Archive for the ‘Primary School Education’ Category

Primary School Education

Mercredi, août 10th, 2011

The national curriculum in the UK is currently being reviewed by an independent commission which should be given further food for thought this year with one third of children (around 180,000) leaving primary school at the age of 11 years, without reaching the required standards in reading, writing and arithmetic. National test (SATS tests) results also showed more than 30,000 of these 11-year-olds leaving the primary school stage with a reading age of seven years or less. The largest group of underachievers were those from disadvantaged homes usually with few books and where education is not necessarily valued, the sole responsibility then falling upon the schools to teach these children what they need to know.
Traditionally such teaching used to be based on instilling a core knowledge of history, geography, art, music, English, mathematics and science. However, this system of knowledge-based education seems to have been discarded in favour of more progressive ideas which are aimed at developing thinking skills through child-centred teaching, rather than the subject–centred teaching associated in the past also with rote-learning. This current progressive emphasis on putting the learner child at the centre poses less problems for the middle class child with supportive and aspiring parents it would appear, than those from disadvantaged homes requiring new experiences beyond the limited confines of their local community.
Children as in previous generations can still be taught how to think for themselves but they will be better prepared to think and make more sense of the knowledge-based, modern society around them, if this can also be based on an acquired and broader subject knowledge. If this core knowledge base is then decided by the teacher rather than relying on the individual child to decide what is important, at least all will start junior school with the same basic grounding.
This could be one small step perhaps towards reducing the number of children entering the feral, uneducated under-class currently rioting, vandalising and looting in major UK city centres.