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Climate change should be removed from the national curriculum

June 14, 2011

(a poster to help kids understand their obligations to mother earth. Note ‘no more than 2 kids’, ‘eat less meat’, and ‘don’t fly’ – and perhaps the best one, ‘watch An Inconvenient Truth’. Oh, and I just noticed ‘buy co2 credits’! Ha!)

Tim Oates said schools ought to choose whether or not to teach the subject as he called for the curriculum to “get back to the science in science”.

Mr Oates, whose review will be published later this year, told a newspaper the syllabus should be stripped back to focus on core areas of scientific knowledge such as gravity and oxidation. He said teachers should instead be able to make individual choices about what topics are relevant for them to cover.

“We have believed that we need to keep the national curriculum up to date with topical issues, but oxidation and gravity don’t date,” he said. “We are not taking it back 100 years, we are taking it back to the core stuff.

“The curriculum has become narrowly instrumentalist.”

Mr Oates, who is director of research at exams agency Cambridge Assessment, told The Guardian: “The national curriculum shouldn’t ever try to keep up with those, otherwise it would keep changing.”

He said the topics that engaged children in science changed dramatically every year and the curriculum should not try to keep up with that.

His comments mark a shift in approach to the curriculum, which under Labour expanded significantly to include scientific “issues” as well as scientific knowledge.

Under the current curriculum, children aged between five and 11, are taught that they should care for the environment.

By the time they reach secondary school age students are taught how human activity and natural processes can lead to environmental changes.

They also learn about the ways the natural world should be protected.

Climate change has featured in the national curriculum since 1995.

In 2007, the topics “cultural understanding of science” and “applications and implications of science” were added to the curriculum for 11- to 14-year-olds.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8571772/Climate-change-should-be-removed-from-the-national-curriculum.html

Come to think of it there are one or two other parts of science curriculum that need scrapping. Like the module that focuses on vaccines and how wonderful they are and how they save lives. Did GSK pay to receive a special mention in the module I studied back in 2006-7? (Still have the textbook.) I wonder.

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