'Social Learning' Squeezes out History for Primary Children

Daily Mail (London), December 9, 2008 | Go to article overview

'Social Learning' Squeezes out History for Primary Children


Byline: Laura Clark

TRADITIONAL subjects such as history and geography are to be axed in the biggest overhaul of primary education for 20 years.

Timetables will instead be arranged around six 'areas of learning' that merge subjects into general themes.

Pupils will also spend more time learning how to deal with 'deep societal concerns' such as violence, drug abuse, obesity, teenage pregnancy and debt.

The blueprint was drawn up by former Ofsted chief Sir Jim Rose following a request from Children's Secretary Ed Balls.

It amounts to the biggest shakeup of primary schooling since the Tories introduced a national curriculum in 1988. The national curriculum was organised around 11 subjects - an arrangement that has broadly continued to this day.

The Conservatives last night warned the plans, likely to come into force in 2011, would lead to a 'further erosion of standards'.

They pointed to similar 'childcentric' reforms of the Sixties and Seventies which experts say led to a collapse in literacy and numeracy.

Tory education spokesman Michael Gove said: 'In adopting this throwback to the 1960s, the Government is denying the highest quality of education to children in the state sector. The experiment with this kind of ideology - moving away from facts, knowledge and rigour - failed 40 years ago and will fail again.' Under the plan, history, geography and religious education will be merged into 'human, social and environmental' studies.

Other areas cover communication (English and modern languages), science and technology, maths, physical health and wellbeing, and the arts. …

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