Bad times ahead for education in Wales

Filling the pail

After my recent post about ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ in Scotland, a number of Welsh teachers contacted me to make me aware of the new curriculum proposals for Wales. In 2015 the Donaldson report was published, setting out a series of recommendations for changing curriculum and assessment arrangements. These are currently in the process of being implemented by the Welsh government, enjoying cross-party support.

In the report, Professor Graham Donaldson seeks to expand the standard definition of ‘curriculum’. For instance, there is a significant section on pedagogy (teaching methods). The report claims that, “To be clear, the recommendations of this Review do not imply an emphasis on any particular teaching approaches: decisions about teaching and learning are very context and purpose specific, and are best taken by teachers themselves.” However, this wears pretty thin, pretty quickly. For instance, collaborative learning is mandated, with the report stating that, “Good teaching and learning encourages collaboration.” “Authentic contexts”…

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