Concept of ‘curriculum lag’

Why is some practice in schools seemingly behind what is in the most  recent version of the curriculum? What slows down, filters or even stops curriculum development from happening?

Thinkng about skills and knowledge and how they develop got me on to the idea of curriculum lag. The history if design and technology in schools is one of rapid change – mirroring the changes in design and technological practice in the ‘outside world’. In order to keep up with change, design and technology practice by teachers – supported by medium and short-term planning must change. Reality is that it does not. Some schools still roll out activities that I recognise from teaching in the early 90’s whilst others use digital media to model, refine and make 3-D products.

Perhaps the lag is caused by the climate of performativity in which results and so critical that teachers do what they know works and are reluctant to change for fear of a drop in standards? Could there be a link with the age and experience of staff?

Whatever the cause, the differences in practice is not helpful and some research on this area would be worthwhile – perhaps in the future…


About Mike Martin

Teacher educator based at Liverpol John Moores University in the UK. Researching subject knowledge of pre-service teachers.
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