October, 16th

October, 17th


Opening Ceremony


3rd Thematic Parallel Sessions


Keynote: Mark Priestley

‘Mind the gap’: The importance of teacher agency


Coffee break


Coffee break


Roundtable: Perspectives and practices
Janet Miller
Maria do Céu Roldão


Keynote: Elizabeth Macedo
The hidden enemy: How crisis justifies intervention in curriculum




1st Thematic Parallel Sessions


4th Thematic Parallel Sessions




Coffee break


Keynote: Jani Ursin
Assessment of learning outcomes in Higher Education – Integral component of curriculum?


Keynote: Louise Hayward
With good intention – The enactment of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy


Poster session discussion


Closing Ceremony


Coffee break




2nd Thematic Parallel Sessions



EACS Assembly




Conference dinner







Abstract book





The hidden enemy: How crisis justifies intervention in curriculum

Elizabeth Macedo, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


From Schwab to Young’s recent work, the notion of crisis has acquired centrality in curriculum field. My argument is that that notion has worked as an empty signifier that controls the meanings of curriculum not only at a theoretical level, itself political, but also into a curricular policy scope. It has been used to legitimize the understanding of curriculum studies as a normative task. Aiming to dislocate the colonial fantasy of controlling through curriculum, I will read Brazilian (but not only) political and theoretical curriculum texts in a deconstructive way. In such a reading, I would like to propose that “crisis” is a Modern strategy to justify its ideological commitment with progress and development.



Assessment of learning outcomes in Higher Education – Integral component of curriculum?

Jani Ursin, University of Jyväskylä, Finland


Assessment of learning outcomes has gained more ground as global competition forces higher education institutions to find ways of showing the quality of their education. Constructing curricula around the idea of ‘learning outcomes’ has become a transparent way to show the quality of the educational programs offered. Nonetheless, there seems to be various understandings of what learning outcomes are and how they can be measured – or should they be measured at all. The presentation will focus on the assessment of learning outcomes in higher education and in their role in the curricula of educational programs. More specifically, drawn from the international examples, such as OECD’s Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO) the presentation discusses impacts of assessment of learning outcomes to higher education policies and everyday practices of higher education institutions.



With good intention – The enactment of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy

Louise Hayward, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom


Internationally, attempts to enhance the educational experiences of children and young people are embedded in processes of curriculum development that attempt to deal with the complexities of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. These educational intentions are enacted through the intricacies of differing interpretations of the interrelationship of research, policy and practice. This keynote will explore aspects of these two major themes. Using examples from different countries, the presentation will begin by reflecting on


– how differing perspectives on the relationship between curriculum, assessment and pedagogy impact on curriculum design and development and


– the impact of different relationships among curriculum developers, researchers and practitioners on the processes of curriculum enactment.


The presentation will focus on how and why assessment has come to be perceived to dominate and distort curriculum and pedagogy and will explore the roles of researchers, policy makers and practitioners in that process. Using Scotland as a case study, the presentation will analyse how curriculum development and curriculum enactment have played out over the past twenty years and explore why, in a country with good intention, curriculum development and enactment has often felt like the Myth of Sisyphus; rolling boulders uphill only to have them roll back down. Finally, the presentation will reflect on the role of research and theory in curriculum development and enactment and on the need for change in the perspectives and practices of researchers, policy makers and practitioners if the aspiration to enhance the educational experiences of children and young people is, at best, ever to be more than good intention.



‘Mind the gap’: The importance of teacher agency

Mark Priestley, University of Stirling, United Kingdom


Recent curriculum policy in many countries emphasizes the centrality of the teacher in school-based curriculum development as agents of change (Priestley & Biesta, 2013). Such policy is inherently problematic: it assumes a linear, policy to practice chain, with an underlying ‘schools in deficit’ assumption; and it tends to over-emphasise the importance of the personal capacity of the teacher, while neglecting the cultural and structural dimensions that form part of the ecology of schooling, and which help shape teacher agency (Priestley et al., 2015). In many schools, this ecology includes extremely performative cultures and associated systems and structures, including output regulation of the curriculum (Nieveen & Kuiper, 2011), which create difficult dilemmas for practitioners as they develop the curriculum. The predominant policy approach to fostering teacher agency has been associated with particular problems when teachers are required to develop or implement centrally mandated curriculum reform, as there is often dissonance between new initiatives and their existing frames of meaning, contributing to an ‘implementation gap’ (Supovitz & Weinbaum, 2008) between policy and practice.
The concept of teacher agency has emerged in recent literature as an alternative means of understanding how teachers might enact practice and engage with policy (e.g. Lasky, 2005; Leander & Osbourne, 2008; Ketelaar et al., 2012; Priestley et al., 2015). In this presentation, I briefly outline an ecological conception of agency (Priestley, Biesta & Robinson, 2015 in press). I make the case that teacher agency is shaped by a multifarious range of different elements, including  teacher beliefs and knowledge, the discourses that frame teachers’ work, internal and external professional relationships, and the conflicting demands of different policies. This conception of agency helps us to address the cultural and structural as well as individual dimensions of teachers’ professional work that shape their achievement of agency, which in turn may enable them to engage more constructively with curriculum policy, as they enact their practice.



Rethinking Authority in Educational Leadership

William Pinar, University of British Columbia, Canada


Educational leadership involves (even as it cannot be reduced to) the exercise of authority (often institutionally conferred) to enlist faculty and students in realizing educational objectives, often institutionally conceived and now almost universally quantified. This profound depersonalization of education does not eradicate the personal character of curriculum conceived as complicated conversation, the leadership of which is enacted not only by policymakers and administrators but by parents, students, and, especially, teachers. So understood, educational leadership becomes the ongoing opportunity to engage colleagues in complicated conversation that renders experience within relationships educational.


Roundtable - Perspectives and practices


Curriculum communities without consensus: Disunities of collaboration

Janet Miller, Teachers College, Columbia University, NY, USA


I briefly probe aspects of a six-year curriculum collaboration in which I participated that, because of its very ambiguities, most vividly has informed my push to envision curriculum studies as generative versions of “communities without consensus.” I extrapolate to ponder complex conceptions of relationalities and disjunctures among curriculum studies and its varied work, especially in relation to “a rapidly accelerating internationalization of curriculum research as nationally distinctive fields engage in disciplinary dialogue with each other” (Pinar, 2014, p. 1).



Revisiting the concept and practices of curriculum differentiation - A field of contradictions?

Maria do Céu Roldão, Catholic Portuguese University / Center of Research for Human Development


The concept of curriculum differentiation (Roldão, 2003, Sousa, 2010; Tomlinson, 2003) has taken a great centrality in the last decades, both in curriculum discourse and in teaching practices. The concept itself, although discursively perceived as an apparent consensual one, emerges in practices and in policies as responding to a number of diverging political and pedagogical views of curriculum and education..
The concept, the correlative practices as reported by recent research, and the conflicting political meanings associated with the “good” idea of curriculum differentiation, in the present and conflicting context of neo-liberal versus inclusive perceptions of curriculum and education, will be examined and discussed in this paper.