Thursday, August 23, 2007

Education for real life

The GCSE results were released today. We got the annual predictable complaints, linguists say that not enough people are learning languages, chemists say that not enough people are learning chemistry, historians say that not enough people are learning history, and the same for every other subject. With whom do I agree? All of them! Maybe kids should never be allowed to leave school until they pass?

But I agree with the modernisers too. In the age of the internet, there is no need to learn so many facts by rote. What is important, regardless of subject, is the scientific method. Being able to analyse increasing numbers of apparently contradictory facts, opinions, trends, facts, customs, superstitions, developments in a critical manner, then being able to draw sensible conclusions.

But sometimes even the archetypal creative ends up doing fairly routine office tasks … maybe there should be special training just for bengalis to learn british bureaucracy … there used to be!

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