Are school students becoming spoon-fed exam machines?

Dreaming spires: Oxford is looking for students with fresh and original ideas

But how will I know the answers if I don’t know what the questions will be?” This, believe it or not, is a question hundreds of Oxbridge applicants ask every year as they prepare for interview. The speed of the internet and the amount of information that can be accessed in a flash have contributed to a generation of school-leavers convinced that access to technology is all you need to answer questions and that being able to answer questions is all you need to succeed. Why should you think for yourself when there is a tool that can do it for you?

Read more  in the Independent, 17th February 2011

National Curriculum Review

Back-to-basics

Michael Gove launched his review of the national curriculum this week with a focus firmly on the need for learning ‘facts’. He claims that there is currently too much attention paid to teaching methods rather than subject content. However he is ‘not going to be coming up with any prescriptive lists’ for teachers … he just thinks ‘there should be facts’ to equip students for the ‘knowledge industries of the future.’

Mr Gove also says that the new national curriculum should ’embody for all children in England their cultural and scientific inheritance, enhance their understanding of the world around them and introduce them to the best that has been thought and written.’

Concerns have been expressed by opponents to the review who worry that proposals will subject children to a ‘1950s-style curriculum.’ Mary Boustead, general secretary of ATL, warns that ‘subjects and skills taught in schools should not be based on ministers’ pet interests.’

Gove stresses ‘facts’ in school curriculum revamp (BBC)

National curriculum review puts emphasis on facts (The Guardian)

School curriculum gets back to facts and figures (The Independent)