Presentation on theme: "UCET Annual Conference 2011 Shifting Sands and Stable Foundations: Insecurity and Instability in Teacher Education."— Presentation transcript:
UCET Annual Conference 2011 Shifting Sands and Stable Foundations: Insecurity and Instability in Teacher Education
The Review of the National Curriculum: challenges and opportunities Mary James President, British Educational Research Association University of Cambridge Faculty of Education Annual Conference Universities Council for the Education of Teachers 4 November 2011
National Curriculum Review On 24 November 2010 the Government published the schools White Paper – The Importance of Teaching In regard to the future design of the National Curriculum it made the following points: –That the National Curriculum should set out clearly the essential knowledge and understanding that all children should be expected to acquire in the course of their schooling. –It must embody their cultural and scientific inheritance, the best that our past and present generations have to pass on to the next. –must not try to cover every conceivable area of human learning or endeavour, must not become a vehicle for imposing passing political fads on our children and must not squeeze out all other learning.
Remit The remit for the review of the National Curriculum (launched 20 January 2011) says: –Review will cover both primary and secondary –Curriculum should be slimmer and focused on essential knowledge –the construction and content of the new National Curriculum will be based in evidence and informed by international best practice –The new National Curriculum should enable parents to understand what their children should be learning throughout their school career and therefore to support their education
Objectives of the review To give teachers greater professional freedom over how they organise and teach the curriculum To develop a National Curriculum that acts as a benchmark for all schools To ensure that the content of our National Curriculum compares favourably with the most successful international curricula in the highest-performing jurisdictions To set rigorous requirements for pupil attainment To enable parents to understand what their children should be learning throughout their school career and therefore to support their education
Role of the Expert Panel The Review is managed by DfE, and supported by an Expert Panel and an Advisory Committee. Expert Panels role includes : –Detailed advice to the Department on the construction and content of the new curriculum. –Drawing on a robust evidence base to inform the drafting of new curricula and build a detailed framework for the National Curriculum, taking account of the requirements set by successful education jurisdictions across the world. –Seeking and reflecting the views of teachers, subject communities, academics, employers, higher education institutions (HEIs) and other interested parties.
Methodology Curriculum analysis: -identified suitable nations -cross-matched content statements against UK NC -analysed the structure, sequencing and articulation of content statements within and across topics and sub-topics -identified and documented differences -developed source document Contextual analysis: -identified and considered cultural and curriculum control factors that impact on comparability (e.g. quality of text books, status of subjects, teaching support) Literature analysis Consultation
Emerging evidence On mathematics: Curricula arent that different in terms of broad content, particularly in primary Level of challenge more marked in secondary Focus on fundamental concepts: particularly in primary: a basis to introduce more challenging concepts earlier in secondary (e.g. more complex algebra) On science: England performance in international studies is above average, and curriculum is more demanding in some areas such as scientific enquiry Science is introduced earlier in primary in England than elsewhere On English: Analysis has highlighted considerable variation in structure and presentation of English curricula, although there are some common features Common features include: –all have either aims or principles –all cover the key areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing and emphasise linkages between them
Overall A very serious attempt to create a curriculum which learns the lessons from the best education systems in the world –not crude policy borrowing, but a belief that there are things we can learn which will benefit children, young people and society Some particular challenges: –Clarity about aims and role of NC vis a vis School Curriculum –Relationship between PoS and ATs –Model of progression –Transitions from EYFS and to post 16 –Cross-curricular elements –Alignment with assessment, inspection, resources etc –Expectation of teachers (repertoire, subject knowledge, expertise) and implications for teacher education (recruitment, ITE, CPD).