Research and Development

The authors are keen to hear from individuals and organisations interested in contributing to the development of MAC’s nine learning priorities.

The Merged Action Curriculum sketches out a life-based framework for learning. We are at the start of a long journey. MAC is far from the finished article: a fully developed curriculum, supported by robust research.

Contributions from teachers, schools and university education departments

Research support is required from:

  • University education departments contributing research papers and engaging their students in thesis research on MAC-related topics
  • Individual school curriculum planners re-synthesising an aspect of the National Curriculum to meet one or other of the MAC life areas — self-care, interacting with others and living sustainably
  • Individual teachers fleshing out and developing the study action areas of any one of the nine domains of learning. There are links to these at the end of each learning domain page.

Contributions from organisations and experts in MAC-related fields

Research support is required from:

  • exercise gurus, dieticians, psychiatrists and psychologists linking their expertise in how children can better look after themselves
  • sociologists and psychologists linking their expertise to how children can learn how better to improve their communication, relationships and community skills
  • organisational and individual expert contributions into the husbanding of life on the planet and sustainable use of the planet’s resources

The vision is an army of experts from an educational background to develop the study action areas and learning programmes supported by expert research.

How and what to contribute

Use the Contact page to get in touch to:

  • improve and/or add to the suggested research topics listed on this page
  • provide links to research papers, articles and websites etc relevant to any of the nine MAC priorities
  • get in touch for a wider conversation

Suggested research areas

The Merged Action Curriculum (MAC) is a content framework for children to learn about their lives. The framework sets out the information, concepts, skills, attitudes and values to include in a fully developed key stages 1 and 2 programme of learning for 5- to 11-year-olds.

Each of the nine MAC priorities opens up opportunities for further research and development.

Self-Care   Interacting
with others
  Living sustainably
The body   Communication   Plant Life
The emotions   Relationships   Animal Life
The mind   Community   Physical World

The body

  1. Management of body weight. By 2050 half the population will be overweight. Research is required into the contribution a focused national educational approach can make in tackling the obesity epidemic as part of a wider societal effort. Can a more focused approach make a difference? What national context is required?
  2. Body links to the emotions and learning. Research the impact of a healthy body on emotional resilience, maintenance of active and alert brains and impact on learning progress.
  3. Physical conditions and impairments. Research and support for schools into managing the learning of individual children with one, or more, of a wide variety of physical conditions and impairments.

The emotions

  1. Emotional readiness for learning. Research into the emotional blocks to learning and how best to mitigate these through whole-school and classroom-based action.
  2. Harnessing the emotions in the learning process. Research suggests pupils learn best when their emotions are harnessed in the learning process. Further investigation of the suggestion and dissemination of the information to teachers to be tried and tested in the classroom.
  3. Pupil ownership of learning. Research into how to maintain the natural ability of children to learn throughout their primary learning years and beyond.

The mind

  1. Research into sensory uptake. Exploration of the variation in the ability of pupils to relay information to the brain through the 21 senses. The relevance of sensory acuity in the choice of career paths.
  2. Harmonising learning to the way the brain works. Exploration of the use of short, routine, organisational, cognitive and long-term (episodic and semantic) memory in learning. Application of how the brain works in the completion of learning tasks.
  3. Research into the different memory abilities. Exploration of the hypothesis that there are different sorts of memory and people can be good in some of them but not in others.
  4. Teaching techniques to enhance memory. Research into the effectiveness of techniques to enhance / improve / sharpen different levels of memory in pupils.
  5. Memory training: When pupils move on to secondary school, ability to remember and recall is crucial to success in public examinations at the end of year 11. Yet pupils do no consistent memory training in key stages 1 and 2. Research into the impact early memory training has on pupil learning as the pupil progresses through the educational system.

Communication

  1. The communication contribution to commerce and industry. A study into the different ways in which humans communicate and the impact of these on their contribution to commerce and industry.
  2. Core subject enhancement. Exploration of the hypothesis that a broader uptake by pupils of communication skills enhances pupil ability in English and mathematics.

Relationships

  1. The teacher-pupil dynamic: Investigation into how the teacher-pupil emotional dynamic affects learning.
  2. The relationship dynamic: Research the rules of engagement in personal relationships and in work to greater benefit of the individuals involved and to the achievement of shared objectives.

Community

  1. School-community interaction: Exploration of national guidelines into ways in which schools can link with community organisations to the benefit of their pupils taking up community-organised activities with a view to the creation of socially-contributing adults.

Plant life

  1. Learning programmes: Research into and production of programmes of learning about plants, taking into account the broader objectives of the Merged Action Curriculum, in ways appropriate to the 5- to 11-year-old age range.

Animal life

  1. Learning programmes: Research into and production of programmes of learning about animals, taking into account the broader objectives of the Merged Action Curriculum, in ways appropriate to the 5- to 11-year-old age range.

The physical world

  1. Learning programmes: Research into and production of programmes of learning about the make-up and use of the planet’s resources, taking into account the broader objectives of the Merged Action Curriculum, in ways appropriate to the 5- to 11-year-old age range.

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