Gove on Question Time

(133 Posts)
ipadquietly Fri 22-Mar-13 20:17:47

What a disappointment on so many levels:
1. The panel was totally ignorant about the details of the new curriculum, and, because of this, could only play lip service to Gove.
2. No-one in the audience made any points to challenge Gove. Indeed the only teacher to make a comment happened to work in an independent school which didn't have to follow the curriculum.
3. The challenges from the panel were anecdotal - Horowitz harping on about the parlous state of literacy; one of the women (?) harping on about being a school governor but seemingly knowing nothing about the new curriculum and the labour woman spouting anecdotes about her children (I mean.... politician on Question Time spouting anecdotes about her children shock) with zero political argument.

It gave the slimy little toad a chance to speak crap and get an almost standing ovation.

I could have screamed.

speedology Fri 05-Jul-13 19:46:10

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ipadquietly Tue 02-Apr-13 00:45:37

That sounds fantastic copthall. grin

Copthallresident Tue 02-Apr-13 00:19:28

ipad I have a background in strategic planning, have worked with company boards helping them develop strategy and the plans to implement it. You have to come up with all sorts of exercises to get these very bright people to lose their inhibitions and start thinking laterally in order to be creative and generate new ideas, and to make consensual decisions on implementation .

So somewhat sceptically I agreed with DDs Year 6 teacher that I would try the same sort of processes and techniques to facilitate them in taking on the leadership in developing the strategy for the school's fundraising initiative and plans for implementing them.

No need for exercises to get them to think creatively, as well as understand the risks and opportunities and come up with ultimately highly successful plans. They ended up working within charities to understand their needs and even, when world events moved on from what they had planned for, quickly adapting their plans to make a greater difference with their resources. If you could bottle that level of unguarded and uninhibited creative thinking, task focus and enthusiasm and spread it about UK PLC (or indeed the Education sector) the UK would be a lot more successful. Of course it was no surprise to their teacher who had fostered that confidence and creativity, but it would be well beyond the imagination of Gove as evidenced by his dredging up of sad old ideas.

ipadquietly Mon 01-Apr-13 23:53:21

I particularly like the paragraph on rigour.

However, I think MR has fallen into the trap of concentrating too much on 'creativity' being about the arts - poetry, dance, writing. IMVHO I think the curriculum running in many primary schools at the moment enables creativity throughout the curriculum - the children are being encouraged to think outside of the box and work together to grow their ideas, which are sometimes remarkable. In addition, they are learning the very important skills of making suggestions, debate, evaluation and compromise.

muminlondon Mon 01-Apr-13 22:44:39

Good old Michael Rosen asks the questions we would like Gove to answer

www.guardian.co.uk/education/2013/apr/01/michael-gove-rigour-knowledge-creativity

muminlondon Mon 01-Apr-13 20:57:20

Thanks for pointing that out - Geographical Association says:

'The GA supports the new focus on subject rigour, but we do not support a 'curriculum of compliance'. A curriculum that narrowly focuses on a set of given facts and expects children to passively absorb them is not what we want.'

SchnitzelVonKrumm Mon 01-Apr-13 20:24:20

My children's primary school is vastly more rigorous and ambitious than anything I encountered in the 1970s.

ipadquietly Mon 01-Apr-13 20:12:12

Geography should be thrown into the argument as well. For the life of me, I can't find Australia mentioned anywhere. Perhaps they're thinking of using it as a giant workhouse.

muminlondon Mon 01-Apr-13 20:01:24

History is the political battleground, isn't it? Proper consultation replaced by a discussion stage managed by a clique who won't even have to teach the curriculum, including Nash & Co - his wife, think tank associates and unqualified Pimlico staff.

The criticism from qualified historians of both the curriculum and the whole process is very clear.

Royal Historical Society:

'far too narrowly and exclusively focused on British history ... strictly chronological sequence from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 ensures that many students will not be properly exposed to the exciting and intellectually demanding study of pre-modern history other than in the very earliest stages of their studies. ... details of the curriculum have been drafted inside the Department for Education without any systematic consultation or public discussion with historians, teachers or the wider public. The contrast with the practice of the Conservative government of the late 1980s when it drafted the first national curriculum is striking. '

Historical Association:

'Egypt Victorians, Britain since 1930, World War II, and other world history topics, along with their resources, are destined for the scrap heap. The draft history curriculum leaves little option for cross-curricular learning; the resourcing, logistical and training implications alone are huge. ... this is an unworkable curriculum that has paid little attention to child development or taken on board age-appropriate subjects'.

mrz Mon 01-Apr-13 18:33:58

When i first saw the DT prog of study I did wonder if Mr Gove was having staffing issues ...great skills for a cook, handyman and gardener.

ipadquietly Mon 01-Apr-13 18:14:28

That KS1 D&T ties in nicely with learning about peasantry. grin

mil Computers will be in use throughout the curriculum. I don't think there are any worries about that. The science curriculum is similar to the existing one, although KS1 concentrates on materials, animals and plants, without touching 'physics' (forces, electricity) at all. Maths and english aren't that different either.

mrz Mon 01-Apr-13 17:31:55

It's in KS1, 2 & 3

muminlondon Mon 01-Apr-13 17:28:23

So it is at primary level then. Maybe they won't be allowed to study electricity or circuits or design PowerPoint slides at aged 8 any more (more than I ever knew at that age). The BAE chairman says:

'Instead of introducing children to new design techniques , such as biomimicry (how we can emulate nature to solve human problems), we now have a focus on cookery. Instead of developing skills in computer-aided design, we have the introduction of horticulture. Instead of electronics and control, we have an emphasis on basic mechanical maintenance tasks," he told a conference of educators earlier this month. "In short, something has gone very wrong."'

mrz Mon 01-Apr-13 16:07:12

Horticulture is in from KS1

Key Stage 1
Pupils should explore and develop purposeful, practical skills in design and technology, taking advantage of local opportunities and the expertise of teachers.
Pupils should
be taught the basic principles of balanced eating and where food comes from, and should be encouraged to develop an interest in cooking.
Through working in fields selected from those listed in the introduction (materials (including textiles), horticulture, electricals and electronics, construction, and mechanics), pupils should be taught to:
perform simple, useful, practical tasks (for instance, making products for a purpose using a basic range of tools and materials, and techniques such as cutting, forming and joining)
explore different materials, and become familiar with their properties and uses
communicate ideas simply, such as through drawing, jottings, modelling in 2-D and 3-D and, where appropriate, using information and communication technology to record the development of their designs
appreciate the need for good design by evaluating a range of design and designers.

Copthallresident Mon 01-Apr-13 15:54:04

muminlondon Have they really bought in horticulture in place of DT, just when the RHS are bemoaning the demise of any study of botany or horticulture related content at degree level in universities? How exactly will the knowledge be tested by exams developed in conjunction with universities hmm

muminlondon Mon 01-Apr-13 15:27:46

Of course in primary school they already learn to read, times tables, number bonds, fractions, memorise spellings, etc. They also learn about materials, states of matter, electricity, weather, water and rivers, anatomy, circuits and conductors, water and rivers, astronomy, etc. And yes, lots of facts - and skils. In history they develop chronological understanding, historical interpretation, research and communication skills, religious beliefs. It's a lovely curriculum and so many opportunities for topics and research, creative writing, drama, wonderful whole school activities, school trips and creative arts days.

Out will go local history, and presumably Greek and Roman myths (not British, you see ...). What a great opportunity for plays, learning Latin words and encouraging boys to read (e.g. the Percy Jackson books). Out will go the Tudors, Great Fire of London, the Victorians, opportunities for creative writing and drama, links to local history, architecture, understanding different religions. Not in the right chronological sequence, you see.

The list of critics is growing: Presidents of the Royal Historical Society, the Historical Association, the higher education group History UK and senior members of the British Academy have all criticised the draft History curriculum. Now the chairman of BAE says 'something has gone very wrong' with the Design and and Technology curriculum (at secondary level presumably, replaced with ... horticulture.

Copthallresident Mon 01-Apr-13 15:10:33

ipad As a dyslexic myself I know that facts have never been Hamishbear's trellis on which I could climb. In fact it wasn't until I escaped my formal education and I could have conceptual trellis's on which to hang the facts that I began to achieve. When it comes to my specialism I can quote you facts upon facts but only because I understand the underlying cultural economic and political framework. What Gove and others on this thread fail to appreciate is that some of our greatest ultimate achievers did so in spite of battling with an education system that didn't suit their learning style, and yet he wants to return to that education system. Thankfully my own dyslexic DDs will be through his exam system by the time he makes it into one that would give them a much more limited opportunity to demonstrate their considerable intellectual ability.

ipadquietly Mon 01-Apr-13 14:38:20

I agree rabbit. I daresay Gove has never met anyone quite like the adopted child with attachment disorder in my class, who is only just starting to make vaguely relevant comments about what we are doing and who needs 'pre-learning' before many of our lessons. I doubt if he's ever met children who find it difficult to listen, but learn by doing things practically or those who can't sit still because they have ADHD.

What about the children who aren't yet toilet trained when entering Y1, who will be expected to learn about democracy, government and peasantry?

hmm

It just doesn't make any sense to me at all. Gove is forcing his prescriptive mandatory curriculum on some schools, whilst allowing his flagship schools to model their own curricula. Where's the logic in that?

Copthallresident Mon 01-Apr-13 14:24:56

That Hirsch article is interesting, a friend who does supply in different International Schools often plays a game with her students if there is time to fill. At the British, Singaporean, Chinese, German and French schools she can get them to go through the alphabet naming countries that begin with each letter two or three times. At the American International school she rarely gets through it once and then some of them will have resorted to naming states because they don't understand the distinction or are ignorant of anywhere outside the states, and these are expats, the ones who have ventured outside the US. Why on earth are we taking a lead from an Education system that equips their pupils with such a drastic paucity of knowledge?

mrz Mon 01-Apr-13 14:18:49

Not only does he not know that education has moved on since the 1970s he seems unaware that society and the world has changed since he was at school

rabbitstew Mon 01-Apr-13 14:03:01

Gove seems to think that state schools haven't moved on in their approach since the 1970s and is an exceptionally poor advert for a private education. He seems incapable of listening to all arguments, analysing the information received and coming out with anything sensible at the end of the process. I'm not quite sure at what point his analysis broke down, but I suspect it was at the beginning, when he'd already made up his mind what he believed to be the case and what he wanted to do about it. If that's what a private education does for you...

ipadquietly Mon 01-Apr-13 14:02:58

(Sorry, I realised that after I pressed enter! grin)

mrz Mon 01-Apr-13 13:58:31

yes I know

ipadquietly Mon 01-Apr-13 13:39:23

mrz The lovely Anneiiese is following the Hirsch curriculum, which provided the 'philosophy' behind the draft curriculum.
montrose42.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/gove-hirsch-and-the-curriculum/

Copthallresident Mon 01-Apr-13 13:17:20

He also doesn't even understand reality since he clearly thinks that the Roman reality is so entirely comprehensible to a six year old that they need never study them again whilst the Victorian reality is so complex only a teenager can begin to comprehend it. History got harder as it went along grin

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