Children And Their Curriculum

One major challenge of the book is thus to those who hear pupils’ voices in a spirit of interest, sympathy or amusement, but make no commitment to analysis and follow-up action. We wish to move beyond such forms of sentiment and indulgence. A second major challenge is to those who interpret childhood in purely developmental terms, for we fear that such perceptions ultimately limit our approaches to understanding what is important to pupils in relation to their experience.

However, the most important challenge is to those who ignore pupil perspectives altogether. This might be said of many adults, but it is particularly important in the case of those policy-makers and politicians who strive to introduce systemic educational ‘reforms’ and extensive, centralized curricula. Our overall argument is that taking pupil perspectives seriously can contribute to the quality of school life, the raising of standards of educational achievement and understanding of many important educational issues. We would also argue the converse, that to ignore or underplay the significance of pupil perspectives can undermine the quality of school life, learning achievements and the development of understanding.

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