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English in a national curriculum or The National Curriculum? The National Curriculum came from a debate. But it has become fixed. We may need to learn.

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Presentation on theme: "English in a national curriculum or The National Curriculum? The National Curriculum came from a debate. But it has become fixed. We may need to learn."— Presentation transcript:

1 English in a national curriculum or The National Curriculum? The National Curriculum came from a debate. But it has become fixed. We may need to learn or re-learn how to think originally, inventively and without accepting as given the features of the status quo. Let me suggest some questions we should consider…

2 Claiming the territory Literature: the canon and contemporary texts Language: learning about how it works Language: learning how to use it Can we and should we draw boundaries or is knowledge a seamless whole? Who is capable of supporting learning in such a wide area?

3 Using technology to learn (and teach?) Among the many features of new technologies, we can note that they: Challenge the establishments regulation of learning. Enable more people to participate more directly as learners, teachers and mentors. Enable more open access to experts, and mean that things can happen outside London. Challenge the traditional idea of a school. Require different personal organization methods for 24/7/365 learning. They may also exacerbate tendencies for learners to do excellent things which their teachers disregard, and for teachers to restrict learners to the limited technologies they know, and try to exclude those they do not know, or that they fear.

4 Using technology to assess learning Technology and machine intelligence Do not replace the need for human judgements in some areas – for example, artificial intelligence is nowhere near being able to evaluate a students own evaluation of a literary text. Can help with some kinds of objective assessment. Can remove much of the drudgery and housekeeping and make it easier to keep records. But also can make it easier to falsify them – this connects to wider questions of identity, fraud and deception with new technologies.

5 Power to the people and a national education system DfES pays lip service to various kinds of autonomy among learners and teachers, but sustains a regulated and centralized model of education. This system is the subject of turf-wars. But ordinary people are doing things for themselves. See, for example: o Cool Reads at http://www.cool-reads.co.uk/http://www.cool-reads.co.uk/ o Star-Girl at http://star-girl.orghttp://star-girl.org o Language Legend at http://languagelegend.blogspot.comhttp://languagelegend.blogspot.com o Neopets at http://www.neopets.comhttp://www.neopets.com The process is dynamic, unregulated and unpredictable. New technologies and tools are disruptive (for the establishment) and beneficial (to the ordinary learners).

6 Where next The education system can continue to insist that it knows best, and the state can continue to use various kinds of coercive power to direct education independently of what is happening in the wider world. Alternatively it can embrace and acknowledge those realities, and draw strength from them.


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