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What to Teach? Conceptualising a Geography Curriculum

Standish, A; (2018) What to Teach? Conceptualising a Geography Curriculum. Journal of Geographical Research , 68 pp. 73-88. 10.6234/JGR.201805_(68).0004. Green open access

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Abstract

Starting from the premise that a curriculum must be about knowledge, this article notes the marginalisation of disciplinary knowledge in the Anglo-American school curriculum in recent decades and how contemporary approaches to knowledge (constructivism, instrumentalism and neo-conservatism) are deficient some respect. Instead, the theory of social realism is proposed as a better way to understand the significance of disciplinary knowledge to the education of children and how it can be re-contextualised in the school curriculum. Social realism takes a sociological and epistemological approach to knowledge, moving beyond the positivist/constructivist divide. Geography’s epistemology is examined as comprising systematic geography (propositional knowledge), regional/place-based geography (contextual knowledge) and methods (procedural knowledge), and the relations between each explored. Inducting students into geography depends upon a foundational understanding of all three types of knowledge. Therefore, a robust school curriculum must be constructed with all three knowledge types such that students can enter into its conceptual framework and ways of thinking. Finally, the use of knowledge types in geography curriculum and assessment documents in the UK is discussed.

Type: Article
Title: What to Teach? Conceptualising a Geography Curriculum
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.6234/JGR.201805_(68).0004
Publisher version: http://en.ntnu.edu.tw/index.php
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: curriculum, disciplinary knowledge, epistemology, social realism
UCL classification: UCL
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 - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10050295
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