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Knowledge in a Curriculum - Getting Beyond the Myths and Misconceptions, Christine Counsell

Event Date: 8 July 2021

Everyone seems to be talking about knowledge, but rarely is everyone talking about the same thing. All manner of myths and misconceptions abound, as well as some distorted and damaging practices.


Christine Counsell will set out the diverse origins of the ‘knowledge turn’, relate these to wider debates and indicate where knowledge as a curriculum idea can be misunderstood. She will argue that knowledge in curriculum is nothing to do with knowledge organisers and that we cannot build a curriculum from the science of memory. Christine will discuss the centrality of subjects in thinking about curriculum, and their implications for teacher development. She will build the argument for knowledge as one that is generative and fertile, as well as critical, radical and emancipatory.

Christine Counsell is an independent consultant supporting schools, partnerships, Trusts and Teaching Schools in curriculum and teacher development.

Following early teaching and leadership positions in state schools in Gloucestershire and Bristol, Christine worked as local authority adviser in primary and secondary schools. She then became Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge where she ran the history PGCE and specialised in the mentoring of new teachers. She then became Director of Education of a MAT serving areas of acute disadvantage in East Anglia. Alongside this she has worked nationally and internationally, as consultant, trainer and speaker, specialising in the teaching of history in post-conflict zones and working with policy-makers, teachers, leaders and scholars.

Christine is Editor of Teaching History, and she has published and edited many textbooks, academic books and articles on curriculum. In 2016 she served on the DfE Workload Solutions group and from 2017-19 she served on the Ofsted Curriculum Advisory Group that developed the current inspection framework. Christine serves on the Boards of David Ross Education Trust, Now Teach and Ark Curriculum Plus.

Time: 3.45pm to 5.15pm