The development of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: Amnesia and Déjà Vu



Priestley M & Humes W (2010) The development of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: Amnesia and Déjà Vu. Oxford Review of Education, 36 (3), pp. 345-361.

Scotland’s new Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) has been widely acknowledged as the most significant educational development in a generation, with the potential to transform learning and teaching in Scottish schools. In common with recent developments elsewhere, CfE seeks to re-engage teachers with processes of curriculum development, to place learning at the heart of the curriculum and to change engrained practices of schooling. This article draws upon well-established curriculum theory (notably the work of both Lawrence Stenhouse and A.V. Kelly) to analyse the new curriculum. We argue that by neglecting to take account of such theory, the curricular offering proposed by CfE is subject to a number of significant structural contradictions which may affect the impact that it ultimately exerts on learning and teaching; in effect, by ignoring the lessons of the past, CfE runs the risk of undermining the potential for real change.

curriculum; Scotland; Curriculum planning Scotland; Curriculum-based assessment

Oxford Review of Education: Volume 36, Issue 3

Publication date30/06/2010
Publication date online26/02/2010
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)

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Professor Mark Priestley

Professor Mark Priestley

Professor, Education