Sunak’s maths jolly. Does it really add up?

Rishi Sunak has announced a review of maths education in England. He’s setting up a group of advisers, including mathematicians and business representatives to examine the "core maths content" taught in schools. The advisors will also consider whether a new maths qualification is necessary. He wants all school pupils in England to study some maths … Continue reading Sunak’s maths jolly. Does it really add up?


Reforming the Curriculum (part 2)

The previous post (below) addressed 'powerful knowledge', equated with 'knowledge of the powerful', ( a ruling class, or Elite depending on how you want to characterise things). This knowledge, it was argued, appears ‘fixed,’ intrinsically superior, but is also essential in ensuring ‘legitimacy’. In other words its intrinsic qualities are used to justify a wider social … Continue reading Reforming the Curriculum (part 2)


Reforming the Curriculum

While reformers (now even many Tories)  continue to emphasise education’s potential role in challenging inequalities  through expanding opportunities,   radical practitioners go further and argue an alternative curriculum is necessary.   Here they are have been joined by left wing academics , who influenced by the  writings of Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci or, in this country, by the work … Continue reading Reforming the Curriculum

What future for ‘home education’?

As the chart shows, recent years have seen an increase in the number of children being educated outside of the school system - 48,000 In 2016-17, up from about 34,000 in 2014-15. Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 provides that: “The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive … Continue reading What future for ‘home education’?

How teaching can be different

Valerie Coultas takes issue with the view that teaching is improved  by extensive supervision and imposed lesson observations. Instead she argues for a return to and enhancement of collaborative teaching approaches to re-establish the principle that teachers and lecturers are able and willing to reflect on their practice without fear of sanctions. She  argues that … Continue reading How teaching can be different

Important NUT research on the secondary curriculum

The NUT has just released King’s College research on the effects of government policies on the secondary curriculum. Based on a sample of 1800 secondary members and in depth school case studies, key findings show   amongst other things: 74% of teachers consider the Ebacc requirements are dramatically narrowing the curriculum. 84% worry that the excessive … Continue reading Important NUT research on the secondary curriculum

Academic education for some. Vocational courses for the others. Wilshaw’s answer to ‘One size fits all’

In a widely reported speech to  the think-tank Centre Forum,  Ofsted chief Michael Wilshaw has slammed the  ‘One-size-fits-all’ emphasis on traditional academic subjects by secondary schools, declaring that this ‘will never deliver the range of success that their youngsters need’ https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ambitions-for-education-sir-michael-wilshaw   Wilshaw is not promoting a more student friendly type of learning though, far from it … Continue reading Academic education for some. Vocational courses for the others. Wilshaw’s answer to ‘One size fits all’

The Curriculum Great Reversal

Kingston University Seminar (01.05.13) Martin Allen Michael Gove’s National Curriculum proposals have been out for consultation and have  received a fair share of attention.  While there has been particular controversy over proposals for history and English, this short paper provides an ‘overview’ –a more general critique of the underlying principles behind the Gove curriculum. To … Continue reading The Curriculum Great Reversal

National Curriculum: principles and practices

Martin Allen National Curriculum proposals in various subjects are now out for consultation.  While it is important that teachers, trade unions and subject associations respond to these, it’s also important to develop a more general critique of the underlying principles behind them. The new National Curriculum represents a reactionary step back –part of a more … Continue reading National Curriculum: principles and practices