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Who Structures the Curriculum: Teacher or Learner?

Peter Freyberg and Roger Osborne

Curriculum developers have in the past almost invariably structured and developed curricula from the perspective of the teacher. Our contention is that no matter what curriculum framework is employed, nor what principles teachers use in
organizing the subject matter, learners are going to structure that subject matter in their own way. Up till now teachers have found it difficult to pay more than lip-service to the idea of 'starting where the learner is', because they have had neither the time nor the opportunity to find out what structures of knowledge children already possess. Children's responses, as interpreted by teachers, often give teachers a misleading impression of what children 'know'. If curriculum workers can uncover some of these discrepancies, teachers will be in a better position to help children restructure their knowledge so that it makes increasing sense to them.

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