23 SES 06 D, European Policies on the School Curriculum (Part 2)
Paper Session: continued from 23 SES 05 D
This study is interested in relations between school curriculum policy constituted in two educational policy spaces – Europe and England. The Open Method of Coordination introduced in Lisbon in 2000 aims to establish common European goals and monitoring of progress regarding education policy within the European Education policy space (Wahlstrom, 2010, p.433). In 2006 the European Parliament and Council recommended that all member states develop the provision for the introduction of the “Key Competences for Lifelong Learning – A European Reference Framework” (EC, 2007). This focus on competency/skill-based curriculum was re-iterated in a 2012 European Commission document “Re-thinking Education: investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes”.
In 2010 the British Government published a White Paper (DfE) signalling the reform of the National Curriculum in England. Instead of aligning with the European curriculum competency-based framework, the British Government looked to ‘high performing jurisdictions’ like Alberta, Finland, Hong Kong, Massachusetts, and Singapore for guidance (Oates, 2010). The resulting curriculum for English state schools is one focused on a narrow pre-determined range of academic subjects, a prescribed neo-conservative configuration of knowledge and an assessment regime deploying a fine-grained stratification of student performance. The main research question driving the study is: What potential do European and English school curriculum policies carry for the realisation of an ethically responsible curriculum?
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