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Discourses of reform in the history curriculum in England and Wales, 1976-1988

Laing, Marlene Ianthe; (2018) Discourses of reform in the history curriculum in England and Wales, 1976-1988. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study uses primary texts to assess policymaking in reforming history curriculum across three high-profile education institutions in England, during 1976-1988. Set between the launch of the ‘Great Debate’ in education and the lately introduced National Curriculum the thesis argues that institutional and wider social cultures, ways of operation - within the Schools Council for Curriculum and Examinations in England and Wales [SC], the Inner London Education Authority [ILEA] and the Historical Association [HA] - impinged upon the author-historian consciousness to the extent that the institutional modus operandi is reproduced, variously, by using the social construct ‘race’ to serve assumed needs of a visually diverse school population substantively, beyond concern for fresh thinking. Texts are examined through two key research questions: - How is the Black presence addressed in texts toward reforming history curriculum? - What explains similarities, differences, institutionally? Inquiry is advanced through historical interpretive analysis addressing nuances in the political power of language and questioning text-producers’ using ‘race’ and minority-ethnic group-representation as victims as negatively reproductive. Data indicate that the SC serving the wider national interest in enhanced teacher effectiveness promoted child-centred learning, ambivalent toward ‘race’. ILEA, turning from discourses, of a school/home community of the early 1970s to the early 1980s, followed a highpoint in confronting ‘race’ resolutely, post-1981 into 1983 progressively. The HA, early observing historical tradition / convention ‘guarded’ subject-disciplinary pathways, ultimately advancing nationhood, inclusiveness and belonging invoking social responsibility. Contextualised between social political and educational events in the long-serving 1944 Education Act and the more prescriptive edicts of the Education Reform Act 1988, this study examines the prevailing Black-White constituency - the assumed dependency upon ‘race-thinking’, pivotal in shaping history curriculum, despite its questioned legitimacy in social-educational analysis. Effectively this study explores political power of language, productive learner outcomes, ‘capital-reciprocation’, toward culturally-interactive competency.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Discourses of reform in the history curriculum in England and Wales, 1976-1988
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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/10044193
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