Curricular drawbridges

11th November 2005 at 00:00
Question: what do history, maths, science and modern languages have in common? Answer: they are essential ingredients in any "curriculum for excellence", if not for the future of mankind itself. The public prints (even our letters page) have echoed this week to the sounds of special pleading, and we expect that from lobbyists whose life's work has been devoted to teaching their specialised subjects.

The death sentence which Peter Peacock, the Education Minister, has allegedly pronounced on the teaching of history, was based on our report last week from The TES Scotland conversation in Inverness, during which he said "absolutely not" when asked if history was about to fade away. So the minister's firm conviction that history has a future is now being reported as his view that it has not. Strange.

One of the strong messages from our series of conversations so far is that many in the profession believe that the proposals in A Curriculum for Excellence are indeed that, excellent - perhaps a more prevalent view in the primary than the secondary sector. But there is little point in having a curricular review if drawbridges are going to be pulled up all over the place. We might as well pack up and go home.

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