Saturday, February 16, 2008

A question of time

times past
It used to said, quite glibly, that education was about the transmission of culture. Nowadays it seems to be more an acting out of popular neuroses: responding to moral panics. Whether we worry about obese pupils or internet safety – education is supposed to fix it. Well maybe that’s cultural transmission – a sort of hyper-concern around risk. Not surprisingly then, my initial reaction to five hours of culture in the curriculum was to laugh out loud. Now let’s be clear that that is a guarantee of five hours of quote high quality culture every week (whatever that is). Needless to say the government plan has met with a mixed response. Kids could end up doing some really exciting things; alternatively could be doing really naff stuff. But what really gets to me is a) the time thing, and b) the implication that there’s not enough culture around in the first place. Having got ourselves in a complete mess about time allocation in a standards-driven, outcomes-based education system, innovators are now continually faced with the question of how to fit new ideas into an over-full curriculum. It’s as if pupils, as empty containers, were already brimming over. Actually they’re bored with more and more of the same. So let’s have some arts, some media, some videogaming; but let’s create curriculum space and take some of the pressures off teachers.


  1. Obviously a new literacies fan...

  2. The 'cultural offer' programme is called 'Find your talent'. Do you think Brown has been watching the 'X-Factor' for too long?

  3. Well that's truly naff! Thanks for the link, Jackie.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.