Ditch lessons, schools are told
State secondary schools are being told to ditch lessons in academic subjects and replace them with month-long projects on themes such as global warming.
The pressure to scrap the traditional timetable in favour of cross-curricular topics is coming from the government’s teaching advisers, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).
Alan Smithers, professor of education at Buckingham University, said: “This will narrow what children learn. People come with up these ideas for the less academic but they wouldn’t dream of letting their own children be taught in this way.”
There is a ray of hope.
About 130 science teachers have signed the petition, which calls for the course to be scrapped because it requires pupils to discuss issues such as pollution but not to learn “hard science”, such as the periodic table in chemistry.
The petition reads: “Many anticipated it as ‘science fit only for the pub’. Now, at the end of its first year . . . science teachers (particularly physics teachers) are indeed judging it to be overly simplistic, devoid of any real physics and inadequate preparation for further study. This GCSE will remove Britain’s technological base within a decade.”
This excerpt from another article gives a good overview of the changes.
New science A-levels are being "dumbed down" to such an extent that some courses will demand no prior knowledge of the subject.
Draft syllabuses for chemistry and biology published by one exam board state that the first part of the qualification, the AS-level, can be tackled without the candidate having studied the subject before.
I had to do a little research since I'm not familiar with the school system in England. There are three "levels" of course work. GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education), AS (Advanced Supplementary), and A (Advanced). I'm still a bit fuzzy on what it all means but I'm assuming that the A level classes are similar to our AP classes.
So, they are making the Advanced classes easy enough that anyone can take them. It will be interesting to see if the public responsed with an increase in homeschooling and private school enrollment.
Related Tags: GCSEs, A level science, Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, private school, homeschool