English lessons: the changing nature of geography curriculum and assessment in England

Alan Kinder


Recent reforms to the national geography curriculum in England have been far reaching. Through “knowledge-led” reforms leading to the creation of a “core knowledge” geography curriculum, policy mak-ers have emphasised both greater rigour and increased curriculum freedom for teachers. As a consequence, the way in which teachers approach geographical knowledge, particularly place knowledge, is under re-examination. At the same time, the removal of a nationally-agreed set of progression statements means that standards for 5-14 year olds have effectively become a local matter. The English experience therefore pre-sents us with an opportunity to trace broad and international ideas in education, such as the “knowledge turn”, on national policies and subsequently on the pedagogy and assessment enacted by geography teach-ers.


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