The Politics of the School Curriculum
By Denis Lawton
Routledge – 2012 – 164 pages
If the curriculum can be defined as a ‘selection from the culture of society’, the central question then becomes ‘who selects’. This volume answers this question, reviewing various aspects of the curriculum and its planning. For many years the control of the curriculum was uncontroversial. In the 1970s this situation changed: teachers were increasingly criticised for having too much power; the Department of Education was suspected of wanting more control and local education authorities felt they should be more involved in curriculum planning. In reviewing some of the reasons for these conflicting pressures, two central themes emerge: first, the change from a partnership model of control to a complex system of accountability; and second the fact that these and many other changes which occur tend to be brought about as a result of secret decisions and central manipulation rather than through open negotiation. Among the areas covered are the changing position of teachers and the Department of Education, the influence of examinations on the curriculum, and some political aspects of curriculum evaluation and the different models used.
'This book should be indispensable, a book to possess.’ A M A
1 The Meaning of Politics 2 Teachers and the Control of the Curriculum 3 The Growing Power of the Mandarins and the Secret Service 4 The Assessment of Performance Unit 5 The Schools Council 6 The Control of the Examination System 7 The Politics of Curriculum Evaluation 8 ‘The End of the Secret Garden?’ Notes. Bibliography. Index.