Case Studies in Curriculum Change: Great Britain and the United States

Case Studies in Curriculum Change: Great Britain and the United States

Case Studies in Curriculum Change: Great Britain and the United States

Case Studies in Curriculum Change: Great Britain and the United States

Synopsis

One of the educationist’s major concerns today is to find effective ways of translating new goals for the curriculum into classroom practices. American and British contributions analyse curriculum change as it actually occurs, with people, institutions and constraints of time and money acknowledged and accepted as a necessary and rightful part of the whole process. Detailed accounts are given of curriculum change in a wide variety of settings: American and English school systems, a college of education, an art curriculum project, Scottish classrooms. Analytic perspectives are employed that help to clarify the underlying forces at work. The contributors probe the adequacy of current theorizing about curriculum development, and suggest new ways of thinking about the problems involved in bringing about change.

Excerpt

Many books have been devoted to studies of the strategy of curriculum building. Though this volume does not ignore the strategic perspective it makes a much needed contribution to the understanding of how human agencies, through day to day involvement in planning and implementation, translate ideas, visions and theories into programs and practices, and how, in the process, the ideas themselves are recreated. Curriculum building, like literature, can be approached and interpreted on many levels: of these the least understood, but perhaps the most critical for confronting practical issues in innovation, is that of deliberation and tactic.

Deliberation and tactic (or the lack of them) are the factors above all other factors under our control which determine the course of our lives, our happiness, our satisfaction. It is through deliberation and tactic that we shape difficulties into problems we can recognize. It is through deliberation that we generate alternative solutions to our problems. It is through deliberation and tactic that we consider consequences of alternatives and test these consequences against our hopes and wishes. Finally, it is by deliberation and tactic that we initiate and maintain action toward our chosen ends and means.

The arts of deliberation and tactic serve these important purposes in both our private and our public lives. In our private lives they work to help us know whom and when to marry and how to make marriage work; where and what to do as our work, and how to rear our children and support them over the rough spots in their growing lives. In our public lives, these arts operate at every level from the international to the village. It is through these arts that we weigh and take the steps we must to deal with our friends, competitors, and potential enemies abroad; to maintain amity, peace and prosperity at home; to obtain or prevent a zoning restriction in our neighborhood; to determine and to undertake the what and the how of teaching our children in our schools.

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