Academics will do much better

24th July 2009 at 01:00

The letter from "A concerned parent" last week suggested that the problem with A Curriculum for Excellence originates with the academics who wrote it "justifying their jobs".

I wonder whether it would have been in the current mess had the Government sought the advice of academics, rather than ignoring them. Academics have certainly not been responsible for the plethora of vacuous documents that have introduced ACfE over the last three years or so.

Curriculum studies has become somewhat moribund in the UK since the 1980s, in this era of central prescription and quality improvement, and there is not a great deal of expertise and capacity in curriculum development within our universities.

However, it is clear that there are people who could have contributed to ensuring that ACfE was a more coherent model and that the engagement strategy was more effective; the systematic involvement of such people has not been welcomed by those who make and implement policy.

This is in stark contrast to New Zealand, where academics have been involved from the outset in the development of the new curriculum.

Mark Priestley, senior lecturer in education, Institute of Education, Stirling University.

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