Friday, October 16, 2009

Educating well.

A group of experts believe that kids should start school at 6, drop sats and have a very narrow curriculum.

As reported in the Grauniad.
Schoolchildren should not start formal lessons until they turn six, and Sats should be scrapped to relieve the damaging pressure England's young pupils face, the biggest inquiry into primary education for 40 years concludes today.
In a damning indictment of Labour's education record since 1997, the Cambridge University-led review accuses the government of introducing an educational diet "even narrower than that of the Victorian elementary".
It claims that successive Labour ministers have intervened in England's classrooms on an unprecedented scale, controlling every detail of how teachers teach in a system that has "Stalinist overtones". It says they have exaggerated progress, narrowed the curriculum by squeezing out space for history, music and arts, and left children stressed-out by the testing and league table system.
The review is the biggest independent inquiry into primary education in four decades, based on 28 research surveys, 1,052 written submissions and 250 focus groups. It was undertaken by 14 authors, 66 research consultants and a 20-strong advisory committee at Cambridge University, led by Professor Robin Alexander, one of the most experienced educational academics in the country.
Last night the review's conclusions were backed by every education union in England, but rejected by ministers, who were immediately accused of rejecting independent rigorous research.
This actually makes a great deal of sense, which is probably why Ministers have rejected it. It wont affect nursery education either, though a trend of getting kids to learn to read and write as well as learn a few numbers wouldn't hurt at that level. Concentrating on the basics, particularly in the formative years will eventually produce a generation of kids who are very literate and who know just how to research properly if they need to find the answers.
Part of the problem they have of course is that education is the only toy left to politicians in which they have any real power as they've signed everything else over to the EU and merely remain in place to rubber stamp the decisions of Brussels. So meddling in education is what Labour do and I'm fairly sure they don't see a generation of ill educated drones as a major problem, after all if they are going to vote, they'll probably vote Labour.
So, a generation of well educated kids is probably the last thing the political classes want, they want their kids well educated for sure, after all where will the next generation of "leaders" come from, but as for the proles? Well they definitely don't like them getting ideas above their station, after all they may see that there is no need for a class of political drones who believe that people should do as they are told and not as the political class do.

1 annotations:

James Higham said...

In Russia, they start at 7 and it works well by all accounts.