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What is educationally worthwhile knowledge? Revisiting the case for powerful knowledge

Derry, J; (2017) What is educationally worthwhile knowledge? Revisiting the case for powerful knowledge. In: Guile, D and Lambert, D and Reiss, M, (eds.) Sociology, Curriculum Studies and Professional Knowledge: New Perspectives on the Work of Michael Young. Routledge: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

For all the talk of ‘the Knowledge Age’, the nature of knowledge in the context of formal education remains a neglected area. Michael Young is one of few sociologists who responds to this neglect and puts the question of knowledge squarely back into discussions of why formal education matters. In the context of ongoing disputes around the curriculum, concerned with factual knowledge and access to multiple ways of meaning making as means for individual realisation, attention to the question of knowledge is ever more urgent. Young asks, “What is educationally worthwhile knowledge?” His response goes to the heart of what is distinctive about humans. Drawing on the work of Durkheim and Vygotsky, Young provides a rich account of ‘powerful knowledge’. This chapter combines his insights with developments in contemporary philosophy. It aims to respond to misconstrued readings of Young’s work which takes his emphasis on ‘powerful knowledge’ to be at odds with a concern for pedagogy and human flourishing.

Type: Book chapter
Title: What is educationally worthwhile knowledge? Revisiting the case for powerful knowledge
ISBN-13: 9781317198192
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.4324/9781315560410-7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315560410-7
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10040764
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