The national curriculum should be scrapped
Has the national curriculum exceeded its usefulness? In a fast-changing multi-cultural world isn't it time we scrap it for something more flexible?
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The National Curriculum is the product of a factory system designed for a world that no longer exists.
The National Curriculum does not provide personalised learning since it is an instrument of mass instruction.
According to Howard Gardener's "multiple intelligences theory," there are nine DISTINCT different intelligences or learning styles. Which are:
1. Linguistic Intelligence: the capacity to use language to express what's on your mind and to understand other people. Any kind of writer, orator, speaker, lawyer, or other person for whom language is an important stock in trade has great linguistic intelligence.
2. Logical/Mathematical Intelligence: the capacity to understand the underlying principles of some kind of causal system, the way a scientist or a logician does; or to manipulate numbers, quantities, and operations, the way a mathematician does.
3. Musical Rhythmic Intelligence: the capacity to think in music; to be able to hear patterns, recognize them, and perhaps manipulate them. People who have strong musical intelligence don't just remember music easily, they can't get it out of their minds, it's so omnipresent.
4. Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence: the capacity to use your whole body or parts of your body (your hands, your fingers, your arms) to solve a problem, make something, or put on some kind of production. The most evident examples are people in athletics or the performing arts, particularly dancing or acting.
5. Spatial Intelligence: the ability to represent the spatial world internally in your mind -- the way a sailor or airplane pilot navigates the large spatial world, or the way a chess player or sculptor represents a more circumscribed spatial world. Spatial intelligence can be used in the arts or in the sciences.
6. Naturalist Intelligence: the ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) and sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef.
7. Intrapersonal Intelligence: having an understanding of yourself; knowing who you are, what you can do, what you want to do, how you react to things, which things to avoid, and which things to gravitate toward. We are drawn to people who have a good understanding of themselves. They tend to know what they can and can't do, and to know where to go if they need help.
8. Interpersonal Intelligence: the ability to understand other people. It's an ability we all need, but is especially important for teachers, clinicians, salespersons, or politicians -- anybody who deals with other people.
9. Existential Intelligence: the ability and proclivity to pose (and ponder) questions about life, death, and ultimate realities.
The national curriculum fails to cater to all of the above learning styles because the national curriculum uses model lessons (all students are taught the same things the same way). Therefore teaching under the national curriculum is ineffective in several cases and should 'scrapped'
[source for Howard Gardner's 9 intelligences: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/education/ed_mi_overview.html%5D
Personalized learning does exist under the NC. While the curriculum outlines what knowledge is to be taught, the teacher plans their lessons to suit the individuals within their class based on their particular strengths and weaknesses. It is known as differentiation and is an essential part of lesson planning.
The National Curriculum has stifled creativity (the generation of ideas) and innovation (the addition of value).
I'm going to give a United states example to strengthen this argument.
Under the national curriculum, the information taught to our youth (state history in this example) will be chosen by a committee presumably not from the the state the material will be taught in. I don't want someone telling my teacher to teach history that really isn't Idaho history, but the committee presumably won't know that because there's probably not someone from Idaho on that committee.
Also, because the government chooses what will be taught, some historic events that reflect poorly on the government or incites fear about the power of a government and what it can do will no longer be taught and, in essence, won't have happened. The Holocaust, for example, that shows the power of government and political corruption, will no longer be taught and in a few generations nobody will remember, and "Those who do not remember their history are condemned to repeat it." We don't want another holocaust to happen. The national curriculum should be done away with... now, and forever.
The national curriculum is capable of substantial improvement
We need a more flexible policy to allow for individual aptitudes and interests. However there should still be a more limited core curriculum. Maths and English are essential to enable us to function in modern society. Schools should be required to ensure the highest possible standards in these subjects. Then they should be encouraged to offer any other subjects which the pupils and their parents want. If the school successfully imparts the motivation to learn, the particular subjects they study are much less important.
The National Curriculum provides reference points of achievement for parents and government.
The national curriculum does not effectively measure achievement in either students or teachers. Especially under a national curriculum that uses merit based pay. Using standardized tests encourages "teaching to the test" (teachers giving only the information that is required to pass the test). Now all our students are do is MEMORIZE and REGURGITATE information... as opposed to actually UNDERSTANDING the material (so as to be able to apply what they have learned). Overall standardized tests are ineffective at providing the information you argue that our policy makers need, because the results are often artificial.
The National Curriculum measures standards.
National curriculum isn't effective at making good measurements. (See my above argument)
The National Curriculum sets standards for the Teaching Learning Programme
What do you think?