In Curriculum Martin Robinson dares to confront those schools who define their curriculum as -˜knowledge rich' by questioning whether their vision for education is good enough. It is an honest attempt by an experienced teacher to answer Eliot's enduring questions of where we might find the wisdom that we have lost in knowledge, and the knowledge that we have lost in information.
Appealing both to teachers nervous of a return to Gradgrind's -˜facts alone' and those troubled by the romantic ideals of progressivism, Robinson lays out with crystal clarity the questions confronting schools and their leaders in the aftermath of the turn away from a skills agenda and back to knowledge. And like a Virgil in tweed, he leads us on a fascinating journey down the corridors of our corporate-grey schools amid their perils of spreadsheets, tick-boxes, technology and bureaucracy -“ finally exposing the cold, dead eyes of what's behind the mechanism ticking at the heart of teaching today. Yet this is only the first movement of a symphony in celebration of the place of the human at the centre of education, as the book also represents a vital intervention in the current debate around curriculum. Drawing on the insights of phenomenology, Robinson calls for school subject planning to be reinvested with a fresh kind of humanism. If curriculum is to be productive, it must be made a pursuit of Athena -“ the goddess of wisdom. He shows that unless teaching and learning are understood as quests for human freedom, curriculum risks becoming yet another buzzword fad.
In a work infused with the same remarkable breadth of reading and grasp of detail that made Trivium 21c such an accessible but intellectually rich work, Robinson deftly sets out what school leaders, teachers, pupils and their parents must do if we are to discover the knowledge that will make us all wise.