Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 19, 2009


Guardian, UK - Children's lives are being impoverished by the government's insistence that schools focus on literacy and numeracy at the expense of creative teaching, the biggest review of the primary school curriculum in 40 years finds today. . .

The Cambridge University review of the primary curriculum found. . . children are leaving school lacking knowledge about the arts and humanities having spent too many years "tied to a desk" learning times tables.

"Our argument is that their education, and to some degree their lives, are impoverished if they have received an education that is so fundamentally deficient," he said.

The report says schools should be freed of SATs . . . to allow them to make more decisions about what and how they teach. . .

Independent of the government and funded through charitable donations, the review is based on three years of academic research, 29 research papers and dozens of public meetings around the country. It marks 40 years since the last wholesale review of primary education and presents a blueprint for a curriculum that would give teachers control of 30% of their time to teach what they want. . .

The review finds:

- Children are losing out on a broad, balanced and rich curriculum with art, music, drama, history and geography the biggest casualties.

- The curriculum, and crucially English and maths, have been "politicized".

- The focus on literacy and numeracy in the run-up to national tests has "squeezed out" other areas of learning.

- The Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, which sets the curriculum, have been excessively prescriptive, "micro-managing" schools.

The review accuses the government of attempting to control what happens in every classroom in England, leading to an excessive focus on literacy and numeracy in an "overt politicization" of children's lives. Despite this too many children still leave primary school having failed to master the 3Rs. . .

Christine Blower, acting general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said the proposals "have depth, credibility and, above all, respond to the realities of the primary classroom".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a lot of effort expended to try conceal the fact that some races are less academic than others. Rather than applying effort to help the less capable, all are made to suffer to maintain an egalitarian fantasy.

February 20, 2009 12:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, dumbass, we're all the same race.

February 20, 2009 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@12:54 - some races are less academic? did an alien whisper that to you, in a dream?

sheesh, what a sad fallacy is residing between your ears.

Now, as to education, the whole world needs Alfie Kohn at the helm! If I could, I'd make every teacher and parent in the whole world read "No Contest" and "Unconditional Parenting" (to start with)

February 21, 2009 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two of you still believe what the state education system told you.

February 22, 2009 1:44 AM  

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