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Research Focus Area

Knowledge and Curriculum

Knowledge and Curriculum

Knowledge matters - at a time when there is a great emphasis on competencies and skills in education, there is a real danger that knowledge is neglected. This research area focuses on science and engineering disciplinary knowledge, its place in the workplace, the academy and the undergraduate curriculum, noting that these are different bodies of knowledge. We grapple with questions like:

  • What do we mean by knowledge? What is the role of knowledge in the curriculum? These are not trivial questions and require an engagement with literature beyond the discipline, including philosophy, sociology and education.
  • What is the nature of scientific knowledge? What is the nature of engineering knowledge? What is the relation between knowledge in science and engineering? These questions need to be addressed differently in the discipline and in professional practice. In what ways have these developed over time, and are shifting in contemporary times?
  • How does knowledge get transformed into curriculum? This is about selection and sequencing. It is also about the relations between concepts and how they get mobilised to offer a way of thinking about the world, and of practising (in the discipline).
  • What interests are at play in the formulation of curriculum – what is the role of the university, the profession (including accreditation mechanisms), the market and the state (higher education policy).
  • What does this mean for student learning (epistemic access especially considering school-leavers from different backgrounds), and for graduates (graduate attributes, career destinations of graduates, contribution to society)?