Powerful or disempowering knowledge? The teaching of Sociology in English schools and colleges

Journal article


Cant, Sarah and Chatterjee, Anwesa 2022. Powerful or disempowering knowledge? The teaching of Sociology in English schools and colleges. Sociology. https://doi.org/10.1177/00380385221107299
AuthorsCant, Sarah and Chatterjee, Anwesa
AbstractWhile studying sociology can be empowering and transformative, fostering criticality and reflexivity, this capacity is not being sufficiently harnessed in school/college-based delivery in England. A large survey of sociology teachers revealed that they are required to teach outdated and sometimes discredited studies, which can reinforce rather than challenge stereotypes held by the privileged and which can be disempowering for those students who cannot recognise their own experiences. This article provides a unique insight into the ways that school/college curricula reinforce inequality and contributes to important debates within the sociology of education. Specifically, the article argues that the work being undertaken to decolonise the curriculum in universities, through challenging structural and discursive operations of power, should also inform the revision of school/college specifications. The lessons from this study can be usefully applied to the teaching of sociology beyond England and indeed to other subject disciplines.
KeywordsTeaching; Curriculum; Decolonisation; Knowledge; Schools; Secondary education; Sociology; Teachers
Year2022
JournalSociology
PublisherOpen University/SAGE Publications Ltd
ISSN0038-0385
1469-8684
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/00380385221107299
Official URLhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/00380385221107299
Publication dates
Online04 Aug 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Aug 2022
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