Woodhead puts regimented teaching on the chopping block

22nd May 2009 at 01:00

In response to Chris Woodhead's criticism of Sir Jim Rose's primary curriculum review, young children's learning must recognise the relationship between knowledge and day-to-day life.

One of Sir Jim's six areas of learning is mathematical understanding, and his review recommends the use of activities such as managing money, preparing budgets and using spreadsheets. Thus abstract mathematical knowledge becomes linked to everyday economic activity and the use of computer technology.

Professor Woodhead says that the more challenging and alien knowledge is, the more powerful the curriculum. However, in my experience as a teacher, most primary children are not yet sufficiently academically inclined to understand purely abstract knowledge. Knowledge to them becomes much more meaningful when set in the world of everyday life.

Shouvik Datta, Orpington, Kent.

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