07 SES 11 A JS, Curriculum Spaces and Strategies for Social Change through Education
Symposium Joint Session NW 03 with NW 07 and NW 23
In the last decade there has been considerable focus on transnational policy discourse, especially within the European Union (EU), on how major national curriculum reforms can change the conditions of learning and knowledge in school. A main theme in the European policy discourse is the need for efficiency in instruction linked with the rights of all students to learn and to achieve the goals set up by school, but the ways in which the actual reforms are shaped differ between the different European countries. In this paper the aim is to explore the following two questions in relation to the most recent curriculum reform in Sweden (Lgr 11): How can the question of curriculum knowledge be understood from a perspective of equity? Who is the 'good citizen' as it emerges from the curriculum content? From a background of understanding curriculum as imbedded in wider transnational policy movements, the first question is examined by suggesting a framework for exploring the trajectories between equity policy and different types of curricula with implications for what counts as knowledge, drawing on the capabilities approach developed by Amartya Sen (1999) and Martha Nussbaum (2000). The other question is analysed by using two typologies for social studies and educating for democracy (Wahlström 2014). Drawing on the two analyses, supplemented with a questionnaire addressed to teachers concerning their view of the current curriculum, the preliminary results point at a predominantly instrumental view of knowledge also within humanities, a citizenship ideal in terms of 'the reasoning citizen', and less space for teachers' and students' to influence teaching content in the subject of social studies.
Biesta, Gert (2013): Responsible citizens: citizenship education between social inclusion and democratic politics. In Mark Priestley & Gert Biesta (Eds.): Reinventing the Curriculum. New Trends in Curriculum Policy and Practice, pp. 99-116. London and New York: Bloomsbury. Nussbaum, Martha C. (2000) Women and Human Development. The Capabilities Approach. New York: Cambridge University Press. Sen, Amartya (1999) Development as Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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