Class, Culture and the Curriculum
By Denis Lawton
Routledge – 2012 – 124 pages
It is often argued that education is concerned with the transmission of middle-class values and that this explains the relative educational failure of the working class. Consequently, distinctive culture needs a different kind of education. This volume examines this claim and the wider question of culture in British society. It analyses cultural differences from a social historical viewpoint and considers the views of those applying the sociology of knowledge to educational problems. The author recognizes the pervasive sub-cultural differences in British society but maintains that education should ideally transmit knowledge which is relatively class-free. Curriculum is defined as a selection from the culture of a society and this selection should be appropriate for all children. The proposed solution is a common culture curriculum and the author discusses three schools which are attempting to put the theory of such curriculum into practice. This study is an incisive analysis of the relationships between class, education and culture and also a clear exposition of the issues and pressures in developing a common culture curriculum.
1 Introduction: The Two Traditions of Schooling and Curriculum 2 The Meaning of Culture 3 Social Class and Culture 4 Sociology, Knowledge and the Curriculum 5 Knowledge and Curriculum Planning 6 A Common Culture Curriculum 7 Common Culture Curricula in Three Schools 8 Summary and Conclusion: Social Justice and Education