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Ofsted and 'knowledge based curriculum'

Discussion in 'Education news' started by captain_picard, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    There's an entire book of examples - Daisy Christodoulou's Seven Myth's About Education. There are examples from OfSTED reports of teachers being criticised for telling students things, but then also praise for students knowing things, as if they should magically come to know them.

    I haven't collated a list of examples, but a lot of criticisms of the new National Curriculum, and criticism from the unions, seems to be that it's too fact based - particularly from English and History teachers.

    There's also a lot of implied criticism of knowledge - I suppose I'm thinking about this sort of thing. There's also the first paragraph in this article. The last paragraph on this page is also worth a look.
  2. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    There's a lot less knowledge in science than there used to be, though. I was helping some students revise for Biology the other week and I was surprised that I could remember more from my 1985 O level in Biology than they now needed to know. They only needed to know what "white cells" where we needed to know about lymphocytes and leucocytes, they only needed to know what a scab was, whereas we had to know about heparin, thrombin, fibrinogen, etc., they only had to know the products of photosynthesis whereas we had to remember the chemical equation, etc.
  3. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Some of the 400,000 teachers in the UK may have been criticised for "telling students things", but very, very few as a % of the whole. The vast majority of schools employ teachers who have been teaching knowledge for years.

    A bit of implied criticism in articles doesn't mean whole swathes of children are not being "taught".
    snowyhead likes this.
  4. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    The knowledge to be taught for our qualifications is not decided by teachers, nor by or schools, but by exam boards.
    snowyhead likes this.
  5. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    Funny, I always thought that the National Curriculum laid out what was to be taught, exam boards just comply to the NC. Teaching to exam spec only, across early key stages is what prompted the rethink, now your saying to hell with the NC follow exam board only, even if it doesn't cover the whole of the NC.
  6. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    Clearly you never had the misfortune of teaching 21st Century Science - less a Science GCSE and more a Media GCSE.
  7. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Many schools do not follow the NC. As I presume you know.

    If that is what I said, then doubtless you can quote it.

    My point was that schools generally follow a GCSE course run by a recognised board. Exam passes will be the currency of education for a good while yet and certainly for colleges, employers sand universities. In the current climate, there seems little point teaching what you think is important if it is not on a syllabus.Parents and Ofsted will not be happy if results decline and the excuse is "but we were teaching things of cultural value"
    agathamorse and snowyhead like this.
  8. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    I took Biology 'O' level in 1981 and never needed to know about heparin. I do remember having to learn the life cycle of a honey bee and how to draw and label the main parts of the circulatory system including a cross section of the heart. We did very little practical biology in those days - mostly copying from text books. I think Nuffield changed all of that, thankfully.
  9. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Pupils in the 'early key stages' don't sit exams written by examination boards. KS1 and KS2 pupils do take part in NC tests which are not recognised qualifications but tests designed to check the quality of teaching in a school and whether children are ready for the next key stage. Pointless in my opinion but that's another battle for another day.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  10. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    Thank you for the correction. But do you agree that SATs have narrowed the curriculum, especially in a primary setting?

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