Enquiring Minds: a radical curriculum project? (FORUM 2)

Author: JOHN MORGAN

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Publication date: June 1, 2011

JOHN MORGAN

This article focuses on Enquiring Minds, a three-year curriculum development project funded by Microsoft as part of its Partners in Learning programme and run by Futurelab. The article suggests that the project is best understood as an example of a new type of ‘curriculum entrepreneurialism’ that is impatient with the traditional structures of curriculum and pedagogy and which seeks to pave the way for ‘radical’ transformation of education systems. The article locates this curriculum innovation in three broad contexts of educational cultures in Britain. These concern the question of the relationship between formal and informal cultures of learning, the relationship between knowledge, social class and curriculum, and the emergence of ideas about the economic value of schooling and the role of technology in young people’s lives. These ‘cultures of schooling’ invariably affect any attempt to introduce radical change. Finally, the article poses the question of what is ‘radical’ about projects such as Enquiring Minds, and suggests that they might best be interpreted as moves to realign the practices of schooling with the requirements of a mobile and global capitalism.

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