Trouble with training today

21st January 2011 at 00:00

Despite the claim that newly-qualified teachers are the best we have ever seen in Scotland, we find ourselves with another proposed change to how teachers are trained.

We have seen several suggestions as to how we can improve the performance of children in Scottish schools - new exams, removing local authorities from state education, and curriculum reform with the emphasis on active teaching and the need for inspiration to make lessons exciting and relevant.

Can I suggest that any change based on a tired, dated and "broad-based" academic curriculum is doomed to failure? Schools need to equip their pupils with a curriculum that reflects the world in which they live. The phrase "learn to earn and earn to consume" comes to mind. Many in education may find such an idea crude and utilitarian, but this is the reality of much of modern life.

Education should be broad in relation to the workplace as it is now and in the future. Instead, we have core subjects stuffed with almost irrelevant topics that are just watered down versions of university courses. Many parts of the curriculum could be collapsed to give pupils an insight into enjoyable areas of life, which could be the basis of an interest or hobby outside the world of work.

James Waugh, Nether Currie, Crescent, Currie.

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