Over the last year and a half or so, my colleagues and I in the UCL Institute of Education’s Subject Specialism Research Group have been thinking together about schooling and about how children develop and build their knowledge. We have been doing this in collaboration with colleagues from research groups in Karlstad and Helsinki, drawing on differing curricular experiences and traditions of thinking about schools and schooling – work that began to bear fruit in the London Review of Education and that we continue this week through an open seminar at the Institute.
We are fortunate to be engaging in enquiries into subjects and knowing subjects at a time of curriculum innovation and renewal apparent, for example, in the Chartered College’s journal Impact and in Ofsted’s curriculum research. All of this is very encouraging – particularly in contrast with the enthusiasm for generic competencies and the breaking down of‘subject silos’ that was (more…)
Last week the IOE celebrated Professor Michael Young’s 50 years at the IOE and the publication of a festschrift in his honour. I was one of a number of colleagues asked to speak at the event. Having cancelled my flight to Australia to do so I thought I would be able to say that, as the result of the fare penalty, I was the only person who had actually paid to be there. But in fact there were other people attending from overseas, which just goes to show the high esteem in which Michael is held throughout the world.
I haven’t known Michael quite 50 years – more like 49. It would have been in October 1968 when I arrived at the IOE as a PGCE student training to be a history teacher, and Michael was one of a group of sociologists who inspired me to see my own future as a sociologist. His particular contribution was in encouraging us to question much of (more…)