Outcomes, Learning, and the Curriculum: Implications for NVQs, GNVQs, and Other Qualifications

Outcomes, Learning, and the Curriculum: Implications for NVQs, GNVQs, and Other Qualifications

Outcomes, Learning, and the Curriculum: Implications for NVQs, GNVQs, and Other Qualifications

Outcomes, Learning, and the Curriculum: Implications for NVQs, GNVQs, and Other Qualifications


This book provides an account of the curricular consequences of the outcomes approach to education NVQs GNVQs etc. It contains contributions from leading experts in the field and, as such, is likely to become the core text in this area. An initial discussion of the main themes leads the reader into a discussion of key ideas and the theory behind the Outcomes approach covering, in addition, issues concerning standards and quality. Areas of the curriculum covered include assessment, modularization, flexible learning and work-based learning, higher level competences and the autonomous learner.; It should be of interest to all concerned with the development of the curriculum, ranging from school sixth forms through further and higher education to professional industrial trainers with an interest in the development of education and training in the UK.


In October 1992, Gilbert Jessup, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Research at the National Council for Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ), commissioned a large number of researchers to write papers for a conference which was held in Croydon in March 1993.

Some of the invitees were NCVQ staff with special research responsibilities but most were independent researchers with a record of publications in the field; from the outset it was recognized that this independence must be preserved in the interests of scholarship, so the views of individual contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the NCVQ. The first drafts of all the papers were circulated prior to the conference, and each contributor was invited to speak to his/her paper before it was submitted to detailed criticism and examination by fellow contributors. In the event, the concept which caused most critical discussion and dissension was the meaning of curriculum. The concept of learning, likewise, provoked much discussion. The notion of Outcomes proved much less contentious, and there was something approaching unanimity on the value and rich potential which the exploration of this concept offered not only in terms of its application to the school or college curriculum but to applications ranging from the development of professional knowledge to autonomous learning. The three themes on which that conference concentrated, Outcomes, Learning and the Curriculum, became the focus of this book.

In addition to the explicitly eponymous themes mentioned above, a number of other significant threads of meaning have developed to link most chapters in this book at some point: the nature of assessment, the meaning of qualification, the accessibility of provision, the practicalities of implementation. These issues and concerns are expressed in the themes of bringing about coherence and integration; of openness, challenge and opportunity; the desire to extend the debate, to explore, deepen and share understanding; to initiate and further the research effort, to enter into productive partnerships with all concerned. Because, in the final analysis, we are all concerned.

While from the nature of this book its primary audience may be the research community, postgraduate students, practitioners in schools, colleges, industry training departments and universities, other fellow professionals such as members of examining bodies, managing agents and policy makers, our work is ultimately directed towards improving the quality of experience and the level of achievement among our mutual clientele, students and trainees.

Our aim is not only to help realize the sum of human potential they represent in terms of their own personal development—unquestionably and ineluctably important as we recognize that to be—but to help them realize their aspirations in employment, and the needs of their eventual employers. In short, to help bridge . . .

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