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A Brief History of the Knowledge Curriculum in England

This project will seek to chart the history of ‘the knowledge curriculum movement’ in England, studying both the academics that formed the core ideas and the people on the ground who implemented them.

We are seeking to show that the knowledge movement is not some ‘top down’ reform enacted by a small pool of politicians seeking to keep the societal status quo. Instead, was a grassroots movement by both academics and practitioners that sought to find the best education possible to give to children, and came to the inescapable conclusion that this was the way to it.

Through illustrating this narrative, we will (hopefully!) give readers the chance to understand both the history of the movement, and also the key ideas that form it, in a more accessible way than some of the current literature. Hopefully, the pamphlet will deepen readers’ understanding of the movement – even those who are very familiar with the works of Hirsch, Young etc. After all, we wouldn’t expect our pupils to understand a great intellectual or political movement without understanding its history and origins – why should we be any different?

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