Miller K, Edwards R & Priestley M (2004) Cultures of curriculum making in post-compulsory education: the shared curriculum between school and college. Annual Conference of the British Educational Research Association, Manchester, UK, 16.09.2004-16.09.2004.
Abstract Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, 3-6 September 2008.
This paper presents and discusses some preliminary findings from an ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) funded project "Cultures of Curriculum Making." This paper explores findings that have identified two important factors that influence the process of translation of prescribed curricula, through the described curricula, (Bloomer 1997) and into the enacted curricula. The study was undertaken over a 15-month period within a matched Scottish high school and a Scottish further education college. The research methods are ethnographic including documentary analysis of the prescribed curricula, interviews of various types aimed at exploring the described curricula and observations of the enacted curriculum. Thematic analysis of the data drew attention to the importance of individual and organisational factors in the translations of curricula enactment. This paper presents three subject case studies that highlight the importance of moving from a rational conception of curricula, which presumes that learning at a particular level has equivalences across organisational contexts, to a practice based approach. We conclude that it is important to take a practice focused view of the curriculum and to realise the ways in which the enacted curriculum is differentiated in order to avoid false assumptions about achievement, articulation and progression.