Michael Gove claims his new National Curriculum will raise standards. What is the reality?
It consists of extremely detailed lists of ‘content’ (spellings, grammar rules, arithmetic calculations, science facts, famous people in history, names of rivers in geography…) It is very weak on aims, concepts, skills; a lack of coherence, progression, and connection with the world.
The learner is missing – there is no sense of what young children are capable of understanding or being interested in. Everything is abstract – terminology, rules, abstract symbols – torn away from sensory experience or experimental and creative activity. Doesn’t Gove realise that most people learn by connecting symbols (words, formulae, etc.) with reality.
The demands have been pitched too early. There are many examples where Gove has looked at what is expected of more advanced 8 year olds in high achieving countries like Finland, and demanded the same of…
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