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Curriculum Studies

Defining the Curriculum: histories and ethnographies

Subjects for Study: towards a social history of curriculum

In the final stages in the promotion of biology as an 'academic discipline' in the 1960s, the two main initiatives stressed the subject as a 'hard science' needing 'laboratories and equipment'. In the rapidly expanding universities it was this version of the subject which was widely introduced, thereby establishing the academic discipline base; likewise part of the Nuffield Biology Project for Schools centred on 'a crusade in terms of equipment and laboratory staff'. With the new generation of biology graduates trained in this hard science at universities, the establishment of the subject as a fully fledged academic 0 and A-level subject was finally assured.

Unlike biology and geography, rural studies remained for generations a low status enclave, stressing highly utilitarian or pedagogic values. This provides confirmation for Ben-David and Collins' contention; the move to a change in intellectual and occupational identity came at the time when the subject was faced with survival problems in a reorganizing educational system stressing academic examinations. The pervasive influence of this tradition can clearly be seen in the following:

The lack of a clear definition of an area of study as a discipline has often been a difficulty for local authorities in deciding what facilities to provide... It has been one of the reasons for the fact that no 'A' level course in rural studies exists at present. (Carson, 1967, p. 19)

The Schools Council Working Party in 1968 confirmed this with the broad hint that there was the 'need for a scholarly discipline' (Schools Council, 1969, p.19)

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Defining the Curriculum
  • Date of publication: 08/12/2011
  • Number of pages (as Word doc): 316
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Co-author: Stephen Ball
  • Subject:
    Curriculum Studies
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  • Appears in:
    Defining the Curriculum: histories and ethnographies
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  • Price of e-book: $64.00
  • E-book ISBN: 978-0-203-81566-3
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