In a letter to the Independent, leading figures from universities have warned the new curriculum promotes ‘rote learning without understanding’ and demands ‘too much too young’. This is from the Independent…
Michael Gove’s proposed new national curriculum will severely damage education standards by insisting children learn “endless lists of spellings, facts and rules”, experts are warning. In a letter to The Independent, 100 education academics warn that the new curriculum promotes “rote learning without understanding” and demands “too much too young”.
The academics, all of whom are either professors of education or teach in university education departments, write: “This mountain of data will not develop children’s ability to think – including problem-solving, critical understanding and creativity.”
Their intervention means the Education Secretary faces dissent on yet another front over his education reforms – coming just 36 hours after teachers’ leaders warned of strike action over plans to squeeze their pensions and end automatic annual incremental pay rises for the profession, plus opposition to his plans to force under-performing schools to become academies.
The signatories to the letter, who include leading figures in the world of academia such as Professor Terry Wrigley, from Leeds Metropolitan University, who co-ordinated the letter with Professor Michael Bassey from Nottingham Trent University, said: “A system which is very, very heavily prescribed and which encourages cramming through tests actually reduces fairly sharply the development of thinking. The pupils memorise just enough detail to get over the hurdle of the tests.”
Professor Wrigley added: “I think if these reforms go ahead it will be miserable for the children. Secondly, I think it will put further emphasis on memorisation and rote learning rather than understanding.”