The Schleicher Fallacy*: partially right problem, totally wrong answer

Lee Donaghy

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development – administers of the infamous PISA tests (a kind of educational Mirror of Erised, for those looking into them tend to magically see evidence for their heart’s truest educational desire) – recently organised the eighth International Summit on the Teaching Profession. Having attended, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union, Mary Bousted, penned an article for the TES that made the case for moving away from rote memorisation and teaching to the test in favour of teaching pupils 21st Century Skills (now such a Thing they seem to be capitalised as a proper noun) as part of a ‘knowledge and skills curriculum’.

Greg Ashman has already argued convincingly that this is not really possible, pointing out that to place 21st Century Skills on an equal footing with knowledge we would be required todemonstrate that they exist…

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