Pros and cons of a 'themed' approach to the curriculum

21st November 2008 at 00:00

There was an interesting juxtaposition of articles in The TES last week - "Geography is getting lost, MPs are told" and "Themed lessons get Ofsted thumbs down". Also last week, I met a number of teachers at a lecture, some of whom were disheartened by what was happening to their work.

When committed secondary teachers find themselves teaching "integrated studies" by diktat, they say they feel undervalued and misplaced. One felt passionately that pupils were getting "education lite".

The Geographical Association is very concerned at growing evidence that subjects are being replaced by ill-considered themes. The irony is that successful interdisciplinary work depends on strong subject specialism to prevent the mush that can so easily end up filling the curriculum space.

Such success requires much professional time, thought and commitment to get it right. There are no quick fixes.

David Lambert, Professor of geography education and chief executive of the Geographical Association, Sheffield

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