As A member of the original Curriculum Review Group, I would like to congratulate Gaynor Allen on her excellent article (4 October) about Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).
She is perfectly right to suggest it is less a curriculum, and more a philosophy of education (although the curriculum has been reviewed and modernised to take account of new developments, particularly in science) and her description of what this means in practice was clear and positive.
It is a pity education secretary Mike Russell did not read her piece more carefully before leaping into print because, if he had, he would have appreciated that Gaynor, far from being a critic of CfE, is an enthusiast.
Her complaint is that her enthusiasm is not shared by the wider parent body. She acknowledged her support for CfE came in part from the many information sessions she had been able to attend as a member of two school councils while, for his part, Mike Russell details the many meetings and information materials targeted at such folk.
However, the information has not gone much further and for this Gaynor points the finger at central government and, particularly, Education Scotland (ES).
She provides a classic, example of ES-speak which will raise a smile with many who work in education because ES – like its predecessor body, Learning and Teaching Scotland – is known for never using one word when it can use ten!
The real problem is that simple, straightforward messages about CfE have never been given. Instead, everything has been hidden behind a repeated mantra about the four capacities and making children fit for life, work and the future – or some such.
The message that parents need, and which is also accurate, is that CfE involves a new approach to teaching which encourage children to think more about what they are learning so that, in future, when confronted with new and strange experiences, they are able to deal with them.
Children will still learn essential information but the curriculum has been modernised to take account of the knowledge that they need today and the exam system has been revised to accommodate these changes.
Now how hard is that?
Parent member of the Curriculum Review Group
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