Monday, February 05, 2007

School Timetable Shake-Up Plan

Mandarin and Arabic would be taught alongside Shakespeare and slavery, under proposed changes to the school curriculum in England and Wales. Recommendations include making learning for 11 to 14 year-olds more relevant to everyday life. Lessons in climate change and healthy cooking could be offered to make teenagers more aware of hazards facing the planet and their own health.
And studies about the British slave trade and the reform movement that ended it could raise awareness of the need for integration.
"We have to show students the link between the subjects so that learning makes better sense to them," Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) director Mick Waters told The Times.
"If we can make them see the relevance of what they learn in school to life outside school, they may want to stay on in education."
Other suggestions to be made by the QCA in a report on Key Stage 3 learning include longer lessons in subjects that require intensive focus.
An entire week could be spent studying a single subject, for example.
Other disciplines, such as times-tables or languages, could be better taught by frequent shorter lessons, the report is expected to say.
Teaching unions are warning any new curriculum must match the skills of the teachers available.
Although the K.o.K and his followers have criticised the plan, I broadly welcome it. Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world and its prominence will continue to grow with the rapid growth of China's economic, military and political power and our chances of improving the situation in the Middle East would be aided by our future citizens being able to communicate with most of the people from that region in their own tongue.

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