Thinking deeply about curriculum is new to most of us. For a long time, we’ve focussed a lot more on the how than we have on the what. Recent changes in mood have been revelatory to me and, I imagine, many others. Perhaps ironically though, most of us who are now interested in curriculum, didn’t follow a formal curriculum when learning more about curriculum. As such, and I’m happy to only speak for myself here, my knowledge came in drips and drabs, bits and pieces and stops and starts. That’s probably just the nature of the beast.
I was asked by school to deliver some training on curriculum, and argued that the thing that would be most useful would be to introduce staff to some of the key terms that are bandied around when thinking about curriculum. Familiarity with these concepts isn’t just important in and of itself, but is crucial for deepening and enriching curricular thought. Rolling these ideas around in your head forces you to contemplate your subject in a slightly different light and spurs you on to delving deeper into what it all means.
I remembered Ruth Walker’s marvelous blog from the Curriculum In Science symposium. In it, she introduced us to a number of terms and how they might find application in science. Essentially, I wanted to copy and build on her ideas based on some of the stuff I’ve been reading over the past couple of years. A document started to take shape, which I’ve called The One Stop Shop. It contains 22 curricular terms that I have personally found very useful in shaping my thinking about curriculum. Each term has a definition, a couple of examples from a range of subjects, some thoughts about how the term is useful to teachers on a day-to-day basis, and a section with further thoughts and extra reading.
I’ve also put together a short slideshow which just highlights a few of the highest leverage concepts. The slideshow is designed to be an accompaniment to the main document and used when introducing people thinking about curriculum.
At the end of the slideshow, there is a slide with some provisos for use, which I wanted to reproduce here:
- This is not for Ofsted, this is because it is important
- My list is my interpretation, it is not objective fact
- “One stop shop” notwithstanding, there is much more out there!
Please do bear all that in mind, and if you have any questions or contentions do not hesitate to be in touch. As ever, enormous amounts of gratitude to the wonderful thinkers and writers (most of whom are linked in The One Stop Shop) who have been so pioneering and inspiring. Enjoy!