What Is the Purpose of Schools?

  • Richard Bustin


Alongside the ‘capability approach’, a ‘big picture’ of the school curriculum can be provided by The National Curriculum, classical trivium, and Habits of Mind. Informing these debates include the changing priorities of Government legislation, changing examination criteria, and an increased focus on ‘pedagogy’ not ‘curriculum’. The ‘status’ of geography in schools differs worldwide; in English schools geography is often taught as part of humanities, or becomes a vehicle for citizenship, but in contrast in the USA geography depends on State and is often part of social studies; and in Finland geography has close links to biological sciences. The International Geographic Union’s ‘Charter on Geographic Education’ sets aspirations for a universal standard of geography education. Geography has the potential to be hugely significant in education through the notions of powerful knowledge and ‘capabilities’; this can provide an alternative ‘big picture’ of a curriculum and move beyond some of the challenges identified.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Bustin
    • 1
  1. 1.Worcester ParkUK

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