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Is the contemporary school curriculum in the UK a socially constructed ideology?

Background on the role of education and schooling in society


It is a well-known fact that the humans get knowledge from society. There is no human endeavour that found to be without moral and values. Values and beliefs, both are conscious and unconscious, of its proponents. Schooling in children’s life plays an important role. Some of the children and parents take school education for granted but it is not true in reality. Giving education and following school curriculum gives a structured and stratified element of social relations in the society. In school, time is a crucial framework for pupils and teachers to negotiate their social status, local social and cultural practices, mediate the mechanism of power, and control. However, new technologies used in the education field are beginning to disrupt this finely tuned aspect of instructional life that leads to the formation of new learning. These learning will be self-determined and self-learning for a student in his life. This will allow learning them the new forms and values of society that will take place in the classroom and in timetable-based models. The social curriculum followed in the UK is similar to the culture followed in the society whereas there are some deviations too (McLaren, 2015). 

Before doing the research on this topic, I considered the UK to be the country in which the education is given much importance in the society. The country like UK in which all age and income group people are there and want their children to be educated well. Knowing the norms, rules, and regulations of the society is the want of all parents and family (Topping, 2012). The mobility of the culture has increased in the country. This implies that people are living apart from their families. However, the kinship relationship is remaining the regular communication and family reunions. However, from the past decades, it can see that the people from the varied background had greater access to the higher education and business opportunities that are leveling the wealth distribution in the country. This will increase the upward mobility in the country. Hence, the middle class and the working class become more homogenous in the country as there is still too much elite a privileged class in Britain (McLaren, 2016).

However, after doing the research I come to know that the social ideology followed in the UK is something which brings the unity and integration in the working for the individual. The school curriculum specifies the behaviour and norm to follow in the society by the individual. The UK economy supports the education in such a manner that will bring the best result out of the options available to them. The best available option available to the government in the UK is that providing the free education to the children living there. Not only the government is contributing to the development of the individual in the social factors among the individuals but the individuals are also learning the societal factors considered the best to adopt (Roberts, 2016). In my point of view, the factors that taken into consideration in societal factors which are there in school curriculum are the lifestyle, educational and cultural factors (Ball, 2012). 

The social curriculum in the UK: similarities and deviations from the wider culture

Nevertheless, after doing the research, many other factors should also be taken into the consideration to facilitate the proper education and learning to the students in their school days.  The proper education and knowledge is the right of each and everyone in the society. The person who follows the nature and culture of the society is the person who will have the more goodwill and respect in the society. In a country like the UK, the education gives free to the students to increase the literacy level in the country. This will encourage the parents to send their child to the school. This will help to develop them the communication and diversity knowledge in the society. Normally the education divided into two separate stages. They begin with the primary education at the age of five and this usually last until they are eleven.  The focus of the curriculum of UK focuses on developing the students for their future growth throughout the years of their education. In the early age of 2 to 5 years, the focus is given on the giving the notion and literacy.  Through their active participation in the playful activities that will helpful in development of the country (Spring, 2016). 

The education given cannot be value-free and neutral. It is also important to understand the social factors present in the society while evaluating all the present and past factors as well as the different views on the education. Understanding the nature of society and the purpose of education plays an important role in the development of an individual. The nature of the education depicts the type of education is give in the curriculum to give the utmost knowledge and information to the students studying in the school (Stewart, Nicholson, Smith and Hoye, 2018).

This will not only able to promote the social culture and needs but also fulfills the individual social requirement of the person. Every individual in the society expects to have the want of having the equal reputation and respect which he gets from the society and this can only be done when they are educated enough to give and take the respect from each and other person living in the society (Street, 2014). 

The curriculum of the students in the UK includes art design, citizenship, computing, geography, languages, music, history, and technology. Previously the UK has less technology in the economy but after the people get educated and knowledgeable, they started developing the new strategies and technologies in the business and environment that will benefit the individual and society to grow more in the society. The cultural ensures that each individual will experience a wide variety of high quality in the cultural experiences, ensuring both the quality and best use of the public investment (Kalantzis and Cope, 2014). 

Factors to consider in evaluating the UK school curriculum

To my knowledge, I consider the social factors to follow in the curriculum of each school whether it is in the UK or any other any country. This will develop the ability of the children to understand the culture followed in the society. This will make help in learning the other nation’s culture too as all the society focus on following the ethical decision taken by everyone in the society. Coordination and integration with the cultural factor of the country make the person able to interpret the changes done in the society. To cope with the changes done in the society, the understanding of the culture and society should be there. This is the reason in the school curriculum, all this teaching will give to the student in their school life (Commisceo global, 2017).

Afterward at the age of 5 to 11, when children have shifted to the primary schools, the focus will shift to the other important things. The focus gives on developing the communication skill and etiquettes to behave in the environment. The relation and values of human, science, technology, art has taught to them to develop the multi-disciplinary topics and knowledge through these subjects (Jarvie, 2013). At this point, some people think that they are developing the innovative approaches to jointly following the curriculum in the society with groups of academies or free schools.  According to my research, it was found that the statement was quite true that the school curriculum in the UK a socially constructed. All the teaching given by the teachers are based in the society and all the teachers are focus on giving the students the best moral and ethical value so that they can contribute more to the society (Holzman, 2016). 

The teacher guides their student in such a way that they are getting the best values from their teaching. The teacher focus on giving the educative and informative knowledge about the society that how they have to behave in the society while maintaining their personal reputation in the society. The teachings given in the curriculum related to the behaviour and etiquettes followed in the society and their studies also tell them how their ancestor played and behave in the society. One of the curriculum studied by the students are history in which they are taught all the ethically an unethical work done the rulers and their impact (Commisceo global, 2017). Teaching this subject in their curriculum is the only mean that whoever adopts the social and ethical nature in their life will survive more and get the success than the person who is following or using the unethical practices in their work. Good and moral values taught to them so that they can adopt only those values that are good in nature and are able to differentiate between the socially responsible activity and non-social activities existed in the society. The only person who can able to differentiate between the good and bad activities in the society is the person itself (Grogan, 2016). Another example can be taken as the culture followed in the school of UK that their curriculum teaches them the activities that are done in their past. The technological inventions done in the society is for the welfare of society.

The importance of social factors in education

When they more grew up, at the age of 11 to 14, the focus is given on building the students ability to work in the competitive environment independently and can able to develop the critical thinking in their thought process. Upper secondary students are taking the diploma and other degrees that make them specialize in a particular subject or field that gives a person the uniqueness in them. The teaching given to the children in school is a social ideology as it teaches the entire individual that all the work should do within the boundaries of the society. Any work done without the permission or unethically in the society is not acceptable in the society. All this teaching a person gets from his school curriculum only. The school will teach them all the requirements that need to be fulfilled in the society (Fairclough, 2014). 

However, there are also some negatives issues involved in the curriculum in which grading and ranking are fine in which there will be differentiation done among the students which make them feel to be separated and alone from the other (Valentine, 2017). Development of this feeling in the individual brings an adverse and negative impact on the society. The differentiation is done in the society on the curriculum-followed ion the school brings the many advantages for the society. People start following the wrong way to implement their plans and procedures. They will try to succeed in the market and society by hook and crook. They start thinking that what they are thinking is always right rather than what the society is thinking and preferring (Delamont, 2016). 

To implement this change properly in the environment various measures taken by the government and society so that no children will get the wrong belief and thought about the society and its culture followed. The books and curriculum designed in such a way that the students get the knowledge that based on the various assumptions followed in the society (McNair, 2017). The lifestyle followed in the UK based on the things that are modern in nature. The curriculum also followed the same pattern in teaching. The methods and patterns used in the teaching are unique and different in nature and the faster channel of communication followed. The use of technology that found updated in nature that makes the students also to learn and grab the new things from it. The use of smart classes and tabs in the classroom makes them know the new updating present in the market (Banks, 2015). 

The UK curriculum: subjects and focus

On the other hand, there is a negative side also, that students got the high learning and teaching from their classrooms sessions. This will make them talented but also develop the skill, which makes them move in the wrong direction. These may include opposing the social policy made by the society, not believing in the facts that are old in nature (Commisceo global, 2017).

Another factor, which takes into consideration, is that the religion followed in society. The UK peoples found to be the Christians in nature. In UK, first name known as the ‘Christian Name’, although this has little to do with the religion today. The traditional followed by a middle name and then the family name that in the UK is known as the surname. This will teach to the individual in their school days so that they will also follow this culture in  society. In the previous centuries, children tended to name after a member of the family or a religious figure. Catholic families have named their children in particular tend to be their children names based on the name of saints (Berkenkotter and Huckin, 2016). 

The school curriculum teaches the individual way to wear clothes in gathering. The knowledge and information relating to the formal and informal wear told to student in school. This will able to develop the feeling and sense of dressing which individual while live in society should do. The person lives in society should also have manners and etiquette that they are addressed to the individuals. In addition to the professional titles, such as doctor or professor, it is polite to refer to men with Mr and women as Mrs or Miss. Formal titles should use unless stated otherwise (Chaucer and Ellis, 2014). 

From the above discussion, it can conclude that tradition is the major determinant and influence on the education system in general, on the national curriculum and on teacher’s pedagogy in schools. While looking at the discussion, it can say national cultural traditions are the philosophical base on which system built. Without understanding this pedagogy and changes done in society, the success cannot predict by individuals. The debate on school curriculum constructed purely through using the social factors. Majority of the points, which we have discussed in discussion, are in favour of society. The teaching includes in UK are relevant and are focussed towards socially developing the individual so that they can become a good citizen of the country. The focus of school curriculum focus on teaching lessons, which relates to the ethical practices done by their ancestors by teaching them their past stories. The subjects like history and other stories are teaching them to know the great leaders and persons. All these stories have socially responsible as well as an unethical person does too and result from these stories that individual comes to know about the right and wrong of a person. The path, which a person has to choose to become a successful man, taught through those lessons.

References

Ball, S.J. (2012) Politics and policy-making in education: Explorations in sociology. Oxon: Routledge.

Banks, J.A. (2015) Cultural diversity and education. Oxon: Routledge.

Berkenkotter, C. and Huckin, T.N. (2016) Genre knowledge in disciplinary communication: Cognition/culture/power. Oxon: Routledge.

Chaucer, G. and Ellis, S. (2014) Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales. Oxon: Routledge.

Commisceo global. (2017) Award Winning Culture Guide [Online] Available from: https://www.commisceo-global.com/resources/country-guides/uk-guide [Accessed on: 10th july 2018]

Delamont, S. (2016) Fieldwork in educational settings: Methods, pitfalls and perspectives. Oxon: Routledge.

Fairclough, N. (2014) Critical language awareness. Oxon: Routledge.

Grogan, S. (2016) Body image: Understanding body dissatisfaction in men, women and children. Oxon: Routledge.

Holzman, L. (2016) Schools for growth: radical alternatives to current education models. Oxon: Routledge.

Jarvie, G. (2013) Sport, culture and society: an introduction. Oxon: Routledge.

Kalantzis, M. and Cope, B., 2014. The powers of literacy (RLE Edu I): A genre approach to teaching writing. Oxon: Routledge.

McLaren, P. (2015) Life in schools: An introduction to critical pedagogy in the foundations of education. Oxon: Routledge.

McLaren, P. (2016) Critical pedagogy. This fist called my heart: the Peter McLaren reader, 1, p.27.

McNair, B. (2017) An introduction to political communication. Oxon: Routledge.

Roberts, J. (2016) Language teacher education. Oxon: Routledge.

Spring, J. (2016) Deculturalization and the struggle for equality: A brief history of the education of dominated cultures in the United States. Oxon: Routledge.

Stewart, B., Nicholson, M., Smith, A.C. and Hoye, R. (2018) Sport management: principles and applications. Oxon: Routledge.

Street, B.V. (2014) Social literacies: Critical approaches to literacy in development, ethnography and education. Oxon: Routledge.

Topping, F.  (2012) Act your age!: A cultural construction of adolescence. Oxon: Routledge.

Valentine, G. (2017) Public space and the culture of childhood. Oxon: Routledge.

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My Assignment Help. 'Is The Contemporary School Curriculum In The UK A Socially Constructed Ideology?' (My Assignment Help, 2020) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/exe723-curriculum-and-assessment-design/contemporary-school-curriculum-in-the-uk.html> accessed 21 May 2024.

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