The Social and Historical Contraints on Curriculum Development in C.D.T

  • Peter Toft Abraham Moss Centre, Manchester


Anxiety about how effectively we prepare the rising generation for adult life represents, in part, a profound concern for social and economic survival. The recent 'Education for Capability' manifesto expressed such a concern, particularly for Britain's economic performance. But underlying the perceived need to launch this manifesto are deeply rooted and pervasive forces which bind together the very fabric of our society and which the curriculum developer, particularly in CDT, cannot afford to ignore.

The manifesto was signed by a large number of eminent academics, industrialists, politicians and trades union leaders, and was published widely in the national press. Linking education and training as two elements of a single process, it argued that, in Britain the process was imbalanced, looking towards insular, scholarly and specialised forms of understanding, rather than towards action in the real world. The imbalance was felt to be harmful to individuals, industry and society. It was rooted in two cultures - the arts and the sciences- and paid little heed to a third culture, recognised widely abroad. Whereas the two cultures of arts and sciences point to particular ways of understanding and interpreting the natural and man-made world, the third culture was concerned with shaping it, with doing, making and organising it. It asserted that individuals and the nation would benefit from a redressing of the balance towards this third culture and an 'Education for Capability'.

How to Cite
TOFT, Peter. The Social and Historical Contraints on Curriculum Development in C.D.T. Studies in Design Education Craft & Technology, [S.l.], v. 15, n. 2, sep. 2009. ISSN 0305 766. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 21 mar. 2023.