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Curriculum thinking, ‘capabilities’ and the place of geographical knowledge in schools

Lambert, David (2015) Curriculum thinking, ‘capabilities’ and the place of geographical knowledge in schools. Journal of Educational Research on Social Studies, 81. pp. 1-11. ISSN 0289-856X. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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This paper argues that curriculum thinking in education has been enormously influential on selecting what is taught and learned in geography classrooms. Although this may appear to be self-evident, we are reminded that in the UK at least the idea of curriculum only really emerged in geography educational thought in the last quarter of the twentieth century. During this time curriculum thinking in schools has managed to cement the importance of ‘aims’. This paper argues that although beneficial in many ways, aims-led curriculum planning and development has arguably been somewhat careless with knowledge, and has even undermined the place of knowledge in the classroom. The paper argues for a re-emphasis on knowledge-led curriculum making, as one of the cornerstones of genuine progressive educational practice. It introduces the possibility of a capabilities approach as a heuristic to connect and reconcile aims-led and knowledge-led curriculum thought and action.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper resulted from an invitation to address the JERASS in 2013
Controlled Keywords: capabilities, geography education, curriculum futures, Curriculum and subjects
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2015 08:56
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2015 08:56
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