Wednesday, 20 March 2013

What the National Curriculum really needs

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Education Secretary, Michael Gove, recently unveiled his plans for reforming the National Curriculum. The proposals have been criticised by leading academics who argue that the changes will stifle “children’s ability to think, including problem-solving, critical understanding and creativity.” The academics also fear that Gove’s plans will increase rote learning without understanding, which is ultimately detrimental as “young children need to relate abstract ideas to their experience, lives and activity.” Ultimately, the new curriculum is too narrow.*

The type of curriculum seemingly being proposed by the academics is one which enables young people to solve problems, think, use their creativity and learn through real life experience and activity. This is exactly the type of curriculum National Citizen Service (NCS) provides.

This year, nearly 15, 000 young people will complete our NCS programme, The Challenge. This curriculum is comprised of physical and team challenges which facilitate the learning of key skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication. Young people also develop their own social action projects and get to work with local charities and community partners, giving them the opportunity to use real life experiences to enhance their ability to understand and empathise with people who are different to them.

What does the National Curriculum really need?

Opportunities for the kind of learning that NCS provides to be available to every young person on a regular basis.

Why does it need this?

To ensure that young people have access to learning experiences which prepare them for life beyond school and help them to mix with and get on with people who are different to them.

* http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/letters-gove-will-bury-pupils-in-facts-and-rules-8540741.html

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