Letters Extra: National Curriculum v creativity

27th June 2003 at 01:00

QCA has at last posted its `Find It, Promote It' creativity site on the Internet and - guess what - it's all about giving pupils time and opportunity to come up with innovative ideas. In other words, encouraging divergent thinking. This is seriously at odds with the national curriculum we've all followed for the last ten years, as defined by QCA and its off-shoots, the strategies for literacy and numeracy, which is all about achieving carefully prescribed objectives. That is, convergent thinking.

We've discovered (once again) that a narrow, curriculum-driven, tests-and-targets agenda is an intellectual cul-de-sac which discourages innovation. Historically, this is the moment we swap to an open-ended, child-centred, set-their-souls-free curriculum which (once again) will lead to self-indulgence and underachievement.

Please let's not keep repeating the mistakes of the past. Please let us recognise that children need both skills and creativity to realise their potential. And that the children most at risk - at both extremes of the educational pendulum swing - are those who most need society's help to escape from all our other historical hogwash.

Sue Palmer
Truro, Cornwall



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