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What home schooling is showing

Monday 22 February 2021

Good parents will ask their children what they have been doing in school and help them with homework etc. etc. However until now most parents will not have looked in detail at what their children are studying in each of their subjects. Since parents have had to take on the role of teacher, home schooling has changed all this. Some parents are now seriously questioning the curriculum. In a recent article in the Guardian (a UK newspaper) a well-known novelist is appalled at the way in which her 7 year old daughter is being taught English.

Erin Kelly goes on to say that she does not blame the teacher, who she says is doing her best to make the lessons as interesting as possible. What she blames is the curriculum that the teacher is being required to follow.  This site is of course for IB chemistry teachers, but isn’t the IB doing exactly this too when it comes to the IA in chemistry? The whole emphasis is currently put on students being required to show that they can identify different types of variables, number crunch uncertainties and pass through unnecessary hoops with little credit awarded to students who show real initiative and imagination. You can read about this in much greater detail on my page on Gaining full marks for a databased IA.

Comments 1

James Midgley 24 February 2021 - 07:03

The non alignment of curricula with real world examples seems to be pervasive across all exam boards and subjects. We as teachers revel in TED talks by, e.g. Sir Ken Robinson and we all agree with the Hattie's findings.

We then surprise ourselves ( not ), by marching the kids to a century old beat where they must learn obsolete formulae to jump through a fiery hoop. All so they can please their parents as they join their university of choice.

The world is slowly moving towards an education model of just in time, when needed, at point of use. The foundations of the model of high cost, 3-5 years at university are definitely, and finally, beginning to shake. Perhaps the model of A Level / IB / AP is already beginning its decline, and the kudos associated with certain higher education facilities are dwindling at this time of COVID.

I wonder if COVID will hasten their demise and prove the old adage that every Ag lining has a cloud.

Here's hoping the next iteration of IA is either a series of prescribed practicals ( thus removing the soul destroying uncertainty of moderation ), or a very open ended and through list of; primary, secondary, simulation, database, hybrid and computational chemistry which reflects the real world of chemistry now - with many exemplars !!

We shall see

Mr M 4 Chem

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