“the most important thing about Darwin is…”

“…that his ship was called the Beagle.”

This is just wrong, on so many levels, that it’s really quite scary that this was (apparently) said by one of the MPs for education. This really makes me worry about the current review of the National Curriculum that’s being done within the Department for Education. Looking through the information about the launch of this review I was really worried about the following statement:

“It is the Government’s intention that the National Curriculum be slimmed down so that it properly reflects the body of essential knowledge all children should learn and does not absorb the overwhelming majority of teaching time in schools.” (bold mine)

Surely one of the ways of future-proofing a curriculum is to focus on skills and not knowledge?!?

It seems to me that this is such a retrograde step, forcing us to go back to rote learning rather than developing students’ skills to be able to think for themselves. The consultation on the review of the National Curriculum is only asking about the knowledge needed for each subject at each level, not what skills need to be developed (consultation open til 14th April). One of the problems the Universities keep moaning about is the lack of skills that students have coming out of school, so this could make that worse!

Skills like criticality, questioning what they’re given, scientific method, as well as information literacy are so important and yet seem to be being ignored by this. It really makes me wonder what the future will hold (and seriously think about home-schooling if we ever have children of our own!)

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