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Wilkinson, Matthew L. N. (2014) 'The concept of the absent curriculum: the case of the Muslim contribution and the English National Curriculum for history.' Journal of Curriculum Studies, 46 (4). pp. 419-440.

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This paper introduces the concept of the absent curriculum on the premise that the study of curriculum has been prone to privileging curricular presence to the exclusion of curricular absence. In order to address this imbalance and to articulate a theory of absence in the curriculum, the paper applies ideas derived from the philosophy of critical realism—‘absence’ and ‘totality’—to curriculum theory to conceive of the absent curriculum. The paper outlines three components of the absent curriculum: the null curriculum at the level of national curricular policy, the unselected curriculum at the level of school curricular planning and the unenacted curriculum at the classroom level of teacher delivery. This conceptual framework is illustrated by a case example of how the absence of the history of Muslim contribution from the teaching of the National Curriculum for history in four English schools formed an absent curriculum which prompted some of the research sample of 295 British Muslim boys to disengage from their learning of history. The paper concludes that the absent curriculum is a hidden curriculum that suggests to groups whose histories are missing from the national curricula that they are relatively insignificant citizens in the community of the nation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: absent curriculum, critical realism, history education, Muslim boys
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of Religions & Philosophies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East > Centre of Islamic Studies
ISSN: 00220272
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2015 10:26

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