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Should we introduce more practical skills into the primary curriculum?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Doug1943, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Doug1943

    Doug1943 New commenter

    It has struck me that there are a lot of kids who have serious intellectual curiousity about how things work, which is not satisfied by the current curriculum.

    Our current culture of 'throw it away and get a new one' doesn't encourage certain skills our recent ancestors had -- namely, don't throw it away, repair it. Or perhaps I should say, a certain mind-set.

    With the shift towards sustainability, it seems to me that we would benefit if we could bring back, to whatever extent possible, the culture of 'fixing and repairing'.

    What changes in the curriculum might this require? Or could this be part of an extra-curricular programme?

    I have in mind a certain ten year old who is really interested in cars -- but has had no exposure, in school, to how they actually work. This seems to me to be a gap in our educational provision.

    What do others think?
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I would think that 'how cars work' would be more suited to a secondary curriculum than primary. Certainly it used to come in to the later years of Secondary Modern schooling.
    Wotton likes this.
  3. Doug1943

    Doug1943 New commenter

    Perhaps you're right, but ... this kid is ten years old and is completely capable of understanding gear-ratios, crankshafts, valves, etc. (I know, because I've taught him these things.)

    I'm not really thinking of making this yet another curriculum thing, to be taught by weary and sometimes uninterested teachers. But it seems to me that there ought to be a way to encourage after-school or weekend clubs, run by volunteers, with perhaps just a bit of government money (I know -- there isn't any), where kids could learn how things work, how to fix them, how to make things.

    I tutor kids in maths and science, and I have to say, almost uniformly, they find these subjects, as they're taught in school .... boring. Science and maths -- they're about drones, AI, colonies on Mars, gene editing, getting energy from the sun and wind ... they're anything but boring! And yet ... we seem to have made them so.
  4. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Hello @Doug1943

    I had a couple of ten year old's knock on my door today to practice their unicycling. I've long taught local kids odds and ends.

    If you have the skills why not do the same?

  5. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    It wasn't exactly 'repair' work, but in my days at primary school in the 60s, we certainly did a lot of 'making' … French knitting which was sewn into circular table mats, woven raffia baskets, knitting, embroidery (remember binca?) as well as woodwork. On one memorable occasion, I remember a someone trying to teach me to darn a sock!!!! As far as I can remember, both boys and girls did everything, there was no gender stereotyping.
  6. Waiguoren

    Waiguoren Occasional commenter

    A rich extra curricular programme and creative d&t curriculum is my recommendation.

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