1st Edition

Towards Powerful Educational Knowledge Perspectives from Educational Foundations, Curriculum Theory and Didaktik

Edited By Jim Hordern, Johan Muller, Deng Zongyi Copyright 2024

    This book explores what constitutes valid or powerful educational knowledge and the role of educational theorising in questions of educational practice. It examines the challenges facing the ‘deliberative’ educational knowledge traditions of educational foundations, curriculum theory and Didaktik as a consequence of the rising tide of empiricism in educational research, the ‘what works’ agenda in global educational reform and internal fragmentation within the traditions themselves.   

    By examining the potential for the reconfiguration or reconstruction of these traditions, the book explores the possibility of reinvigorating deliberative educational theorising in ways that could provide a meaningful basis for educators to conceptualise their practice, and a robust response to policies that seek to narrow educational activity to a focus solely on learning outcomes and technical efficiency.

    This insightful volume will be of interest to all those concerned about the future of education, and particular the relationship between educational theory and educational practice in curriculum studies, teacher education and professional development. It will be a key resource for teachers, curriculum developers, policy makers and researchers in the field of curriculum theory and didactics. The book was originally published as a special issue of Journal of Curriculum Studies.



    Introduction: Towards powerful educational knowledge? Addressing the challenges facing educational foundations, curriculum theory and Didaktik

    Jim Hordern, Johan Muller and Zongyi Deng


    1. Rethinking the foundations: towards powerful professional knowledge in teacher education in the USA and England          

    Brian Barrett and Jim Hordern


    2. A pedagogic compact: retrieving ‘powerful’ educational knowledge from Didaktik and curriculum studies           

    Johan Muller and Ursula Hoadley


    3.Constructing ‘powerful’ curriculum theory

    Zongyi Deng


    4. The shifting powers of educational knowledge: power relations between sociology and economics of education       

    Stephanie Allais and Yael Shalem


    5. Analysing micro-credentials in higher education: a Bernsteinian analysis           

    Leesa Wheelahan and Gavin Moodie


    6. Powerful educational knowledge through Subject Didactics and General Subject Didactics. Recent developments in German-speaking countries

    Helmut Johannes Vollmer


    Afterword: Bridging divides in educational theory? 

    Michael Young



    Jim Hordern is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Bath, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Plymouth and Visiting Professor at the University of Derby. His research interests are in educational knowledge and practice.

    Johan Muller is Professor Emeritus of Curriculum in the School of Education, and a senior research scholar at the University of Cape Town. He has published in the area of curriculum theory and policy, focusing on schooling and higher education. His most recent book, Curriculum and the Specialisation of Knowledge with Michael Young, was published in 2016.

    Zongyi Deng is Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the Institute of Education (IOE), University College London (UCL). He is also an executive editor of the Journal of Curriculum Studies (JCS) and has held faculty positions at Nanyang Technological University and the University of Hong Kong. His interest areas include curriculum content or subject matter, curriculum theory, didactics (Didaktik), curriculum policy and reform, and comparative and international education.