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…