In seeking to understand the curriculum, an insight into historical developments and a consideration of the development of education policy provides a useful starting point. Cunningham; Aldrich; Coffey; Tomlinson: Docking; and Jones all provide a historical perspective.
- Aldrich, R. (2001) A Century of Education, London: RoutledgeFalmer
- Coffey, A. (2001) Education and Social Change, Buckingham: Open University Press
- Tomlinson, S. (2001) Education in a Post-Welfare Society, Buckingham: Open University Press
- Cunningham, P. (1988) Curriculum Change in the Primary School Since 1945: Dissemination of the Progressive Ideal, London: Falmer
- Jones, K. (2003) Education in Britain: 1944 to the Present, Cambridge: Polity Press
- Wyse, D., Baumfield, V., Egan, D., Hayward, L., Hulme, M., Menter, I., Gallagher, C., Leitch, R., Livingston, K. and Lingard, B. (2013) Creating the Curriculum, Abingdon: Routledge.
- Fautley, M. L., Hatcher, R. and Millard, E. (2011) Remaking the Curriculum: Re-Engaging Young People in Secondary School, London: IOE Press.
- White, J. and Reiss, M. (2013) An Aims-Based Curriculum: the Significance of Human Flourishing for Schools, London: IOE Press.
- Scott, D. (2008) Critical Essays on Major Curriculum Theorists, Abingdon: Routledge.
- Young, M. (2008) Bringing Knowledge Back in: From Social Constructivism to Social Realism in the Sociology of Education, Abingdon: Routledge.
- Clarke, P. (2011) Education for Sustainability: Becoming Naturally Smart, Abingdon: Routledge.
- Taylor, K. and Woolley, R. (2013) Values and Vision in Primary Education, Maidenhead: Open University Press
- Wedell, M. (2009) Planning for Educational Change: Putting People and their Contexts First, London: Continuum
Numerous writers, such as Oliver and White, examine education policy and change:
- Oliver, A. (2004) Primary Education in England, in Browne, A. & Haylock, D. (eds) Professional Issues for Primary Teachers, London: Paul Chapman
- White, J. (ed) (2004) Rethinking the School Curriculum: Values, Aims and Purposes, London: RoutledgeFalmer
They provide challenging and illuminating perspectives for anyone considering the impact of education policy on the nature of current and future curricula in schools. Writers in this area include Whitty and Altrichter & Elliot:
- Whitty, G. (2002) Making Sense of Education Policy: Studies in the Sociology and Politics of Education, London : Paul Chapman
- Altrichter, H. and Elliot, J. (eds) (2000) Images of Educational Change, Buckingham: Open University Press
Chitty; Alexander; Osborn et al; Claxton et al.; Burbules & Alberto Torres; Matheson; Ward; Schiro provide revealing international comparisons and perspectives:
- Chitty, C. (2001) Understanding Schools and Schooling, London : RoutledgeFalmer
- Alexander, R. (2000) Culture and Pedagogy: International Comparisons in Primary Education, Oxford : Blackwell
- Osborn, M., Broadfoot, P., McNess, E., Ravn, B., Dlanel, C., and Triggs, P. (2003) Comparing Learners Across Europe: A World of Difference? Buckingham, Open University Press
- Claxton, G., Pollard, A. and Sutherland, R. (eds) (2003) Learning and Teaching Where Worldviews Meet, Stoke-on-Trent : Trentham
- Burbules, N. and Alberto Torres, C. (2000) Globalization and Education, London: RoutledgeFalmer
- Matheson, D. (2004) An Introduction to the Study of Education, London: David Fulton
- Ward, S. (2004) Education Studies: A Student’s Guide, London: RoutledgeFalmer
- Schiro, M.S. (2007) Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns, London: Sage.
Hargreaves & Fullan and Quicke, in different ways, examine what curriculum it is worth having in the 21st century:
- Hargreaves, A. and Fullan, M. (1998) What's Worth Fighting For In Education? Buckingham: Open University Press
- Quicke, J. (1999) A Curriculum for Life: Schools for a Democratic Learning Society, Buckingham: Open University Press
Alexander and others have produced helpful, and challenging, analyses of primary education and primary teaching. Riley and Prentice make clear the central need for a broad and balanced curriculum for primary pupils.
- Alexander R. J., Wilcocks, J., Kinder, K. and Nelson, N. (1995) Versions of Primary Education, London : Routledge
- Alexander, R. (1998) ‘Basics, Cores and Choices: Towards a New Primary Curriculum’, in Education 3-13, Vol. 26, No. 2
- Riley, J. and Prentice, R. (1999) The Curriculum for 7-11 Year Olds, London: Paul Chapman
In considering how the concept of the 'whole curriculum' is much wider than the official curriculum, Jackson (Reading 6.1) and Meighan point to the profound effects that the 'hidden curriculum' has on pupils' self-esteem. Bonnett provides an incisive philosophical overview of issues that are fundamental to the construction of the curriculum, whilst Moore addresses key issues and dominant theories of teaching and learning that impact on its nature.
- Meighan, R. (1981) The Sociology of Educating, London : Holt, Rinehart & Winston
- Bonnett, M. (1993) Thinking and Understanding in the Primary School Curriculum, London: Cassell
- Moore, A. (2000) Teaching and Learning: Pedagogy, Curriculum and Culture, London: Routledge Falmer
Ross presents an analysis of the curriculum in the context of how society is constituted and in terms of views of assessment. Kelly takes a global look at the curriculum, questioning the form it should take in a genuinely democratic society.
- Ross, A. (2001) What Is the Curriculum? In Collins, J., Insley, K., and Soler, J. (eds) Developing Pedagogy, London: Paul Chapman.
- Kelly, A.V. (2004) The Curriculum: Theory and Practice -5th. Edition, London: Paul Chapman.
Egan attempts a different approach to the problems of structuring a curriculum linking pupil development, imagination, and learning to it.
- Egan, K. (1991) Primary Understanding, London: Routledge.
- Egan, K. (1991) Romantic Understanding, London: Routledge.
Norris presents an eclectic mix of commentary and thinking on the nature of curriculum drawn from 35 years of the Cambridge Journal of Education. It is in three parts - defining the curriculum problem; framing educational experience; teachers and teaching.
- Norris, N. (2008) Curriculum and the Teacher, London: Routledge.