Children and Their Curriculum: The Perspectives of Primary and Elementary School Children

Children and Their Curriculum: The Perspectives of Primary and Elementary School Children

Children and Their Curriculum: The Perspectives of Primary and Elementary School Children

Children and Their Curriculum: The Perspectives of Primary and Elementary School Children

Synopsis

The aim of this text is to encourage educators and researchers in recognizing pupil perspectives. Its central argument is that understanding some of the disparity between "curriculum as intended" and "curriculum as experienced" will increase the quality of school life and improve learning.

Excerpt

Student experience, and its diversity, do not appear as a phenomenon of interest in current debates on educational policy and research. It is a nuisance, a distraction, to think that different students, together with their teachers and fellow students, might be inhabiting and constructing profoundly differing subjective worlds as they encounter what the school presents as a standardised curriculum, with intendedly standardised methods of instruction and assessment. (Erickson and Shultz, 1992, p. 467)

Erickson and Shultz neatly encapsulate the central rationale for this collection. We aim to support and encourage educators in recognizing and ‘hearing’ pupil perspectives, and in taking them seriously as an influence on policy and practice at all levels.

One major challenge of the book is thus to those who hear pupils’ voices in a spirit of interest, sympathy or amusement, but make no commitment to analysis and follow-up action. We wish to move beyond such forms of sentiment and indulgence. A second major challenge is to those who interpret childhood in purely developmental terms, for we fear that such perceptions ultimately limit our approaches to understanding what is important to pupils in relation to their experience. However, the most important challenge is to those who ignore pupil perspectives altogether. This might be said of many adults, but it is particularly important in the case of those policy-makers and politicians who strive to introduce systemic educational ‘reforms’ and extensive, centralized curricula. Our overall argument is that taking pupil perspectives seriously can contribute to the quality of school life, the raising of standards of educational achievement and understanding of many important educational issues. We would also argue the converse, that to ignore or underplay the significance of pupil perspectives can undermine the quality of school life, learning achievements and the development of understanding.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.