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Studying School Subjects: A Guide

Overview

Globally there is evidence of a basic reconstitution within the school curriculum. In response, curriculum theory has had little to say about the historical or political dimensions of this change. The concern of most curriculum specialists appears to have been on how to implement the changes. Abjectly, the curriculum theorist has played too often the role of the facilitator. The authors of this timely text contend that the historical amnesia of so much curriculum theory is both a symptom and a cause of this ...
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Overview

Globally there is evidence of a basic reconstitution within the school curriculum. In response, curriculum theory has had little to say about the historical or political dimensions of this change. The concern of most curriculum specialists appears to have been on how to implement the changes. Abjectly, the curriculum theorist has played too often the role of the facilitator. The authors of this timely text contend that the historical amnesia of so much curriculum theory is both a symptom and a cause of this intellectual and political posture. The failure to study school subjects historically and sociologically results in 'subjects' becoming a normative aspect of schooling, treated as taken-for-granted 'givens'. Nothing could be further from the truth. By 'studying school subjects' they emerge as the most quintessential of social and political constructions that intersect with patterns of social relations and social structure and are intimately implicated in the reproduction thereof and in processes of cultural transmission. This book aims to provide an introductory study guide to the historical and sociological study of school subjects for those scholars working in the area. Specialist chapters on subject departments; the subjects of English, Mathematics and Science; and the separate traditions within school subjects, together with a set of reflexive exercises at the end of each chapter, provide a lens through which to investigate and interrogate school subjects.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780750705882
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/1/1996
  • Series: Teachers' Library Series
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Studying School Subjects 1
2 School Subjects: The Context of Cultural Inventions 7
3 Subjects and Schooling: Four School Case Studies 21
4 Subject 'Traditions' and Interest Groups 33
5 Subject Departments 54
6 Subject Histories: Science 67
7 Subject Histories: Mathematics 80
8 Subject Histories: English 99
9 School Subjects: Patterns of Change 131
10 School Subjects: Patterns of Stability 148
Bibliography 168
Index 183
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