The National Curriculum: What Are They Thinking?

It seems the new proposals for a national curriculum forgets not only who the education system is designed for, but also the basics of mathematical and scientific teaching.

I won’t delve into the whole history and culture side of things, because that is fraught with danger on all sides.

Instead, I’ll be focusing on what were my weaknesses in school, which is ironic given these are probably the most useful skills in the modern world.

The brave new world of education is going to see the removal of scientific content based on, and I quote, “science in occupations”.

Yes, this makes perfect sense, because it’s not like land and sea farmers deal with anything scientific on a daily basis, right?

Teaching isn't teaching any more. KIMAGE: Wokandapix (Canva)

Scientific knowledge is always evolving, particularly when farmers are working the fields.

Instead, apparently the new curriculum focuses on “inquiry-based approaches” where students have no idea where they’re going and teachers simply tell them if they’re right or wrong.

So, while our teachers are currently underqualified and student discipline takes a back seat to participation certificates (I received a few of those and found them almost insulting), students are to become their own teachers?

Have we not seen how long most scientific discoveries take?

And this is from the most highly educated scientists.

It seems to me the best way of learning, be it in science, maths, sport, spelling, cooking, driving, learning a language or anything at all, is to learn in a practical environment with someone who teaches you how to do things properly.

Yet this new curriculum, which undermines the states by the way as education is a state responsibility, seeks to do away with what is shown to be best practice.

I hardly think sitting an aquaculture student down in front of an oyster and telling them to do their best is going to be an effective way of ensuring the long-term future of the Lower EP’s seafood industry.

Getting someone to show and demonstrate said student, however, is a different situation.

If there is to be a change, why not put in place more practical subjects?

Instead of making a mutated form of English mandatory, why not teaching about tax returns, household budgets and basic handyman jobs in subjects such as home economics or woodwork?

I know my education in how to give a psycho-analytical reading of Shakespeare’s King Lear always comes in handy at Shakespeare time on July 1, and how high the temperature should be on my stove when trying to make a Haiku poem…..