I’m reading David Carr’s Making Sense of Education this morning, who on page 14 quotes P.H. Hirst, The curriculum: educational implications of social and economic change (London, 1974). The latter states that education should be,
…based on the nature and significance of knowledge itself, and not on the predilections of pupils, the demands of society, or the whims of politicians.
I don’t think I could disagree more with that, really! Knowledge is not an objective thing that is out there for us to grasp, it is formed by precisely the things that he wants to remove from the educational process – the interests and desires of pupils, the current societal demands, and the need for politicians to implement reforms to ensure relevance. Instead, education should be based on the changing nature of conceptions of knowledge and how they are formed through interactions between the various agencies and people involved in the educational process – government, schools, other bodies, teachers and learners.