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The Hydra of Trendy Teaching Lives On

Ditch lessons, schools are told - Times Online
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).

It has provoked anger from traditionalists who believe it marks a return to discredited “trendy” techniques.

...The project-led approach took hold in primary schools in the 1970s after a report from a government-appointed education committee.

Teachers were told to emphasise soft skills and “learning by doing”. Schools were told to scrap projects in 1992 after an inquiry found pupils were missing out on the basics. ...

Mick Waters, the QCA’s curriculum director, believes the changes will help spur enthusiasm and cut truancy. He said: “The challenge for schools is to create a nourishing and appetising feast that will sustain learners and meet their needs.


The Hydra which lived in the swamps near to the ancient city of Lerna in Argolis. The Hydra had the body of a serpent and many heads of which one could never be harmed by any weapon, and if any of the other heads were severed another would grow in its place. Also the stench from the Hydra's breath was enough to kill man or beast. When it emerged from the swamp it would attack herds of cattle and local villagers, devouring them with its numerous heads. It totally terrorized the vicinity for many years.


I think I have written elsewhere that constant initiatives are the bane of modern education and a major contributor to the relatively poor levels of education in Britain. This latest one would indeed be a disaster. Unfortunately there is a large reservoir of "trendy" or perhaps I should say impressionable and uneducated teachers who well sieze this with pleasure and our standards will no doubt plunge further.

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