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The ripples begin to spread

Following the rather negative piece on the front of the Times (9 July), it was interesting that yesterday's Times Educational Supplement took up Keir's views on implementing A Curriculum for Excellence (ACfE). The TESS of 17 July front-paged Keir's 7-point plan for rescuing the policy and making it happen. The anonymous Government spokesperson is quoted again, including the allegation that "[Keir Bloomer's] comments do not reflect the unparalleled involvement of the teaching profession in the development and implementation of ACfE". This involvement is at best a myth, and arguably a lie.

Neil Munro's editorial highlights how the "big picture" thinking has been lost in the minutiae of "experiences and outcomes". The point has been lost, he says, on the average teacher, let alone on the person whom is described quaintly by Munro as the "passenger on the Clarkston omnibus" (presumably the tartan equivalent of the famous "man on the Clapham omnibus" first mentioned by Greer LJ in Hall v. Brooklands Auto-Racing Club (1933) but possibly derived from long ago when Walter Bagehot characterised public opinion as that of the "bald-headed man at the back of the omnibus". (In Australia, it's been transmuted to the "Man on the Bondi Tram".)

Anyway, in the same TESS "a concerned parent" describes ACfE as "A curriculum for ignorance" and alleges that his/her child "is not "earning how to learn: my child is simply not learning". And a retired teacher complains about "unproven ideology ... driven forward by an unelected quangocracy". In another article, Lindsay Paterson scotches the myth that Scottish education is better than the rest of the UK: competition and diversity are compatible with high standards and Scotland can learn from English successes. Given how hard it is normally to stir up educational debate in July, Keir has done really well in the past week.

Last Wednesday, Keir recorded a 10-minute interview with Shereen Nanjiani (Radio Scotland 0900 on Sundays) so it may be worth tuning in tomorrow to see if it's included. If not, maybe next week? Watch this space!


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 18, 2009 11:33 PM.

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