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Differing schools of thought: controversy over education curricula

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Differing schools of thought: controversy over education curricula

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What is the best way to design a school curriculum, and what subjects should be included? Can a national, one-size-fits-all programme really suit every school? Or is flexibility the key?

Those are issues under the spotlight in this edition of Learning World as we explore the themes at the heart of decision making on school curricula around the planet.

Maha Barada presents three stories typifying the debate. The first, from the UK, examines the arguments for and against a new curriculum for 5-14 year-olds being introduced this year in England (not the rest of the UK). The
controversial programme places renewed emphasis on fact-based learning.

The issues raised in the debate in England fall well within the remit of The International Bureau of Education in Geneva.

It is where school programmes and curricula for countries around the world are developed. It gives strategic advice and technical support to nations trying to innovate their own national curricula.

In our second report we hear from two IBE experts who give us their insight into the complex questions involved.

There is a school of thought that giving teachers and students more freedom to design their own school curricula gets better results. After all, not all schools are the same. But what does this mean in practice? In our third story we take a look at how one school in Italy decided to do break new ground, incorporating new pedagogic practices and technology, and how other schools have followed its lead.

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