What counts as knowledge in teaching and learning processes? The curriculum as stated and the curriculum as enacted

Year: 2004

Author: Krieg, Susan, Sharp, Sue

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The connections between what counts as knowledge (as defined in the documented curriculum), and teaching and learning processes enacted within pre-service teacher education programs are often difficult to find. This paper investigates connections between the curriculum (as stated) and the curriculum (as enacted) within a particular unit within the Kindergarten through Primary teacher education program offered at Edith Cowan University. The curriculum analysis presented in the paper makes explicit the role that the documented curriculum plays in institutional settings, in naming and organising the knowledge that is considered essential and valuable within particular contexts and explores the relationship between this and teaching and learning processes.

Maher and Tetrault (1999) describe a division between knowledge and pedagogy that exists in many higher education institutions. These researchers argue that this split is related to the epistemological position that sees knowledge as a disinterested search for universal truth, and that within this frame, knowledge is disconnected from the processes under which it is produced. This division denies any concept of knowledge as an evolving process, and in this denial, reduces the roles of teachers and students as active constructors of new knowledge. The paper describes pedagogy enacting a curriculum that connects epistemological positions with teaching and learning processes.