An Education That Empowers: A Collection of Lectures in by Lawrence Stenhouse

By Lawrence Stenhouse

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Brian Simon's concern (Chapter 1) is with what is happening to schools, pupils and the curriculum as a result of the 1988 Act. An early advocate of the idea of a common curriculum, Simon urges us to 'seize on what is positive, or what can be made positive, in recent legislation'. He recalls Sir Peter Newsam's observation that for all its weaknesses the national curriculum, in principle, seeks for all young people 'a common set of educational experiences pitched at a high level'. The setting up of structures in support of such an aspiration would undoubtedly be judged to be 'the most important achievement of the 1980s'.

Like McIntyre, Edwards challenges the simplistic notion that what is involved in learning to teach is merely the 'unproblematic passing on, or passing down, of what the experienced teacher knows'. As one might predict for educational reform that is not based on research, complex learning processes tend to be reduced to a simple travesty of themselves. Schon and Stenhouse, in contrast, were properly realistic in basing their work on a recognition of the complexity of the task of teaching and the complexity of the institutional and personal contexts of learning to teach.

P. 241. 33. A. (1975) The aims of the secondary school. A. Stenhouse (1983) op. , pp. 153-4. Page 16 1 The National Curriculum, School Organisation and the Teacher Brian Simon I want to start with a few general, but very personal, impressions. My own engagement with Lawrence Stenhouseand the very unusual and stimulating team around him with whom, to my mind, he is inseparablebegan when Jean Rudduck invited me, at an early BERA conference at Westfield College in London, to act as external examiner for the full-time MAthen the only teaching commitment at the Centre for Applied Research in Education at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

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