Page: 203-218 Author: DVOŘÁK, D. Key words: curriculum, educational content, sociology of education, social realism
This theoretical study highlights two circumstances that are limiting the quality of educational content: the absence of a theory of knowledge and problems with the communication of a conceptually demanding curriculum to some pupils from socio-culturally disadvantaged backgrounds. The late sociological work of Basil Bernstein may be helpful in overcoming both problems, and so this article outlines some of his ideas, which are less well known in the country. It also shows how these concepts are the premises of what is known as social realism as understood by M. Young and a group of Bernstein’s pupils. It describes two models of curriculum that are grounded in the notion of knowledge as system versus process. Ultimately a mixed model of teaching is presented, combining elements of traditional and progressive pedagogic theory and representing a promising way forward as regards communicating conceptually challenging curricula to a wide spectrum of pupils.