Dear Teachers …

I am now getting seriously worried. Today I read in the TimesOnline that if the there is to be a Tory government after the next general election then there is going to be a return to ‘traditional’ school lessons:

Children will be instructed to learn poetry by heart and recite the kings and queens of England, in a return to a “traditionalist” education planned by the Conservatives. The national curriculum would be rewritten under a Tory government to restore past methods of teaching history, English, maths and science, Michael Gove, the Shadow Children’s Secretary, told The Times. He promised that a committee of the “greatest minds in Britain” would decide what children were taught. The Prince of Wales’ Teaching Institute would also be involved in drawing up a new curriculum.

I have spent just about the whole of my teaching life trying to move away from this to a more rational, learner-centred and personalised curriculum and now, having read this, I simply don’t know where to turn. Have I the strength, determination and will to fight against, what is a political involvement, in a cause that I feel should be above politics?

But the article goes on to assure me that I don’t need to worry as there are so many ‘worthies’ on hand to help out … maths will be ‘Vordermanised’ (but hasn’t she only got  a 3rd Class degree) and the Prince of Wales (Is he aware of this?) is concerned about the dumbing down of the curriculum (Which curriculum would that be I wonder?)

I just panic when I read that Mr Gove is: … amazed to discover that science is not divided into physics, chemistry and biology. It has these hybrid headings about the chemical and material whatever and the Earth, the environment and this and that.

And all of this comes after last weeks option to ship in the army to bring the discipline of the parade ground to failing schools.

I just wonder how long it will take until someone suggests that teachers should wear gowns and mortar boards …

More than ever before I feel the need to open my communicator and get beamed up to a different planet.


Image: ‘Planet Sunset
Planet Sunset

6 thoughts on “Dear Teachers …

  1. What can one say? After years of primary education being in the wilderness of the National Curriculum, the dawn of the Rose Review to be snuffed out by the Gove meteorite crash landing, leading to a dinosaur like mass extinction of creativity.

  2. Fight we must! Don’t vote Tory! The Rose Review, the New Primary Curriculum, advances and developments in technologies in schools are an exciting prospect. After 22 years of teaching – I have been re-inspired by the prospect of being creative and even “child led” rather than results driven! I’ll be looking for a new profession if there is any hint of returning to traditional lessons!

  3. NO, NO,NO!!!! As a primary teacher I have to add my plea to the Politicians – leave real teachers to get on with teaching real children and stop living in the cloud cuckoo land of your memories! So much has changed since these political experts were at school, learning can be so much better now, if only you’ll let teachers teach and so empower children to learn and want to carry on learning!

  4. At the last conference Cameron said that under the Tories the focus would be on ‘setting by ability, competitive sports and discipline’. And Vorderman was frightening on Question Time the other week!

    My only hope is that by and large, what politicans say in the manifesto is often very different to what they actualy do. And I imagine there will be a lot of commerical opposotion (Education publishers, Exam Boards) to these type of changes.

    As for the army on the parade ground, I think they are stretched enough.

  5. Not worried about the:

    ‘ship in the army to bring the discipline of the parade ground to failing schools.’

    We have lots of wonderful ex-service people training on our course and we know how to turn swords into ploughshears 😉

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