Teaching and learning processes are concerned with learning something. In schools, reference is made to curriculum and subjects although these terms are less familiar, or have other meanings, in post-compulsory and higher education settings. Across the lifecourse, learning within domains presents conceptual and procedural challenges that are highly contested, not least because of the different interests of different stakeholders.
TLRP has taken a broad and inclusive view of the aims of education, curricula and worthwhile knowledge, whilst recognising the inevitable values dimension. This is expressed in principles one and two of its evidence-informed pedagogic principles (which have also been adapted for HE and Higher Skills development, see the commentaries on Effective learning and teaching in UK higher education and Higher Skills development at work).
The TLRP thematic seminar series Curriculum, Domain Knowledge and Pedagogy has explored the theoretical issues underpinning new conceptions of domain knowledge, and their implications for pedagogy and teacher education. Outputs from this seminar have been published by The Curriculum Journal.
Many projects within TLRP have focused on teaching and learning within specific domains.
In schools, the projects conducted by Nunes, Bryant, Hurry and colleagues carried out experiments in relation to learning spelling and fractions, whilst Millar, Leach, Osborne and Ratcliffe focused on learning ‘big ideas’ in science. The findings of the science projects fed directly into the new 21st century science GCSE and into TLRP’s Commentary on Science Education in Schools.
Other schools projects focused on the implementation of new practices across the subjects of the curriculum, such as the use of ICT and thinking Skills (e.g ICT and InterActive Teaching and ACTS II ).
In higher education, the importance of learning ways of thinking and practising is reflected in the ETL Project of Hounsell and colleagues and Carmichael and colleagues TEL project on the learning of threshold concepts.
Within and beyond universities and schools there is also a lively debate about the relationship between academic and other forms of knowledge, especially skills and dispositions. The SOMUL Project focussed on this aspect of the organisation of the curriculum in universities, as did the project of Hayward and colleagues. The TLRP 14-19 HE and HSD commentaries also dealt with these issues.
Other projects, in post-compulsory settings, have focussed on learning in specific domains of practice, such as musical performance (and also here), clinical reasoning and haptics in dentistry .
Publications related to the general theme of curriculum are listed below: