27 SES 05 A, Subject Contents in Curriculum and Assessment
A formal curriculum connects to teaching by conceptualising core matters of schooling. In current policy such matters are no longer legitimized by theories of Bildung but by emphasising competencies and learning outcomes, which ignore didactical perspectives on the preparation of teaching in schools (Scholl, 2012). This paper explores this shift from teaching to learning by comparing how subject matter content is expressed and legitimized within formal curricula for vocational oriented subjects in lower secondary school across two European countries: Norway and Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia). The main purpose is to discuss how subject matter is selected, sequenced and defined in view of current educational policy which emphasises new challenges and demands of a knowledge based economy. Thereby we question how new curricula connect to teaching in schools.
We draw on conceptual frameworks deduced from comparative didactics and comparative research on European education policy (Deng, 2007; Hopmann, 2008; Steiner-Khamsi, 2013) to analyse the representation of subject matter and how it articulates changing semantics of vocational oriented subjects. We are in particular interested in the paradoxes occurring in the interference of the semantics of didactics as a field and a new expert language which focuses on learning processes and outcomes. By comparing similarities and differences of how states aim to achieve similar conditions for schooling and different outcomes or vice versa, we interpret the paradoxes as merely constructed by policy decisions, yet with direct implications for teaching in school (Steiner-Khamsi, 2013).
Deng, Zongyi. (2007). Transforming the Subject Matter: Examining the Intellectual Roots of Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Curriculum Inquiry, 37(3), 279-295. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-873X.2007.00386.x Hopmann, Stefan T. (2008). No child, no school, no state left behind: schooling in the age of accountability. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40(4), 417-456. Scholl, Daniel (2012). Are the Traditional Curricula Dispensable? A Feature Pattern to Compare Different Types of Curriculum and a Critical View of Educational Standards and Essential Curricula in Germany. European Educational Research Journal, 11(3), 328-341. Schwab, Joseph J. (1978). Science, curriculum and liberal education. Selected essays. Chicago: The university of Chicago press. Steiner-Khamsi, Gita. (2013). What is Wrong with the ‘What-Went-Right’ Approach in Educational Policy? European Educational Research Journal, 12(1).
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