against too much prescribed content whilst being definitely FOR interesting other content

Teachers have too much to do. Even if they wanted to do something else they felt was relevant and appropriate, they can’t. There’s no time and too much pressure. They are tired of all this interference.

Surprisingly enough teachers are actually human beings with their own lives and interests, they are not simplistic ignorant automata created to perform exactly the same acts at exactly the same times within institutions. They love the children in their care, they want to do what they can for them, they would like to help them BE in the world and be sensible, sensitive, caring, knowledgeable, useful, well- balanced people.

Why not let them get on with it?

If a person knows something really well, whatever it is, and then communicates their love of it to others, this generates enthusiasm for learning, takes people beyond what they thought was within their range and generally increases the ‘dimension’ of their world.

It’s like a good curry:

A good curry has lots of ‘dimension’ in the sauce due to many ingredients and flavours. It’s not thin, watery and tasteless.

There is so much content in the world. The world is content if you like. Why be so minimal about it?

The stress should be on learning how to learn, becoming interested in many things, moving beyond prescribed limits, being imaginative and creative, climbing Everest because its there, spreading the word about crochet if that’s your game……there’s no end and its all interesting.

All this is not to say there might be somethings it’s definitely useful to know, but you get the picture…

We need creative citizens who are not afraid to dig and delve,


ps  That’s why I did the posts on logarithms, because if you can and it seems appropriate, then do it. I’ve done indices, coefficients of polynomials and logarithms with 6 year olds. We also weighed an ant and simulated the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. Why not? They learnt a lot. They learnt a lot that is in any curriculum and an awful lot more that wasn’t. Also, they enjoyed it.

pps  God bless us and give us strength to fight on against all the drivel endlessly dished out by this Government and the deluded being in charge of the Department for Education.

against too much prescribed content and the learning of undesirable outcomes

National curriculae have strong tendencies. A National curriculum might have as one of its aims to improve the access of all children to what is seen as a desirable amount of knowledge. That is fine, BUT…

National curriculae are mostly generated by advice from specialists tempered by ideologies of the prevailing political system. The first ensures an immense amount of material to be covered, because specialists live within their created worlds and love them so they can think of lots to do and the second ensures that a) the lists sound similar to what they did at school and b) great emphasis is given to processes, procedures and organisations for ‘learning’ that these power-possessing beings have had experience of. So, kids have a curriculum that is 1000 miles wide and an inch deep (maybe a foot) fragmented by Victorian attitudes and organisations for learning. The Victorian attitudes include the fragmentation of the world into a few subject areas, the fragmentation of the child’s time into standard units such as hours, and the fragmentation of the people of the world into ghettos they call groups or streams. The children quickly learn from these ancient environments who is smart or dumb, who is destined to be a king or a pauper, who will live to serve and who will serve, etc.



There are better ways…

the content of every curriculum is relative and loaded

Awareness and attitude beat content. More later…

There are an infinite number of lists of content. Every curriculum that has ever existed or will ever exist or any that can be thought about in the future will have different sets of content. As now, when the government sees fit to allow those with no real knowledge or insight into education and learning to control what happens with content (and process), these lists will be enormous. What’s more they will be created by the prevailing mental structures of the beings involved.

A dog would create content relating to doggish items such as food, smell, territory etc.

Those who have been exposed to certain conditionings will often, though not necessarily, include aspects of these in their ‘curriculae’. George Monbiot recently wrote about this aspect. Check out his other writings on the reasons behind the present ‘revisions’…George Monbiot…’A Capitalist Command Economy’.

Gradgrind, from Dickens’ ‘Hard Times’ was keen on facts, facts, facts…

The half truth here is that of course everyone needs facts to operate in the world, but one needs much more than facts to be a creative, engaging, imaginative, happy productive human being.

The present ‘Revised National Curriculum’ for England and Wales is an example of ‘the Gradgrind Way’ created by those who do not understand but have the power to enforce. There are more sinister aspects to this however including the forcing or bribing of state schools to become so called academies by making them attempt to achieve the dull impossible. Then ultimately the profitable ones can be dealt out between the ‘unelected oligarchs’. This is truly a crime.

This revised curriculum is 1000 miles wide and 1 inch deep.