Crispin Weston

Troops don’t have to come up with their own battle strategy

Educational theory has become so confused that it’s hard to conceive of a nationwide response to the challenges of curriculum and assessment, says Crispin Weston, especially since many teachers have been led to resent the idea of systematic pedagogy

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In the debate between “traditionalists” and “progressives”, I have always placed myself in the former camp. I signed up happily to at least six of Daisy Christodoulou’s “seven myths about education”, as set out in her book of the same name, and smiled knowingly at Robert Peal’s account of how our education became “progressively worse”. But I have recently become uncomfortable with some accounts of the traditionalist position.

The original argument for a knowledge-based curriculum was that one cannot teach skill without appropriate domain knowledge. This position now seems to have hardened: if ...

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