Is teaching knowledge brokering?


I’ve been pondering about knowledge brokering, which is what I do.

This links to the fact that I have a strong interest in things educational as you can see from most of my posts.

Last week Michael Gove, the English Minister for Education, announced proposals for a new set of qualifications in England to be studied by young people during their secondary education at what is currently considered to be GCSE level, taken around about the ages of 14-16. This despite no decisions on a pre-existing review of the English National Curriculum (ages 5-14) and A-level courses/qualifications (ages 16-18).

It was a bit like making a sandwich by setting down the filling first and then wondering how to get the bread slices around either side.

Notwithstanding this curious approach to education reform, the proposed new qualifications made me think whether a curriculum needs knowledge brokers.

What do I mean by this?

Well, let’s agree for argument’s sake that a school curriculum is primarily used to standardise knowledge of a specific subject and so ensure that teaching of that subject includes certain agreed principles, concepts and explanations. Teachers act as knowledge brokers between the authors of the texts/resources that are used to illustrate these principles, concepts and explanations, and the students who absorb and so hopefully understand what is being presented to them, to be confirmed through assessment of their work.

Successful teachers need to be both secure subject specialists and inspiring engagers of young minds.

This is quite a challenge.

But who says knowledge brokering is easy? I know it isn’t. And it would be even more difficult to create a curriculum for it, let alone assess any understanding of its principles, concepts and explanations, if this were considered either desirable or feasible.

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