Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Michael Gove's Education Plan

From The Times:-
Children will be instructed to learn poetry by heart and recite the kings and queens of England, in a return to a “traditionalist” education planned by the Conservatives. The national curriculum would be rewritten under a Tory government to restore past methods of teaching history, English, maths and science, Michael Gove, the Shadow Children’s Secretary, told The Times.
Stop right there! Hasn't Gove been talking about creating schools independent of state control? Shouldn't that mean that Gove sets some pretty basic targets (at most) of what should be taught and leave the rest to parents? So what's he doing interfering with the curriculum?
He promised that a committee of the “greatest minds in Britain” would decide what children were taught. The Prince of Wales’ Teaching Institute would also be involved in drawing up a new curriculum.

The Fuckwit of Wales is going to have involvement in education. The man who believes in homeopathy.
“I’m an unashamed traditionalist when it comes to the curriculum,” Mr Gove said. “Most parents would rather their children had a traditional education, with children sitting in rows, learning the kings and queens of England, the great works of literature, proper mental arithmetic, algebra by the age of 11, modern foreign languages. That’s the best training of the mind and that’s how children will be able to compete.”
1) Many parents might want their kids sat in rows. I'm not sure it works any better than sitting in groups.

2) Learning the Kings and Queens of England is history turned into trainspotting. There's certainly some that are worth studying because of their impact on where we are now, but they're mostly utterly tedious.

3) I'm quite happy with people learning modern foreign languages but I'm really not sure that you need to, living in this country.

Mr Gove said he wanted experts, such as Baroness Greenfield, Lord Winston and Lord Rees of Ludlow, to draw up the new science curriculum.
Can we skip Greenfield with her fuckwitted ideas about the internet?
Carol Vorderman is already on hand to decide how children should learn maths.
Despite the fact that she has a 3rd in engineering (which would disqualify her from being a teacher under new Conservative rules), and that she has never studied child psychology or education.
“I’m a huge fan of the Prince’s Teaching Institute,” Mr Gove said. “What Prince Charles has done is affirmed the real importance of subject knowledge. He’s absolutely right in saying that what draws people into teaching is that they love history or physics, and they want to communicate that love. They don’t love abstract thinking skills; they love the thrill of discovery in their own special field. We definitely want the Prince’s Teaching Institute to help.”
It's a pity that abstract thinking is actually more useful than history.
The Shadow Children’s Secretary said that too much of the curriculum was about “airy fairy” goals rather than hard facts. “I was amazed to discover that science is not divided into physics, chemistry and biology. It has these hybrid headings about the chemical and material whatever and the Earth, the environment and this and that.”
Well, there certainly are physics, chemistry and biology GCSEs, so fuck knows what Gove is on about here.

History should be taught “in order — it’s a narrative,” Mr Gove said. Lessons should celebrate rather than denigrate Britain’s role through the ages, including the Empire. “Guilt about Britain’s past is misplaced.”
1) Not exactly.
2) History should teach the history of Britain as accurately as possible. Neither socialist guilt, nor jingoistic propaganda. We did some glorious things and some shitty things in our past.
English classes would put more emphasis on the classics, with children encouraged to learn poetry by heart. “A lot of the ‘great tradition’ is locked in a cupboard marked ‘too difficult’ and that’s quite wrong. I’ve been talking to the RSC about bringing Shakespeare into primary schools,” he said. Modern languages will also be revived. “One of the biggest tragedies in state education over the last ten years has been this huge drop in French and German, Italian and Spanish,” he said.
Shakespeare is tedious for young kids unless you're going to show them movie versions, most of which are unsuitable. Learning any of those languages is mostly pointless nowadays (Korean, Chinese or Japanese may be better).

It's almost making what we've got now to look good.

1 comment:

  1. You're right, I take it all back, Gove is a fuckwit and microbe brain of the lowest order.