Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

Thinking Aloud

Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

Thinking Aloud

Article excerpt

The business curriculum: moving the subject forward

We should now be addressing the nature of the subject itself, by considering how the business education curriculum should develop and critiquing aspects of current practice. In the current educational climate of high-stakes testing and fierce accountability for teachers, both personally and institutionally, this may be viewed as a risky venture. In particular, for those who are busily trying to raise attainment levels for their students within the confines of existing specifications, the link between a debate on the nature of the business studies curriculum and strategies to raise attainment may not always be direct and readily apparent, although it would be odd indeed if no links at all were viewed as existing.

Nevertheless, there are many reasons why it is important to discuss how the subject might best develop. And certainly there is a need to debate how the subject can be taken forward unconstrained by instrumental considerations of how existing assessment regimes might best be serviced.

One way of starting off this debate is to focus upon and raise existing concerns about the nature of the subject and its current position within the curriculum. Here are a series of questions that are intended to kick start this process.

* How might business education courses be developed to help enable young people to think more critically and deeply a bout the nature of business activity?

* Given that many business studies courses feature not-forprofit organisations as well as public sector bodies might the subject be better termed "organisational studies" so that the full range of organisational activity is actively included?

* To what extent is business studies (or organisational studies) best taught by those who are sceptical of, suspicious of or actively hostile to a range of existing business practices?

* To what extent do schools and colleges try to steer high attaining 14-19 year olds away from business courses, and why?

We'd like to hear your responses to these questions and for you to propose other questions that will help usto move the subject forward.

Dave Hall, Department of Education, University of Manchester.

You know things are changing, but do you know how much?

The level of change in our area of the education system is unprecedented. New A level specifications, diplomas, forthcoming changes at GCSE and the rising popularity of BTEC courses are all significant developments. …

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