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Selected Works

Learning, Curriculum and Life Politics: the selected works of Ivor F. Goodson

Coming to Curriculum

There are other symbols which might imply an empathy with the culture based on ways of walking and moving and acknowledgements of 'distancing' in certain defined situations (e.g. the teacher in the lunchtime disco).

Since the teachers' role is tied up with the commodity he is purveying much depends on the commodity.  Most find few points of reference or relevance in his 'subject'.  So the only way for the WC child to come to terms with school is through the teacher's own person divorced from his role.  Only in the relationship that he has with his teacher can the child explore the alien world of the school.  The teacher must exist and define a social context and relationship which the child finds sympathetic.  This implies the teacher is sufficiently aware of the child's culture to include a number of familiar symbols which can render the world of classroom sufficiently familiar to the child.

             (1)            What I think one is saying is

                         that the first stage in the learning process is the establishment of a 'knowing' relationship.  The socio-pastoral threshold precedes the academic threshold.  Though for most WC kids that relationship is assumed, suspended in expectation of instrumentality. 

            (2)            Without this relationship, whatever

the pedagogy, transmission or transformation, there will be undue numbers of failures.  Simply because they never 'came to terms' with what the teacher was about.  So what he elicits will be nothing to do with the child's potential.


             (3) The relationship is not just the prerequisite for transmission.  It should by its establishment affect the nature of that transmission.  The critical point is that at which             the child ENGAGES, from then on exploration is cooperative.  Learning becomes a possibility (personal notes 1973 – 74). 

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  • Date of publication: 15/09/2005
  • Number of pages (as Word doc): 272
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Subject:
    Curriculum Studies, Narrative Theory
  • Available in:
  • Appears in:
    Learning, Curriculum and Life Politics: the selected works of Ivor F. Goodson
  • Number of editions: 1
  • Paperback
  • Price of book: £27.99
  • ISBN: 978-0-415-35220-8
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