Our curriculum is a joke that's been taken too far

17th July 2009 at 01:00
Letters: A Curriculum for Excellence, is it a joke that's been taken too far?

The point of a joke is to make people laugh. When people stop laughing or, even worse, start to take you seriously, it's time to call a halt. Surely the whole notion of A Curriculum for Excellence is a joke that's been taken too far?

I imagine an educationist, several years ago, putting about the idea as an April Fool, or some other practical joke, and now feeling embarrassed that people took them seriously. Yet I have some sympathies with the poor fellow: how could he ever imagine that something so ludicrous would ever be taken seriously? Perhaps it's time to explain the joke and end this lunacy.

We are supposed to increase achievement by having pupils taught by teachers outside their area of expertise. Biology taught by a biology teacher? Absurd! If we're really serious about widening pupils' knowledge, they should be taught by teachers of other subjects.

Also, by bringing exams forward a year, we will improve results. Yes, that's right: the solution to under-achievement in the fourth year is to make pupils sit the exams in the third year. Take a year off their education and watch the exam results flourish.

I must confess a degree of confusion over your correspondent Jaye Richards's letter, in particular the sentence that reads: "I don't do biology every day: I teach that subject, or rather, I teach Standard grade and Higher biology." Perhaps this is another joke we're in danger of taking seriously? Parents, pupils, teachers (at least, those with a genuine interest in their pupils, rather than those keen to climb the promotion ladder as fast as possible), beware: this joke has been taken far enough. Time to put it to rest, have a good laugh, and get on with the serious business of teaching.

MS Horn, Shawlands, Glasgow.

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