Thursday, March 26, 2009

Should Twitter be taught in primary schools?

The British government is proposing that Twitter, blogging, podcasts and Wikipedia be taught in primary schools (ages 4 to 11)in England: Pupils to study Twitter and blogs in primary schools shake-up Children will no longer have to study the Victorians or the second world war under proposals to overhaul the primary school curriculum, the Guardian has learned. However, the draft plans will require children to master Twitter and Wikipedia and give teachers far more freedom to decide what youngsters should be concentrating on in classes. The proposed curriculum, which would mark the biggest change to primary schooling in a decade, strips away hundreds of specifications about the scientific, geographical and historical knowledge pupils must accumulate before they are 11 to allow schools greater flexibility in what they teach. (link via guardian.co.uk) I'm all for keeping up with technology but not at the expense of learning about history! I hope these proposals will be rejected by the National Union of Teachers. I think a greater flexibility in the curriculum sounds good but I don't understand why it's necessary for young children - ages 4 to 11 - to learn about blogging and Twitter. What do you think about the idea? If you are a teacher, what are your thoughts about the proposals?

6 comments:

  1. In a word, NO! All they need to know is how to type and use a computer. They can manage the rest themselves. Besides, Twitter is a passing fad, mark my words, in two years there will be something new. Three years ago it was all about MySpace, now everyone is on Facebook.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Surely that should all be included in IT classes! This looks like yet another faddish idea thought up by civil servants who have no real experience in the real world of business and commence.
    Pupils should be taught the three Rs, in a modern context and way, properly as it appears that large numbers have difficulty with them!
    I've always said that the government should concentrate on providing us with world-class education and health services which appear to looking more and more like third-world ones!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree, Flighty! As it is, there are complaints about "dumbing down" in schools. I can't see how this proposal to change the curriculum will improve education levels.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Quite right, Melissa. And not only is Twitter a fad that will be replaced with something else in the near future, it isn't something that I think young children (ages 4 to 11) should be encouraged to learn about. As you say, learning to use a computer is enough.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think this is one of the reasons we moved away from Britain after our son was born - to avoid English schools.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't know what schools are like in Australia but I can certainly understand your view. I think English schools used to be very good. They keep on changing the curriculum though and sadly I don't think the changes are for the better.

    ReplyDelete