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Title: Influencing a curriculum : an analysis of the historical evolution of farming resources and their impact on the 5-14 Environmental Studies curriculum
Author: Amyes, Dorothy Mary Gregory
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis addresses the historical dimensions of farming in relation to the Scottish education system and the curriculum. Within the theoretical concerns of curriculum context and change, this work explores the role of culture and the selection of knowledge to provide an understanding of current economic and social role of farming. It delineates the key Scottish agricultural organisations involved in curriculum developments and it examines the relative influence of these groups, particularly during periods of intense involvement by the State in curriculum change. It will be seen that at various occasions throughout this period leading players from the agricultural and landowning interests, either individually or as groups, recognised the importance of formal education systems for furthering their causes. Initially, it will be argued they attempted to use the education system to retain their positions of power and control in the existing rural hegemony. During the 20th century the power of the farmer and landowner diminished considerably due to social, political and economic reasons. Today, they seek to use the education system, and the curricula in particular, to help the urban population to gain an understanding of countryside matters and, thus, to influence both the political debate and the decision making process. In this thesis it is argued that the present curriculum, Curriculum and Assessment in Scotland National Guidelines 5-14, is open to outside influences and the views of interest groups such as the farming lobby, on a new and unprecedented scale. By the application of questionnaires and interviews, this thesis demonstrates that certain groups with interests in rural matters have grasped the opportunities to influence the curriculum. However, it is found that nationally the Scottish agricultural community has been unable to respond to the challenges presented to them by the 5-14 Guidelines, on a scale equal to that of other organisations with countryside interests. Indeed, it is concluded that, while those from the countryside are demanding a greater understanding of the issues affecting them, and the curriculum provides opportunities for children to gain an understanding of farming and the management of the countryside, these opportunities are in danger of being lost by the persistent changes in educational policy and direction of the Scottish agricultural community.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available