UNDERNEWS

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

March 25, 2009

LEARNING TWITTER PLACED ABOVE WORLD WAR II IN BRITISH STUDY

BBC - Primary school pupils should learn how to blog and use internet sites like Twitter and Wikipedia and spend less time studying history, it is claimed. . . The Guardian newspaper says draft copies it has seen shows pupils will no longer have to study the Victorian period or the Second World War. . . The review of the primary school curriculum was commissioned by Schools Secretary Ed Balls last year and is being drawn up by Sir Jim Rose, former chief of England's schools watchdog, Ofsted.

The Guardian said the draft review requires primary school children to be familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication.

They must gain "fluency" in handwriting and keyboard skills, and learn how to use a spellchecker alongside how to spell, the article said.

The government says history will still be studied. Every child would learn two key periods of British history but it would be up to the school to decide which ones. While schools would still be able to opt to teach Victorian history or the Second World War, they would not be required to, the Guardian said.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Mairead said...

Why should this bother anyone? When history is taught as a collection of disconnected facts to be tested by regurgitation, it really DOES have less value than learning some cultural skill.

Now, if teachers were to present the material at a useful level - as a puzzle to be solved, for example ("Why was Hitler able to come to power? What could have been done to stop him? What sort of effect would that have had?" "Where did the July 20th plotters go wrong?" "If you had been part of Wei├če Rose, what would you have wanted them to do differently, and why?") then it would be worth something.

But "In what year did Hitler order the invasion of Poland?" or "Which British fighter aeroplanes were flown most successfully against the Germans during the Battle of Britain?"? Feh! Who bloody cares.

March 27, 2009 4:25 PM  

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