Michael Rosen to launches rival curriculum because schools have “given up doing all the creative, interesting stuff”

The Sunday Times is reporting that  children’s author and poet Michael Rosen is to publish an “alternative curriculum” for parents to use with their children because schools have “given up doing all the creative, interesting stuff”…

The former children’s laureate said he wanted to redress the “narrow prescriptive timetable and a focus on drilling for tests and exams” at many schools…

He said the new literature syllabus, which caused protests last week, exemplified his worries about how schools were discouraging children from learning.

“It’s a pointless attempt to try to yoke literature and the national project. To try to contain people within national boundaries is alien to literature,” said Rosen.

Rosen has an alternative curriculum, Good Ideas, to be published by Hodder & Stoughton in the autumn. According to its author it is “an attempt to provide a compensatory education, because so much of what goes on now in schools is drilling to the test or to an exam. Kids have to look for all the creative, interesting stuff elsewhere because they have given up doing it in schools.”

Rosen, whose own children are aged from 9 to 38, said he had taken inspiration for Good Ideas from the way the broadcaster Sir David Attenborough was brought up.

“His dad knew the right answer when David found an insect or a bone and asked, ‘What’s this?’ But he would just say, ‘Let’s see if we can find out.’ It’s a strategy I’ve adopted with my own son. The book helps children find out how to find out,” Rosen said.

The trick for parents and for good schools, he added, is to help children discover their passions: “The book, I hope, is about how parents can help their child be happy and curious…”

More at: Poet launches rival to Gove curriculum (subscription required)

Do you think Michael Rosen is fair to suggest schools have “given up doing all the creative, interesting stuff”? More broadly, what do you make of the idea of an alternative curriculum for parents like this? Something you welcome and look forward to? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. mazst

    MaryMyatt SchoolsImprove I wonder why he thinks he is qualified to make judgements on how all schools teach

  2. JulesDaulby

    mazst tstarkey1212 MaryMyatt SchoolsImprove
    Why do politicians? Rosen has much more experience in schools than Gove?

  3. tstarkey1212

    JulesDaulby mazst MaryMyatt SchoolsImprove
    Even more reason for him not to be making sweeping, derogatory statements.

  4. rivierabenson

    FarrowMr tstarkey1212 JulesDaulby mazst MaryMyatt SchoolsImprove Sour grapes for “banning” “We’re going on a bear hunt” from GCSE Lit?

  5. rivierabenson

    FarrowMr tstarkey1212 JulesDaulby mazst MaryMyatt SchoolsImprove “We can’t go UNDER it. We can’t go OVER it…Oh bugger!”

  6. rivierabenson

    FarrowMr tstarkey1212 JulesDaulby mazst MaryMyatt SchoolsImprove “We’ll have to write a new one!”

  7. SallyHoward3

    @mazst Michael Rosen gets very involved in education & works in schools and universities on creative writing and similar. He often contributes and supports the association fir science education ( ASE) on how to keep creativity in science education without the loss of science ( he has a science background) so yes he’s very well equipped to give an informed view.
    Teachers have given up on broad / balanced/ creative curriculums , and not surprisingly. Teaching in ITE or schools is like pushing a boulder up hill at the moment

  8. colinsparkbridg

    SchoolsImprove Don’t blame schools generally for giving up on creativity. Blame the system which bullies and intimidates them

  9. Becamos

    SchoolsImprove think it needs to be rephrased as ‘the government’ not ‘schools’. We just do what we’re told and then moan about it!

  10. peroxidemoments

    SchoolsImprove there seem 2 B a lot of rather defensive comments made abt Rosens assertns. In my Y6 experience sadly hes not far off beam..

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