Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ignorance sanctioned - It's official



from Spiked Magazine

Anti-science lessons
UK schools’ new dumbed-down, issues-led science curriculum will inculcate students with suspicion about scientific endeavour.

by Sandy Starr

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Critique of the degradation of school science teaching after my own heart. The spurious argument seems to be society is so saturated with science children do not need to learn it as they used to. The real reason is simpler: science is too hard for current students so the solution to lower grades and lower uptake of science subjects is : make it easier.

The article mentions the tendancy in recent years towards integrated rather than single subject science at GCSE. Now the syllabi,which are now called specifications, which is strange since the courses are getting less technical, are shifting towards (aaaaargh) issues-based topics. I must be living in a cocoon because issues as in 'I have issues with this', 'Do you have issues with this?' etc., has only come my way in the last 18 months or so: why is issues being used instead of better, simpler, clearer, exacter words such as problems or difficulties?

Every seriously educationally engaged parent of teenage children should take this to heart, making sure they ask the science staff of their schools the questions this raises.




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