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teachers views on CfE

Discussion in 'Scotland - curriculum' started by wwwwwwwww, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. Hi there im a new teacher and was just wondering what everyone thought of cfe. What are the main problems you have come across? all the reports and things i find only state the benefits i dont believe its all plain sailing?

    Many thanks

  2. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Hi W, I am an "old" teacher (young at heart tho' and always willing to try something new!!) and thought CFE would be a breath of fresh air; however there is so much paperwork, ideas, new initiatives......etc that I am more confused than enthused. I teach primary and secondary and nobody seems to be able to tell me when 5-14 is being ditched completely or a small bit or not at all??

    I'm not "set in my ways" and am always open to change for the better, but I'm not convinced about CFE - anyone else like to comment?

    Jo [​IMG]
    Alice K likes this.
  3. How does the Scottish Executive / Government and HMIe respond to staff and parental concerns about an overloaded curriculum, constantly changing initiatives and massively increased beaucracy?

    1. Hold a consultation exercise.

    2. Pay lip-service to concerns raised.

    3. Come up with a new, snappy title such as 'Curriculum for Excellence'.

    This ensures that the curriculum will be excellent and will achieve excellent results.

    4. Make lots of aspirational statements.

    5. Talk enthusiastically about 'outputs' whilst remaining vague about the 'inputs'.

    6. Pretend that teachers are going to have more control over what is taught.

    7. Start planning for 'Curriculum for Even Greater Excellence'.

    This ensures that nobody gets too confident about what they are supposed to be doing.

    To be serious. If anyone really believes that the Government and HMIe are going to relinquish the stranglehold they have on education, I fear they are going to be seriously disappointed.
  4. Until LA stop pushing and pushing for attainment figures based on 5-14 National Assessments how are we going to break away ffrom 5-14 and into this "flexible" CfE?[​IMG]
  5. I too am an 'old' teacher and my initial reaction to CfE was a positive one. Those of us who have been around long enough know that the proposed 'cross-curricular' aspect of the initiative harks back to a methodology of 20+ years ago. The early 90's saw a much more 'rigid' framework which chose not to develop cross-curricular links and lo, it was called, "5-14".

    CfE had/has the opportunity to use the positive aspects of both 5-14 and cross-curriculum links - but I can't see one being mutually exclusive of the other.

    One of the first PR 'buzz words' of CfE was 'de-cluttering' the curriculum, i.e. take away all of the duplicated areas of work and the many 'add-ons' which 5-14 acquired. This sounded good and I too was enthused.

    However, it appears that all we're doing now is adding a layer of bureaucracy on top of 5-14. The CfE targets are woolly and very non-specific. A couple of numeracy targets in 'money' for P5-7, for example, is hopeless. You have to go back to 5-14 to be more specific. The anomaly however is that there appears to be hundreds and hundreds of these CfE targets. How does this 'de-clutter' anything?[​IMG]

    There was an opportunity for education to take back control of itself with CfE but, as per usual, the politicians and mandarins of government have seen fit to dabble, hence my reduced enthusiasm for something that might have been worthwhile.
  6. xmal

    xmal Established commenter

    Curriculum for Excellence aims to ensure that they [pupils] will enjoy greater choice and opportunity to help realise their individual talents.


    Lovely rhetoric! I keep going back to CfE and trying to make some sense of it but I just get infuriated and frustrated. It's as if the Scottish Government has created this department that does nothing other than genetate new speak:

    ...a new approach to learning and teaching which will equip young people with the skills they need... to help our young people realise their talents so they are prepared for future demands... etc

    However, you don't need to look hard before the idiology begins to undo. A CfE contradicts itself:

    ... commitment to breadth and balance in the curriculum, but also: Reduce overcrowding in the curriculum

    How can we do both? Ultimately there is nothing of substance to it. I know that there are CfE evangelists who will brand me an unbeliever but, continuing with the religious comparisons, no one has shown me any proof that it actually exists. If there really a CfE? Come, show yourself!
  7. Honestly I went to one of these unpacking exercises and it was the biggest waste of time since the Newcastle United PR man said during the Joe Kinnear interview: "What is said in this room lads, stays in here."

    It is utter tosh. Wishy washy and just a grouping of buzz words.




    Cooperative Learning

    At the end of the day we are still teaching the same kids basically the same syllabus. Oh it is 'how' we teach the course that is going to change. Great. But with budget cuts and no money for ICT or new books how are we going to do that exactly?

    I'm seriously thinking of packing this whole sham in.

    A waste of time, talent and resources.
  8. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    If you had posted these comments on the Scotland - Opinion Forum you would have risked a torrent of bullying/abuse from some of the CFE/Glow etc. zealots. Scottish Education will not begin to progress while such a 'Stalinist State' mentality has the upper hand. The 'slapping down' of any kind of alternative view seems to be characteristic of the 'numpties' in charge at the moment and their fellow travellers.

  9. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    What the last poster said.
  10. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    I'm wondering if anyone else is feeling as I do about CFE - after numerous in-set meetings, discussions in and out of school with colleagues and reading most of what we've been bombarded with recently, I feel worried about the future, the kids I teach, those I will be teaching and my neices and nephews who have yet to reach high school. I love my job and am lucky to teach in a small rural school with very small classes and few discipline problems, and most of my colleagues are OK. What worries me is not being able to keep up with all the changes, not agreeing with the changes etc...etc

    We had a whole day considering a consultation document, and most of us in my group were opposed to most of the proposals, as they were very unclear and/or unnecessary - lo and behold, the whole thing is delayed by a year, but it still is going ahead - why consult us if they aren't going to listen?

    I feel mentally stressed - can someone please give me some advice so that I will realise that worrying about this will make no difference and it's not my job to worry - just to teach?

    I heard this on the radio the other day "If you choose a career you truly love you will never feel that you have done a days' work..." - that used to be true for me but not any more.


  11. One of the most stressful things in any job is to be asked to do things you don't believe in. This is particularly true of teaching where, for the most part, staff take pride in doing the best for the young people in their care. When you are trained and educated to think critically about your area of expertise and the work you do, it is extremely frustrating to find that important educational initiatives have not been thought through and don't stand up to even basic academic, or practical, analysis.

    Is there any other profession where genuine dedication and experience are so undervalued? How many teachers could suggest ways in which the education system could be improved for the benefit of all but are deliberately ignored for being too sensible? Talking common sense, or being practical, are not qualities that are welcomed by those with their own pre-prepared, nebulous agenda.

    If education could be taken out of the Party Political arena who knows what could be achieved with much less stress and pointless bureaucracy. But, perhaps, there lies the problem. Perhaps there are just too many powerful people with a vested interest in keeping the education system in a constant state of turmoil, with a workforce that increasingly feels de-skilled and undervalued. When people feel insecure they are much easier to control.
  12. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    The Curriculum for Excellence has its origins in the National Debate - a Cathy Jamieson/Labour initiative. What has evolved appears to be an unworkable mess. At least with the introduction of Higher Still and its Review in 2003-4 things had settled down at Secondary level and are fairly stable. The Curriculum for excellence, if it gets off the ground, will no doubt throw that stability into chaos. I am sure that was never the intended outcome of the National Debate.
    All of this does show up those in charge of education to be incompetent and lacking in leadership.

  13. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    But what can we do about it? I can see loads of experienced teachers leaving (retirement or otherwise), being replaced for one year by probationers, who are well trained in their subject and as passionate as we were but without the experience (or guidance which can only be provided by experienced colleagues) and the whole Scottish education system (which used to be one of the best in the world) going belly-up. Thank God my kids are finished with school.....but what about my grandchildren?
  14. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    The issues have to be discussed properly, and a forum such as this is ideal. You certainly wont get a chance to bring the real issues out into the open in school that is a fact. As has already been said, when CfE was first mooted it was going to be about giving control of the curriculum back to teachers - the ones that actually teach (not the pupil contact dodgers FM + SMT's). What seems to be emerging is the exact opposite of that. The bully boys further up the educational tree are out to push their own agenda under the guise of CfE. They envisage using mechanisms such as GLOW, web conferencing and a form of 'command and control' to force teachers to comply with a method of delivering the curriculum. You can look forward to cost cutting, perhaps certain subjects being slimmed down or even removed altogether from the curriculum. Unfortunately the 'big brother' system of education is just around the corner if we let it happen.

  15. For all the problems with it, I was at a Secondary Practitioners' Conference at Jordanhill last Saturday. No yes-men, no top down pontificators, no trainers setting the agenda - just a whole day of ordinary secondary teachers talking to each other about what they're doing. It was inspirational, and if they are indicative of what's going on in classrooms, then children are in for a much better education than they've had up till now.
  16. xmal

    xmal Established commenter

    What was said?
  17. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    No doubt there are countless able and inspirational teachers at the chalk face who rarely get a real say in the education process. Unfortunately they are regularly let down by the numpties who have clawed their way to the top of the educational heap and are intent on making their mark regardless of the consequences.
  18. xmal

    xmal Established commenter

    Sadly, I believe that is all to common. Far too many SMT and guidance staff are only interested in their own progression and have little concern for the learning of their pupils.

  19. Why refuse to deal with the reality of my post? A major conference, attended by almost 150 school teachers , on a Saturday, many having prepared presentations to show their colleagues the work they're doing, all having their say with no boundaries or limitations, and many SMT listening carefully and constructively to what everyone had to say and taking it back to their establishments.

    It was an inspiring day for many, and in direct contrast to the mean-spiritedness of your posts.
  20. xmal

    xmal Established commenter

    Like I asked originally: what was said?


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