pedagogy · Policy · Powerful knowledge · Progressivism

On the sacred and profane of powerful knowledge

Introduction School’s minister, Nick Gibb, frequently talks about the national curriculum in terms of a canon. In ancient Greek, a canon referred to a measuring rod, which could offer a symbolic description of the current education system.  The canon of the medieval education system was the gospels; the trivium introduced the medieval elite to the word of… Continue reading On the sacred and profane of powerful knowledge

Philosophy of Education · Powerful knowledge · Progressivism

The social reality of powerful knowledge

In my last blog, I discussed the academic/non-academic subject divide in education. In two recent blogs, Old Andrew defines an academic subject as: (…)  one where mastery of it was best characterised by further study. The people who are best at history, are historians and they study history. Following Bernstein, I argued that subjects require a field of knowledge… Continue reading The social reality of powerful knowledge

pedagogy · Powerful knowledge · Progressivism

On “powerful”progressive teaching: creating the discourse of the subject

Recently I was talking to a group of friends, not high achievers, in the conventional sense,  but well educated. Okay, they were teachers. Somehow the conversation got around to the most pointless things we learned at school. Universally it was mathematics at secondary school. We could all remember the words: sin, cosine and the quadratic…… Continue reading On “powerful”progressive teaching: creating the discourse of the subject

Powerful knowledge

On powerful knowledge, extremism and the legacy of Gove’s insular approach to curriculum

In my last blog I tried to show how the classic education of the Greeks was adapted by the church and, as a consequence, the education system became a tightly classified two tier system consisting of the trivium and quadrivium. Based upon a scriptural canon the knower was inculcated into the knowledge of the scriptures.… Continue reading On powerful knowledge, extremism and the legacy of Gove’s insular approach to curriculum

pedagogy · Philosophy of Education · Powerful knowledge

The dangers for education of a simplistic ’cause and effect’ model of knowledge development

Biesta (2014) makes the point that over the last few years there has been an ongoing discussion about the place of knowledge in the curriculum: In a number of recent publications, the British sociologist Michael Young has argued that there is a need to bring knowledge back into the discussion about the curriculum (for example,… Continue reading The dangers for education of a simplistic ’cause and effect’ model of knowledge development