Home> MarkPriestley


Mark Priestley is currently Professor Education and Director of the Curriculum and Pedagogy Research Cluster in the School of Education, University of Stirling. His research interests relate to the school curriculum (especially curriculum change) and the professional work of teachers. He started his career in education as a teacher of History, working in a number of secondary schools in England and New Zealand. Since arriving at the School of Education at Stirling in 2001, he has taken on a number of roles: Director of Initial Teacher Education between 2004 and 2007; Director of the First Year Undergraduate Programme between 2009 and 2011; and Director Postgraduate Research 2013-14. External Roles include: Editor of the Scottish Educational Review (2007-2010); Council Member for the British Educational Research Association (BERA); Chair of the BERA Academic Publications Committee (2014-present); and Co-Convenor of the European Educational Research Association Network 3, Curriculum Innovation (2014-present). He is a regular user of social media (blog and twitter: @markrpriestley). Publications are listed in this link 
Keynote Abstract 
The ‘New Curriculum’: Policy into Practice in Scotland

In recent years, many countries have developed new national curriculum frameworks, designed to meet the challenges posed by rapid technological and social change. Such curricula tend to have a number of common features: a focus on the development of generic competencies rather than an emphasis on learning facts; a strong emphasis on inter-disciplinary learning; a new focus on the centrality of the learner, accompanied by active forms of pedagogy; and assessment and qualifications frameworks articulated as outcomes. Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) provides a good example of such a curriculum, framed as it is around four sets of generic competencies or capacities. As such, it represents a significant change from previous policy in Scotland and emerging policy elsewhere in the United Kingdom (England), both characterised more explicitly as traditional subjects, with detailed prescription of content to be taught. In this seminar, I explore CfE as a macro-level statement of policy intent, and through its recontextualisation at the meso- and micro-levels of policy development and school-based practice. I illustrate how this curriculum model is problematic in its enactment, as well as suggesting methods and processes for maximising its potential as a basis for school-based curriculum development.