Steven Gradidge. Hi :)

Apparently Our Education System is Failing

Posted on: January 13, 2012

Yep, this is going to be a rant. A rant about the oligarchy of the British education system and the oligarchy dictating the technology we use. Let’s go…

I have been saying for a long time that education needs to go back to basics. We need to start teaching and instilling the next generation the fundamentals, instead of skipping them. This could mean for example we teach children how to make spaghetti bolognese instead of a triple dickeredVictoriasponge or teaching children basic manners and social etiquette to ensuring ‘integration’. There is little point being in a society if you are not going to be of it after all, is there?

I have also said before how sport should be used as a framework for teaching these basics. Sport provides a solid foundation for children to learn, which arguably the existing education curriculum fails to do. This week Education Secretary Michael supported this opinion by claiming the way in which ICT is taught in this country is “dull and harmful”. Harsh words indeed, but few who have ever sat in a school-taught ICT lesson could disagree with the sentiment. Oh, and look what else I said about the weakening education standards in the UK. He wants our kids using the apps of today while programming the apps of tomorrow. Yep… Catch up Mick!

Considering a nation as computer literate because they can use Facebook and eBay is a poor yardstick. Needless to say whilst we are in an economic recession the fact that our nation can use these is more of a worry than a comfort. The rot has already begun to set, creating a computer savvy yet digital illiterate nation.

So the Government believe the answer is to introduce iPads into the classroom. Oh lord…

First of all I can’t help to think that the Government are being blinded by the glimmer of the screen to realise the consequences of making an item such as an iPad a de facto item within the classroom. A generation who can’t write or possibly even hold a pen. A generation that just points at things. A generation that doesn’t understand how the software they are using was made. I am a massive advocate of the iOS platform but I can’t help but to think the Government are placing the importance of hardware over software on this particular occasion.

Coincidentally, Apple has recently sent out the invites for their Education event on the 19th. The cynic in me feels the disruption planned by the event will actually have a negative impact upon the UK education system and this is because equipment such as iPads are used as learning replacements, as opposed to learning aids. In the context of home and private tutoring I can understand how an iPad could help, but in a classroom where group learning is a consideration I can only see the problems the tech will invite.

To get our kids programming, we need to programme them. There is a good reason why the Chinese, Indians and even the Americans are producing high volumes of programmers. This is because they put an emphasis on the benefits of learning, not the necessity.

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