Schools Minister Nick Gibb is a fan of Professor ED Hirsch
Curriculum Proposals reflect his approach and ideas
The Governments approach to the new curriculum has been informed by the thinking of Professor ED Hirsch, a traditionalist and opponent of the approach articulated by the late John Dewey. Hirsch accused Dewey of creating a form of educational anarchy, of leaving children’s education to themselves. Hirsch asserts that Dewey separated knowledge from education. Dewey criticised traditional education for lacking in holistic understanding of students and their experience and designing curricula overly focused on content rather than content and process which is judged specifically by its contribution to the well-being of individuals and society.
Hirsch is often quoted by schools minister Nick Gibb, who is an unabashed admirer of Hirsch, rather than Dewey . Dewey has been labelled a ‘progressive’ meaning that he eschews the traditional approach, which is, as one might expect, an over- simplification of his position.
Hirsch believes that the basic goal of education in a human community is ‘acculturation’ – in other words the transmission to children of the specific information shared by the adults of the group or community. So knowing key objective facts and possessing a strong foundation of general knowledge are at the very heart of a good rounded education. His 1987 book, Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, appended long lists of facts and tapped a strong current of concern about US education, which continues until today. It was then extended to provide a Core Knowledge Sequence of year-on-year prescriptions for each subject pre-school to Grade 8 (age 13-14). Cultural literacy is the necessary core information that students must have to understand what they read. Young people are not good readers because they lack this cultural literacy, Hirsch argued .He set out to remedy the problem by “spelling out, grade by grade, in detail, what students must know in a variety of fields if they are to be competent and understanding readers.” He also said that the more knowledge and skill a person has, the more they can acquire. “Learning builds on learning” and has a multiplier effect.
In addition to this Core Knowledge curriculum, Hirsch launched a system of Core Knowledge schools to teach it along with a Core Knowledge Foundation to support them. Hirsch emphasizes that all learning requires effort. The effort of attention is needed as well as, crucially, repetition. There is nothing wrong with repetition-indeed its an important tool. He argues that “no matter how much innate maths ability a child has, he or she will not learn the multiplication table effectively by osmosis” Thus, drill and practice are necessary for learning. This is clearly reflected in the proposals for the new Primary curriculum.
- PAYING FOR RESULTS-CAN IT HELP RAISE PERFORMANCE- OR DOES IT CORRUPT THE LOVE OF LEARNING?
- PROSPECTS JOINS MUTUAL JOINT VENTURE TO DELIVER PUBLIC SERVICES-GOVERNMENT KEEN ON EMPLOYEE OWNED MUTUALS DELIVERING PUBLIC SERVICES
- PROFESSOR TONY WATTS RESIGNS FROM THE NATIONAL CAREERS COUNCIL
- EDISON LEARNING AND THE NAHT UNION LAUNCH A SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVE WITH DFE BACKING
- THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF ACADEMIES-WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE ARE CONCERNS?
- PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE REPORT ON ACADEMIES-SOME CONCERNS OVER FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
- CAIRNS OF BRIGHTON COLLEGE BACKS ACADEMIES
- IS CAREERS ADVICE IN SCHOOLS EFFECTIVE OR IS IT TOO EARLY TO SAY?
- LEMOVS TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION -TOP TECHNIQUES USED BY THE BEST TEACHERS
- THE PUPIL PREMIUM AND SPECIAL SCHOOLS
- EDUCATION EXPORTS-NEW GOVERNMENT STRATEGY IN THE WINGS?
- INSPECTING ACADEMY CHAINS-ON THE AGENDA
- Careers advice and Guidance
- Charity Status
- Charter School
- Coalition Education Policy
- Conservative policy
- Discipline and Truancy
- early years learning
- education market
- education quangos
- education reform
- Free schools
- higher education
- Home Education
- independent schools
- primary schools
- Public Services Reform
- published letters
- Pupil Support
- quality assurance
- quality assurance and inspection
- school governance
- secondary schools
- Secure Estate
- SPECIAL NEEDS
- teachers and teaching
- Think tanks
- us education system
- Youth policy