Designing a curriculum in secondary subjects

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This case study is written by James Tomlinson, Curriculum Leader of Geography at MEA Central. As you read this case study, reflect on how the curriculum has been shaped and developed. Take some time to think about how some of these approaches might translate to your own context. Designing a Curriculum To define curriculum, Lambert and Hopkin, (2014) describe it as the answer to the question of what to teach in schools and why. The ‘why’ is important. At the start of my career and in my first Head of Department role I was asked what my vision for geography was, I replied ‘to put geography on the map’, and the pun was intended. Nobody ever questioned this very fluid and disconnected take on the importance of my subject. I was left to just get on with it. The result was a curriculum that worked; we got through it and increased option uptake and outcomes at GCSE, but not to its full potential. There was no ‘intent’ or vision; I rarely made a point of geography’s ‘

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