Curriculum

Tom Campbell suggests in “The Purpose of Education” that the purpose of education is often defined through specific outcomes. Campbell suggests, however that the purpose of educatio

n is how one benefits form their learning. Nodding to a House speaker in North Carolina, Campbell iterates that the purpose of education is to graduate citizens with the skills necessary for the current marketplace. Consequently, education is therefore to teach students how to be good citizens. Further, Campbell suggests that education should ensure the public enjoys life while thinking critically and appreciating cultural benefits.


A lot of emphasis has been on global citizenship as of late. Global citizenship suggests that the public has rights and responsibilities that comes with being a citizen of the entire world. This emphasis encourages the public to begin to understand issues around the environment, human rights, and social justice as everyone is affected by these principles.

Curriculum, what is taught and what is absorbed, helps shape the education of students. Both learned and hidden curriculum, by this notion, should be exposing students to issues which impact them at the present and issues which will be experienced in the future. Through this, students are working with issues which directly influence the current marketplace.


Learned curriculum is everything students learn in schools, including how to line up or how not to run in the halls. The hidden curriculum includes everything else students learn at school, from slang and socializing, to current events of interest to a particular teacher (Fautley, 2010). Moreover, there is often gaps between the taught curriculum and what is learned by the student resulting from motivation, attention spans, and cognitive abilities (Glatthorn, 2001).


Regardless of what is being learned, an education is often fostered through ‘buy-in’ of the students. “Critical Practice in Elementary Schools” argues that there is potential for schools to enact critical pedagogy, extend voice to students, and foster a democratic education. Consequently, it is through these approaches can provide a better educational experience for students. Vibert et al make evident the interrelationship between curriculum, voice, and community. A school which allows for exploring and problematizing central issues in the lives of the students helps students feel deeply connected to their learning. “The curriculum of life”, notes Vibert, is found in more than just aspects of curriculum but in community relations, discipline policy, and in school culture.


Campbell’s suggestion that curriculum shuld foster skills relating to global citizenship leads nicely into Vibert’s article which states that the curriculum of life is what can improve education. Consequently, it is necessary to be ensuring students are being exposed to the issues which directly impact their worlds and the world at large to ensure buy-in and capable members of society.

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