Re-energising Subject Knowledge (FORUM 2)

Author: JOHN HOPKIN

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Publication date: June 1, 2012

JOHN HOPKIN

The value of knowledge and the role of subjects in the school curriculum have been widely questioned in recent years, often portrayed as old-fashioned and irrelevant, especially in the face of a fast-changing global economy. This article argues that this is both limited in its view of the potential of knowledge and subjects, and limiting for those pupils denied access to disciplined knowledge, especially in particular schools and subjects. It proposes that the acquisition of knowledge through subjects remains central to pupils’ entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum, and to their ability to participate actively in our society, economy and democracy. It suggests the need for a more informed (and disciplined) policy debate founded in a balanced view of the purposes of education.

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