance
Educational change Scotland
School improvement programs Scotland
Curriculum planning Scotland
Issue Date: Nov-2008
Date Deposited: 23-Mar-2009
Citation: Reeves J (2008) Between a rock and a hard place? Curriculum for excellence and the quality initiative in Scottish schools. Scottish Educational Review, 40 (2), pp. 6-16.
Abstract: With the Scottish government renewing the pledge to implement A Curriculum for Excellence (2004) the schools’ sector arguably faces a period of radical reform that could fundamentally affect the nature of pedagogy and schooling. This paper explores the disjunction in national policy that is foregrounded by this particular initiative. Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) can be seen as an attempt to move the Scottish approach to school improvement away from an alignment with the tenets of ‘hard’ managerialism and the requirement for conformity with centrally determined procedures and practices. It can be interpreted as using a ‘softer’ version of the discourse, where notions of organisational learning and contextualised development are seen as the basis for securing better performance. As such the implementation of CfE might be construed as incompatible with the approach to school improvement embedded in the Quality Initiative in Scottish Schools. This paper argues that the key to curricular reform lies with increasing the capacity for teacher, as well as student, learning in schools and that this requires a major revision of our approach to accountability. Given the recent OECD report on schooling in Scotland, the outcomes of the Crerar review of audit and inspection and the signing of the Government Concordat with local authorities, this is an ideal time for rethinking how we set about achieving quality assurance.
Rights: The publisher has granted permission for use of this article in this Repository. The article was first published in the Scottish Educational Review by the Scottish Academic Press Plc.

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