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Jerome Bruner and Spiral Curriculum

Four key themes emerge out of the work around The Process of Education (1960: 11-16):

The role of structure in learning and how it may be made central in teaching. The approach taken should be a practical one. 'The teaching and learning of structure, rather than simply the mastery of facts and techniques, is at the center of the classic problem of transfer... If earlier learning is to render later learning easier, it must do so by providing a general picture in terms of which the relations between things encountered earlier and later are made as clear as possible' (ibid.: 12).

Readiness for learning. Here the argument is that schools have wasted a great deal of people's time by postponing the teaching of important areas because they are deemed 'too difficult'. 

We begin with the hypothesis that any subject can be taught effectively in some intellectually honest form to any child at any stage of development. (ibid.: 33)

This notion underpins the idea of the spiral curriculum - 'A curriculum as it develops should revisit this basic ideas repeatedly, building upon them until the student has grasped the full formal apparatus that goes with them' (ibid.: 13).





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