地理の教室では，誰が何を考えるのか？:－力強い学問的知識とカリキュラムの未来－ [in Japanese] Who thinks what in geography classrooms?:Powerful disciplinary knowledge and curriculum futures [in Japanese]
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There is, at least in the West, a long-standing difficulty with knowledge in education. This may havearisen from a deep distrust of the value of dead or useless, disconnected 'facts' such as was parodied byCharles Dickens through his awful caricature of 'Gradgrind'. But distrust was reinforced by influentialscholarly work such as that from Michael Young in 1971 who in Knowledge and Control communicatedinfluential arguments about how the school curriculum, through its selection of knowledge, favouredthe elite and alienated the majority of young people. This article opens up a discussion about what kindof school curriculum is appropriate for young people now and in the future – as a pedagogic right. Weargue that the distrust of knowledge among progressive educationists has led to what we name as'Future2ism'. Such a skills or competence-led curriculum thinking is not, we argue, in the interests ofchildren, especially the disadvantaged. Michael Young, who wrote about the elitist 'knowledge of thepowerful' in the 1970s has himself revised, or extended, his thinking by pointing out (Young 2008) thatsuch specialist knowledge is also powerful knowledge. Thus, if policy makers, or school leaders, decidethat it is better for 'less academic' children to receive a differentiated curriculum to suit their 'needs'then they are denied access to powerful knowledge. This is unfair on a number of levels; not least itreinforces social and economic divisions.In the article, I describe the rise of Future 2 curriculum thinking as a response to the long-knowninadequacies of the 'traditional' school curriculum, since at least Gradgrind. But despite its superficialattractions, and its appeals to 'creativity' and 'twenty-first century skills', the weaknesses of Future 2thinking are exposed. Following this we then explore what a Future 3 curriculum may look like – onethat is knowledge-led but progressive and conscious of the pupils we teach, who are seem as agentiveand diverse. The key to Future 3 is to grasp the significance of the discipline expressed as powerfulknowledge – in the case of this article, geography. This is challenging, for powerful knowledge cannoteasily be expressed on the page – through a list of 'key concepts' for example. Rather than a list, itrequires specialist understanding of the subject's goals and purposes expressed more as a system ofthought and enquiry, which itself is dynamic being subject to contestation and change. In this sense,pupils (all pupils) are inducted into the discipline of knowledge-making, where the quality of argumentmatters, where evidence needs to be identified and evaluated and where reliable conclusions drawn (butnevertheless never beyond contestation or challenge).The article draws upon an international project called GeoCapabilities which has explored these ideaswith particular reference to their implications for high-quality teaching and the need for teachers to seethemselves as curriculum leaders – as professionals with responsibility for enacting a Future 3curriculum.
- THE NEW GEOGRAPHY
THE NEW GEOGRAPHY 65(3), 1-15, 2017
The Geographic Education Society of Japan