Discuss The Extent To Which The National Curriculu Essay
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Discuss the extent to which the National Curriculum represents a core curriculum, what forms of knowledge are conveyed through it and how might this affect teaching, learning and assessment.
This essay will analyse the factors that determine a National Curriculum and knowledge and look at how knowledge is conveyed through the curriculum. It will move on to look at the background to the introduction of a National Curriculum, the curriculums aims and the impact that this has on teaching, learning and assessment.
The role of knowledge within the curriculum is rarely discussed and where it is tends to be from a philosophical perspective, looking at epistemology, “which is concerned with questions of knowledge, how we know what we know and how we many orient ourselves to what we don’t know” (Bartlett,2008:78), rather than how knowledge is contained within and conveyed through the curriculum. Knowledge itself is very difficult to classify, no matter how well established scientifically, it is argued that it cannot be totally fixed and absolute. Hirst (1974) suggests that there are “two distinct types of knowledge, that in which the objects are true propositions and that in which the objects of knowledge are practical performances of some kind”. Polanyi(1958) claimed that “absolute objectivity (objectivism) is a delusion and therefore a false ideal”.
Bernstein(1995) considered that current concerns with knowledge within the curriculum could be traced to the historical curriculum development “the organisation of knowledge in the medieval period…into two different systems: the trivium and the quadrivium…the trivium is concerned with logic, grammar and rhetoric; the quadrivium is concerned with astronomy, music, geometry and arithmetic. The trivium is studied first and the quadrivium follows”. Bernstein links these medieval subjects to modern subjects and considers that