Activity 5

Overall curriculum aims

A key idea in White's pamphlet is evident in the following statement:

"We want all young people to have a successful life. This means success in worthwhile activities and relationships which they have freely engaged in and which they pursue wholeheartedly".

REFLECT: How valuable is this idea of ‘personal self-fulfilment' as an educational aim? How important are personal autonomy and the freedom to engage in activities and relationships? How important is ‘wholeheartedness'? What counts as ‘worthwhile'?

READ: Read "5. School aims - a proposal" and "6. Rationale" from John White's pamphlet Impact 14 in which he explains in greater detail what he believes a school curriculum should aim for: his explanation is expressed around the headings of personal fulfilment, social and civic involvement, contribution to the economy and practical wisdom.

WRITE: Write about the relevance of John White's curriculum aims to education in a school system of your own choice. Comment on the strengths and weaknesses of his formulation from your own point of view. What sort of people do you want your chosen education system to produce? What sort of qualities should they have and what should they be able to do?

(Allow 40 minutes)