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Title:Invention of curricula: Notes to open a theme for discussion
Author(s):Westbury, Ian
social work
school orchestras
graph paper
mathematics education
Geographic Coverage:United States of America (USA)
Abstract:Taking the view that school subjects and teaching practices are assemblages of socio-technical comstructions, I explore the utility of the terms associated with technical invention and innovation in understanding curricular and pedagogical change. Subjects, pedagogies, and school settings become artifactual constructions embodying solutions to underlying educational problems. I see such construction as the work of individuals or sets of individuals at specific times and places. These individuals bring boundary-spanning perspectives to their inventive activity. I present three brief case studies derived from the history of education –- the introduction o fgraph paper into English schools at the turn of the 20th century; the origin of the US school orchestra; and the development of three social work curriculum –- to test my framework. I conclude with a reflection on the analysis. If schools are organizations focused on service-delivery, how can 'invention' be understood and where might it be located? How should subject systems be seen so as to facilitate on-going invention and innovation in their work as systems? The paper concludes with an appendix considering innovations in mathematics education and significance of 'creative activity' rather than 'invention' as a rubric for further discussion.
Issue Date:1984
Citation Info:Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, April, 1984.
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-01-06

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