Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Curriculum - 'I Find It Difficult to See the Connection': News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Curriculum - 'I Find It Difficult to See the Connection': News

Article excerpt

New curriculum does not resemble best world systems, adviser says.

England's new national curriculum has been billed as combining "the best elements of what is taught in the world's most successful school systems, including Hong Kong, Massachusetts, Singapore and Finland".

But this week, doubt has been cast on that claim by one of the academic experts drafted in by ministers to advise on the reform.

Dylan Wiliam, from the University of London's Institute of Education, said that the idea of benchmarking the curriculum to those in "high-performing jurisdictions" is a good one. But he cannot not see evidence that it has been achieved in the new national curriculum published last week.

"I find it quite difficult to see the connection," said Professor Wiliam, one of a four-strong panel who advised the curriculum review. For example, "none of the other countries specify word lists with such specificity (as those included for spelling in the new English curriculum). So I don't understand why the curriculum has ended up like it is."

It was important to move away from devising a curriculum based on people saying "I want my bit", he said, noting that lobbying had led to climate change being included. …

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