William Arbuckle Reid

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William Arbuckle Reid
William Arbuckle Reid pictured in 1989.JPG
Reid in 1989

William Arbuckle "Bill" Reid (1933 – 2 September 2015) was a British curriculum theorist.

Born in Gloucestershire, Reid obtained his BA degree in languages from Cambridge University, after which he taught in English high schools.[1] He went on to conduct curriculum research at the University of Birmingham, where he obtained his Ph.D and subsequently taught M.Ed. students. He took early retirement from the University of Birmingham in 1988 and was appointed as a visiting professor at the London Institute of Education, and subsequently the University of Texas, Austin. He also undertook collaborative projects with colleagues at the University of Oslo and taught summer schools at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Some of his reminiscences were published in 2009 in "Leaders in Curriculum Studies", edited by E.C. Short and L.J. Waks (Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, 2009). In retirement he self-published pamphlets and books concerning archaeology and other local history in his native Cotswold landscape, as well as memoirs, articles on chess, books of poems and a novel. A series of articles published in "Glevensis", a journal of the Gloucestershire Archaeological Society were formed into a self-published book (Chantry Press; Windmill Print and Graphics) entitled "From Roman to Saxon in a Cotswold Landscape" (2006).

Reid's major academic works elaborated on curriculum theorist Joseph Schwab's notion of "curriculum deliberation". He was the author of numerous scholarly articles and several books, and was a regular contributor to the Journal of Curriculum Studies of which he was European Editor from 1975–83 and General Editor from 1986 until the mid-1990s. He regularly presented papers at the annual meetings of the American Education Research Association. Reid had a penetrating grasp of the nature of learning and a deep understanding of the link between theory and classroom realities - an approach both philosophical and practical. Few writers in the field combined his intellectual edge with a solid perspective on teaching and a readiness to address complex issues. In 2007 his article "Strange Curricula: Origins and Development of the Institutional Categories of Schooling" (JCS 22, 203 (1990)) was selected as one of the seminal articles that had appeared in the Journal of Curriculum Studies in the previous 25 years.

In 2014 Reid moved to Nottingham to be close to his family and he died there in September 2015.[2]


Selection of Articles[edit]



In Curriculum as Institution and Practice: Essays in the Deliberative Tradition, William Reid acknowledges curriculum studies’ debt to this Deweyan model of deliberation. He asserts that science’s ascendancy in curriculum planning at the turn of the century relegated philosophical deliberation to an inferior position but that Dewey’s works “kept the tradition alive”[3]


  1. ^ The Pursuit of Curriculum, amazon.com
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Editor's Review", Harvard Educational Review, Julie Pearson Stewart, Fall 1999

External links[edit]