I am rarely moved to defend Michael Gove – if it is true that he “moved the goalposts” regarding exam marking without prior consultation, clearly this should be challenged, and is being challenged.
However, Ruth Wishart’s otherwise thought-provoking piece (Perspective, 30 August) appears to suggest, perhaps unintentionally, that to develop children’s creativity through education requires educators to forget about the “formulaic kinds of learning” supposedly dear to the heart of Gove and co.
It seems to have long been the view of influential educators that it is unnecessary to teach the principles of numeracy and literacy because children will learn these things through creativity and problem solving – in other words, education is about either creativity and imagination or about learning the rules.
In reality, of course, both are necessary.
Learning what the rules are, or should be, allows creative geniuses to decide when to break those rules.
James Joyce may have written the linguistically challenging Finnegans Wake, for example, but he was experimenting with use of language and was fully aware of the conventions of “proper” English, as he demonstrated in books like Dubliners.
I completely agree with Ruth Wishart that traditional forms of exam-taking are of limited value, but somehow educators need to find a way of getting across basic standards of literacy and numeracy so that students have an effective tool set for solving problems creatively.
(Dr) Mary Brown
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west