• The democratic curriculum: concept and practice

      Hopkins, Neil; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley Blackwell, 2014-06-20)
      Dewey continues to offer arguments that remain powerful on the need to break down the divisions between ‘academic’ and ‘vocational’ in terms of his specific theory of knowledge. Dewey's writings are used to argue that a democratic curriculum needs to challenge such divisions to encompass the many forms of knowledge necessary in the contemporary classroom. Gandin and Apple's investigation of community participation (Orçamento Participativo or Participatory Budgeting) in the curriculum of the Citizen School in Porto Alegre, Brazil, will be explored as an example of democratic structures informing educational planning. The work of Paul Hirst, Atli Harđarson and Chris Jane Brough is analysed regarding the issue of curriculum aims and student negotiation. Dewey's emphasis on learning as a collective enterprise will resonate here. Brough offers innovative research on student-centred curriculum integration that suggests even very young children are able to participate in debate over their own learning. Hirst and Harđarson provide contrasting views on the issue of curriculum aims—Hirst arguing that a curriculum cannot exist without definable aims while Harđarson challenges the very notion of settled aims if students are to be reflexive regarding their education. The article also refers to the work of Alexander on the use of dialogic questioning in the classroom. Such questioning, it is suggested, enhances and encourages collaborative forms of enquiry necessary for a democratic curriculum through discussion between teachers, students and other stakeholders.
    • On tacit knowledge for philosophy of education

      Belas, Oliver (Springer, 2017-11-17)
      This article offers a detailed reading Gascoigne and Thornton’s book Tacit Knowledge (2013), which aims to account for the tacitness of tacit knowledge (TK) while preserving its status as knowledge proper. I take issue with their characterization and rejection of the existential-phenomenological Background—which they presuppose even as they dismiss—and their claim that TK can be articulated “from within”—which betrays a residual Cartesianism, the result of their elision of conceptuality and propositionality. Knowledgeable acts instantiate capacities which we might know we have and of which we can be aware, but which are not propositionally structured at their “core”. Nevertheless, propositionality is necessary to what Robert Brandom calls, in Making It Explicit (1994) and Articulating Reasons (2000), “explicitation”, which notion also presupposes a tacit dimension, which is, simply, the embodied person (the knower), without which no conception of knowledge can get any purchase. On my view, there is no knowledgeable act that can be understood as such separately from the notion of skilled corporeal performance. The account I offer cannot make sense of so-called “knowledge-based” education, as opposed to systems and styles which supposedly privilege “contentless” skills over and above “knowledge”, because on the phenomenological and inferentialist lines I endorse, neither the concepts “knowledge” nor “skill” has any purchase or meaning without the other.