03 SES 06 JS, Addressing the Challenges at the Interface of Curriculum Innovation and Evaluation
Symposium JS NW 03 and NW 09
The extent to which the goals and contents of education should to be regulated has been a complicated balancing act in the Netherlands over the years. Against a backdrop of a long-standing statutory tradition of freedom of education, governmental decisions about 'what knowledge is of most worth' have been delicate. In this paper an attempt is made to disentangle this complicated balancing act between curriculum regulation and curriculum freedom in the Netherlands during the past 40 years. In doing so, we distinguish three major episodes. During the third episode we noticed an increased, GERM (Global Educational Reform Movement)-inspired significance being attached to testing and test-based accountability and surveillance. Moreover there is a growing discomfort about the perceived partial focus on the basics. There is more worth teaching and learning within the allocated amount of time than literacy and numeracy. The paper discusses that this 'framing the back door' of the education building by means of more output regulation should not go without first ‘framing the front door’ through democratic debate and balanced decision-making on the goals and contents to be realized and assessed. The paper concludes with the initiatives taken in order to debate these curricular issues.
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