History and geography lessons in primary schools should be scrapped, says (UK)

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Urgent reforms are needed to protect primary schools struggling to cope with an overloaded curriculum, a Goverment report has concluded. Under proposals outlined by Sir Jim Rose, the Government's top adviser on primary schools, traditional lessons such as history and geography would be axed to allow teachers greater flexibility to teach fewer subjects in greater depth.

Instead of teaching subjects individually, the report said the curriculum should focus on cross-curricular studies encompassing a range of subjects and ideas.

The report said:"Failure to protect primary schools from curriculum overload will lead to the superficial treatment of essential content, as they struggle to cope with 'the next new thing' rather than teach worthwhile knowledge, skills and understanding to sufficient depth, and make sure that children value and enjoy their learning."

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Michael Wade - 12/10/2008

Drop history and geography on the grounds that teachers need to teach fewer subjects in greater depth? Pull up the Telegram and/or the full report and treat yourself to the six "subjects." Drop history because cross-curricularity is the latest educational rage? As the Federalists used to say about President Madison, "Poor Jimmy." Along with most educationists, who typically lack expertise in an academic subject, and are consequently enthralled by the latest in(often recycled) pedagogical technique and curricular fad,Sir Jim apparently does not understand that history is, more than any other subject, intrinsically cross-disciplinary. As for skills, it provides students with the ability to draw historical analogies between historical events in different eras, it equips them with valuable cultural knowledge probably unavailable, and it enhances a range of other analytical skills. The proposed new curriculum is no improvement in that it will provide even less depth. Sir Jim and his fellow travelers would give the next generation of young UK students an elementary education not unlike the American Platte River, i. e. one "a mile wide and six inches deep." What is needed in the UK and in the U. S. is traditional subject matter (a foreign language is commendable)-- mathematics, history, English grammar and reading, physical education, and science (to include ecological concepts)taught by professionals who have solid academic preparation, and no more pedagogical courses than absolutely necessary, said necessity to be determined by experienced, hopefully unbiased veteran teachers, not by those who have a vested interest in pedagogy. Why is an American so concerned about an English educational fad? Because we too are afflicted with it, even in our university system, which increasingly has fallen prey to educationists and student services personnel, not least because they offer a way of seeming to be accountable in the face of swelling enrollments of ever-less culturally literate students.

Frank Cousins - 12/10/2008

Does anyone else smell fascism here?
Drop history? I sure know that Republicans would love that to happen in the states. This is a ridiculous proposal.