Powerful knowledge and knowledgeable practice

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Abstract

This paper argues that Young and Muller’s ‘powerful knowledge’ requires a more extensive conceptualization of the relation between knowledge and practice. However, rather than focus on the ‘practice turn’ in social theory as Carlgren has suggested, it is argued that what Rouse terms a ‘normative practice’ can help explicate the specialized activities that make powerful knowledge possible. The idea of normative practice provides a basis for the systematic revisability and specialized communities that are said to underpin powerful knowledge, while also illuminating how teachers recontextualise knowledge and reconciling the role of experience with other types of knowledge in a curriculum. Normative practice provides a basis for specialized and ‘knowledgeable’ purposeful practice which suggests that knowledge is never ‘for its own sake’, but always in pursuit of something ‘at stake’, although that which is at stake is always prospective. Furthermore, it is only through generating inclusive and participative forms of (normative) knowledgeable practice that communities can acquire the characteristics that enable knowledge to become meaningful and accessible to all in society without retreating into elitism and obsolescence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Curriculum Studies
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jun 2021

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