The Humanities Curriculum Project: A Case Study

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The educational process, regardless of the various ways in which it is organized in areas from all over the world, is based on an underlying set of aims which reflect the kind of society that its people wish to configure. "School subjects are, after all, only vehicles to achieve certain ends: they are not self-justifying entities" (White, 2003, p. 1). In this sense, the purpose of secondary or high schools transcends preparation for university and ought to project goals pertaining to continuous modeling of, and adapting to, an economically, socially and culturally challenging environment.
A first example of how secondary schools are based on a continuously morphing array of goals may be derived from observing the United Kingdom National Curriculum's aims starting with 1988 and ending with post-2000 modifications. According to John White, after 1988 the U.K. national curriculum had established two principal aims for grammar/secondary schools, namely the promotion of spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of their pupils, and their preparation for future experiences, opportunities, and responsibilities associated with adult life (2003, p. 2). The beginning of the 21st century has registered a strong emphasis on cultivating the values that stand at the root of society, based on valuing ourselves, our families and each other. In this light, the present aim of secondary education is to reflect enduring values such as commitment to the virtues of honesty,
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