Since the original publication of Circular 323, further education colleges have been faced with two rather different curricular tasks. The first was the broadening of the base of the specifically vocational or technical curriculum; the second was the addition to that curriculum of other studies that would have reference to wider social and community needs, and the personal development of the individual students. For a considerable period there was confusion between these two tasks and between the two parts of the second task. More recently there has been some measure of clarification, thanks to the publication in 1970 of the City and Guilds monograph General Studies, the introduction of the ONC (Technology), the coming of TEC and BEC, and the discussions and experiments associated with those developments. We have now reached a point where it is clear that there are two distinctive aspects to General Studies which have been labelled ‘integrative’ and ‘additive’, but there is still dispute as to whether both aspects must be equally part of a unified and prescriptive policy; whether they exist as optional alternative approaches (or should so exist); whether the one has priority over the other; and whether whichever aspect is deemed to have priority should be the prescriptive element, while the other be a line of approach open to colleges to choose if they so wish. A further complication arises from conflict within the ‘additive’ area between those people who are mainly concerned with social and community needs, and those who are concerned with personal development.
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