Control of the curriculum and the competence of teachers
The question of who ought to have control of the curriculum was a dormant issue poked alive by a succession educational ideologues, government commissions and concerned segments of the public, since the 1960s. For the free school movement, community education movement, Plowden Report, Great Debate and Taylor Report each had recommendations for who ought to determine the aims, content and methods of curriculum - an issue that in earlier days had been of rather less concern than the matter of what ought to be on the curriculum. The most frequently supported contenders for control of the curriculum are students, parents, the teaching profession, educational experts, the state or some form of participatory arrangement that would include some or all of these. What is of particular interest to the philosopher in this are the lines of justification that can be offered for these potential decision-makers. There are, of course, different sorts of argument, for example moral and political justifications. But fundamental is the issue of competence. If we are concerned about the quality of education we provide children, we must know who is the most competent to determine curriculum. This thesis considers the question 'Who is most competent to control the curriculum? ', and in doing so takes, one by one, the various potential decision-makers and considers from the point of view of competence the case that can be made in their favour. This is facilitated by an analysis of the concept of competence and the nature of knowledge required by a curriculum decision-maker. The position taken in the thesis is that, all things considered, the teaching profession is more likely to be competent than the other alternatives. Consequently, curriculum, for most part, ought to be left in the hands of the teaching profession.