Monday, March 30, 2009

This Can't Be Real, Can It?

If so, it makes me wonder how these people ever civilized the world.

KIDS will be taught to Twitter instead of learning history in a shake-up of primary school lessons.

Teachers will be able to ditch lessons about Queen Victoria and the Second World War.

But pupils MUST learn how to Twitter — posting instant online updates about their lives.

Twitter is used by Britney Spears, Stephen Fry and US President Barack Obama.

How to blog and podcast will also be taught.

Under proposed changes — drawn up by ex-chief schools inspector Sir Jim Rose — the 13 traditional subjects will be replaced with six.

Assuming this is real, I hope more rational heads will prevail.


Fritz J. said...

I don't think kids need to be taught to Twitter. They will figure it out without instruction, much like kids figured out how to program the VCR way back in the days when VCR's were new. It is the adults who need to be taught.

My father was born in 1916 and to the day he died I had to program his VCR. I knew that when the lights went out I would receive a phone call, after they came back on, asking me to come set the clock on his stupid VCR. He couldn't set the clock even after the advent of on-screen programming. Yet he was more than comfortable tearing engines, transmissions, etc. of cars, trucks, and heavy equipment apart and rebuilding them.

Scott McCall said...

i'm starting to think that administrators in the public school system need some education for themselves

Donalbain said...

As always, the first sentence in the story is wrong. There are no plans to drop history as a subject in primary schools. Simply to remove the compulsory areas of history allowing teachers to choose what eras to study.
Thats what you get when you get your news from The Sun.

MikeAT said...

“Last night an NUT union spokesman blasted the “confused” proposals.”

For once, I think you and I will agree with a union official.

Also, did you see on the side of the article an ad for “Are you smarter than an American? Take the test.”

If this is the state of their intelligence, I think we win.

Darren said...

Donalbain, is the Twitter part true? I notice you leave that out. Also, do you think *any* teacher should drop studying about Queen Victoria or WWII in a history class?

And perhaps British schools should focus a little more on "reading for understanding", as my title, first clause of my first sentence, and first clause of my last sentence would lead any reasonably-educated reader to note that I am moderately skeptical of this story, as it is so far beyond the bounds of any common sense. But based on your response, perhaps my skepticism was misplaced.

Donalbain said...

I am not sure about the Twitter part. I think it is probably part of a proposal to teach more about modern technology, where someone MENTIONED Twitter.

As for Queen Victoria and WWII, I don't think they should be compulsory. I think that if a teacher has a particular passion for the study of The Civil War, or Regency England, then let them teach that. The Tudors and WWII have a massive stranglehold on school history and it would nice to see a bit of variety.

lordsomber said...

Of course kids don't need to be taught how to Twitter. But if they were it would be easier for Big Nanny to keep tabs on them.

Stopped Clock said...

This is real, yes. It doesn't mean it won't get overturned before actually being put into practice but it's not an April Fool's joke or anything.

Mrs. C said...

I don't have any clue about tweeting and twittering, but I *am* teaching my homeschooled kids chess as an elective and counting it toward my total hours. Good grief if I were to replace history class with it though. *wow*

Andrew_M_Garland said...

We have experience with schools teaching history, writing, math, and science.

Five years later, the student's knowledge seems to have disappeared. We rightly blame the schools, and it is a scandal every few months in the weekend papers.

Now, if the schools teach twittering, podcasting, and blogging, we will see how successful the students are even five years later, and we can give the teachers raises.

Raising Grades

Improving Educational Reputation by Changing What Is Taught and How It Is Tested

allen (in Michigan) said...

Yes Donal, it's quite clear that the public education system exists to satisfy the conceits of teachers.

After all, what if a teacher isn't all that interested in WWII? Should the flower of their pedantic creativity be crushed by uncaring public policy?