Monday, 2 February 2015

Can there be attainment without knowledge?

John Carnochan is a member of the Scottish Government`s Early Years Task Force. I do not think he meant to write `Yearly Years Collaborative` in his post, but who knows?  He discusses the education attainment gap:
There is the Yearly Years Collaborative recognizing the importance of the early years and the impact it can have on our entire life course. The Curriculum for Excellence includes specific reference to Resilience and Wellbeing, attempting to provide our children with as rounded an education as possible and help prepare them better for life...
The Raising Attainment For All programme developed by Education Scotland is working to close this gap in positive outcomes using Quality Improvement Science...There is a wealth of evidence indicating the best results for children’s education are achieved when their parents are fully involved.  Schools and teachers must include parents in their children’s education.
The most important 4 years of a child's life are up to age 3. [No I don`t understand that either.] Its during this time that babies and children learn those non-cognitive, or soft, skills that allow them to make good decisions about themselves and how to negotiate a successful life..

After reading that `awfulness` it`s refreshing to have someone writing in favour of subject knowledge in schools as the focus of the curriculum, rather than non-cognitive, soft skills. Dennis Hayes, Professor of Education at the University of Derby, points out that Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, has said that the Westminster Government has a determination to place knowledge back at the core of what pupils learn in schools. Nevertheless he believes her commitment does not go far enough. 

"She thinks about knowledge as instrumental – as important for some other reason, such as trying to create greater social mobility. Yet knowledge doesn’t "matter" in the way she presents the case for it. Knowledge is an end in itself."

"Teachers and pupils do not need government guidance about how to live – they need a real commitment to knowledge. All of the other social engineering initiatives, especially the requirement to teach "British values" will be counter-productive and will take away the emphasis on knowledge."

"If Morgan really wanted to undo the infantilisation of the teaching profession and ensure that a knowledge-based curriculum was possible for every pupil, she should adopt Kant’s motto and simply say to them: "Dare to know!"
Unfortunately it will also require something to be done about the professors and Ofsted regulators who continue to have a powerful influence over teachers.
As for Scotland`s regulators, they are on their own sweet journey to excellence, soft skills, social engineering and all.  Having dismantled Scotland`s knowledge base in Curriculum for Excellence, their next task is to deal with the education attainment gap and one may wonder how that is to be achieved.  But having reduced education to a stupefying mundaneness, they have practically created a level playing field already.
Be that as it may, early intervention is the official answer to addressing the education attainment gap, of course. It is the answer to everything these days. How else are they going to introduce those eight wellbeing indicators and that resilience matrix? So the `named person` is sure to instruct poor parents on how to nurture their children`s brains in the early years with improved interpersonal skills and bedtime reading. That way nobody needs to look at what is happening in the schools.
Immanuel Kant
Here`s Immanuel Kant`s opening lines of his essay What is Enlightenment as quoted in the article:

Enlightenment is man`s emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one`s own understanding without another`s guidance.
What happens when the guidance is imposed on you and you are not allowed to know ?  

No comments:

Post a Comment