The Open UniversitySkip to content

Reconceptualising the curriculum: from commodification to transformation

Parker, Jan (2003). Reconceptualising the curriculum: from commodification to transformation. Teaching in Higher Education, 8(4) pp. 529–543.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This article inveighs against the prevalent commodified discourse in Higher Education especially as it impacts on curriculum planning, quality assurance and learner typologies. It expresses a concern that educational research, in offering models drawn, but now divorced from, practice, may contribute to this negative impact. As an example, a polarised model distinguishing features of 'traditional' from 'emerging' curricula is criticised as contributing to this commodification; as diminishing the status of university teachers, as offering an instrument to reductive quality assurance systems and as militating against the disciplines operating as communities of practice. In contradistinction to this dichotomizing model, but extrapolating from the same article, a 'both/and' model outlining elements of process- and discipline community-based 'transformational curricula' is offered. It is perhaps impossible to write about the evils of externalised models and reductively abstract discourse without contribut ing to that very effect. The article therefore ends with two voices which are not those of educational researchers.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 1470-1294
Academic Unit/School: Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 891
Depositing User: Users 12 not found.
Date Deposited: 24 May 2006
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 12:30
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU