Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bacc off 

Curriculum design and implementation once the site of intense debate between educators and the public has, over the last 35 years, become the plaything of politicians. It has not fared well as a result. And in England and Wales a rash of reforms and draconian accountability measures have sapped the profession of the very energy it needs in order to provide high quality and inspiring learning experiences. Politicians with very little  knowledge of learning and teaching, and a very thin knowledge about what constitutes evidence have attempted to make their mark and advance their careers by introducing measures that alienate teachers and pupils, running the danger of turning schools into irrelevant institutions that simply reproduce inequality. One wonders whether the current Education Secretary is about to get his comeuppance after all his recent meddling in the compulsory sector. The English Baccalaureate is one of his most reductive and divisive ideas - and the opposition is gathering strength. When it's compared with something more imaginative, like the International Baccalaureate, you see how we are hobbled by limited vision, a curriculum devoid of values, and an Education Secretary who is ideologically driven. Unfortunately we are currently in a position in which professional voices are ignored and political opposition fragmented. Is it too much to hope that the Labour Party can seize this opportunity to begin a movement that hands education back to educators?

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