The Curriculum Workshop: A Place for Deliberative Inquiry and Teacher Professional Learning

Nov. 20, 2008

Source: European Educational Research Journal, Volume 7 Number 4, pages 487-500. 2008.

In this paper, the curriculum workshop (CW) is elaborated as an approach to professional learning, deliberation and inquiry. It offers a comprehensive framework for school-based deliberation and inquiry. This approach is rooted in curriculum theory, promises a broad range of applications in teacher education and provides tools to assess the trustworthiness of processes and outcomes. The first section of the paper discusses the theoretical background of the CW by going back to Joseph Schwab’s idea of ‘the practical’, of deliberative inquiry in curricular groups. Building on these ideas, Karl Frey’s model of a ‘curriculum conference’ is presented. Elements of Schwab’s and Frey’s approaches are then modified and adapted to the CW. The second section asks how the CW was enacted in the framework of a European project on good practice in school-based teacher education. It presents exemplary outcomes and critically discusses the trustworthiness of the approach. The final section provides a summary of the outcomes and indicates directions for further research.

Updated: Mar. 09, 2009