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A framework for the national curriculum

7:00pm, Monday 6 February 2012, London

Following our January discussion of the expert panel review of the national curriculum, our February event asks one of the authors referenced in the review for his insights into the proposed ‘return’ to subjects in the National Curriculum. Professor Michael Young, author of the widely read and highly regarded Bringing Knowledge Back In, will offer a sociological perspective on the UK Coalition’s return to subject-based education and its advocacy of ‘powerful knowledge’.

Since its 2010 publication of the Importance of Teaching, the Coalition has made clear its commitment to knowledge and subject-based education. Similarly, the Framework for the National Curriculum, albeit derived from an ‘expert panel’, argues that the school curriculum should “focus on clear and well evidenced ‘maps’ of the key elements of subjects – giving all pupils access to ‘powerful knowledge’”.So should the return to subjects as examples of this powerful knowledge be applauded? And how, in the light of the previous government’s approach, is the return to subjects to be explained? Does the Coalition’s advocacy of subject-based education have a sound theoretical and social footing? Or will it be yet another passing edufad? And just what is powerful knowledge anyway?


Professor Michael Young

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