Thursday, 16 July 2015

Curriculum for excellence: the dumbing down of Scotland

Literacy and numeracy were mentioned by the young girl, in passing, to explain the new curriculum but if one takes these essential skills out of the equation, this is what is left :

Curriculum for Excellence is for children and young people aged 3 - 18. The curriculum is everything children and young people learn: social skills, working with and getting along with other people, personal skills, getting organised and keeping healthy, employability skills, and the skills acquired away from school, like sports and hobbies; and in organisations like the boy scouts and brownies.

It means children and young people working on their own sometimes, or with other people, to solve problems just like in real life, at work, at home and with friends.

Young people in the twenty first century must do more than learn things by heart to pass exams. They will have to change jobs more often and will have to learn new skills at work and transfer their skills from one job to another.

Stripped to the bone like this, the skills that children and young people are expected to learn to make them fit for the 21st century are psychosocial skills.

Why would parents fall for this?

Here`s Penny Lewis:

"THE Scottish education system was once a source of national pride. Until recently, Scotland sustained an education system driven by the belief that all individuals, regardless of social class, would benefit from a liberal academic education. The exposure of all Scotland’s children to "the best that has been written and thought" was seen as a public and personal good."

"According to Edinburgh-based academic Lindsay Paterson, Scotland’s commitment to the "Arnoldian liberal impulse" survived well into the 1980s, when the rest of the world’s education experts had moved on to more instrumental policies. Scotland’s longstanding commitment to liberal education was forged in the 1920s, when education reformers fought to extend secondary academic education. In the mid-1960s, when comprehensive education arrived, Scotland embraced it as a continuation of an established curricular tradition."

"Over the past decade, this world-class education system has been systematically destroyed. Policymakers, through a series of reforms called the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), have radically restructured education. Labour’s Jack McConnell introduced the policy in 2004. The SNP implemented it in 2010 and has engaged in an aggressive culture of compliance ever since. Last year, it commissioned an Aberdeen-based oil magnate, Sir Ian Wood, to review education and employment. Wood’s findings are now being used to complete the demolition job begun by McConnell."

"The CfE redefined the purpose of Scottish education from "academic education for all" to a checklist of personal qualities. The purpose of education was to produce "successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors". This new curriculum was sold to the Scottish public on the grounds that it would give children more choice, that their education could be "personalised", and that they would take ownership of their learning through educational portfolios and personal-development plans. The reality is that pupils have fewer subject choices; the only personal element of the new regime relates not to the academic programme, but to a therapeutic agenda, as exemplified by the Named Persons law."

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