'Clumsy' CfE guide still steps in the right direction

26th March 2010 at 00:00

It's hard not to feel some sympathy for Marj Adams ("Future-proofing curriculum is am-dram farce", March 19).

Even as the resident cynic on the comment pages, it can't be easy to be unremittingly negative about Scottish education. So, in turning her attention to the publications aimed at parents and carers, is she simply tilting at windmills?

I should say from the outset that I share her dislike of jargon. If "future-proofing" children is about enabling them to be flexible and adaptable learners, able to apply their learning in new and unpredictable situations, then I'm all for it. But the phrase is clumsy.

However, to focus on grammar and the "morass of conflicting grammatical conventions" (though, interestingly, Marj gives very few examples of these infelicities of expression) is to miss the point of the publications aimed at parents and carers.

They are a first step in an important process of enabling professionals to discuss with parents and carers what they can do together to help their children become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.

If the language of the publications is clumsy in places, let's suggest changes. But the principle of involving parents and carers in their children's learning is surely sound.

Brian Boyd, emeritus professor of education, Strathclyde University.

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