Today has brought two news stories about CfE reform which piqued my interest. The first in TESS magazine builds on my earlier calls for a whoelscale review and reform of CfE in Scotland (Rod Grant, TESS, February 2014: https://www.tes.com/news/scottish-education-system-needs-fundamental-reboot). The second from much respected academic, author and commentator Professor Walter Humes http://sceptical.scot/2019/02/the-parochialism-of-the-present/ suggests that we are now looking back enough in order to guide our future thinking on education in Scotland.
The two articles prompted me to review my own thinking and where I am going next. The undernoted is just a skirting over the surface of some of my writing and thinking on education over recent years. My initial review thoughts are that I have tried to champion two things:- a broad education system that promotes knowledge, skills, self-actualisation & humanism; and community cohesion (at all levels- group, local community and society wide). I have also tried to guide History education away from the risky waters and narrow lense of nationalism towards an understanding of locality, regions, nations (Scotland and UK), Europe and the wider world. Some of my articles below were explicitly on this topic. In recent months have been asking government officials for a copy of the last update that was made on the action plan which was instigated after my report , as SATH President, into History teaching. I will share this as soon as I get a hold of it. The action plan was many years ago, however I wish to see how it finished off. Or, like many other things in Scottish education was it started and then never completed. It seems that within Scottish education we know the issues that need changing, alas our ability to instigate change and achieve improvement is the issue of the present. Some of this does however come back to a need to re-philosophise, what are we about? What is education for in Scotland?
May 2012 a review of that above article https://www.tes.com/news/back-future-past
September 2012 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-19673111
2013 Chapter in Scottish Education:- https://www.worldcat.org/title/scottish-education-referendum/oclc/876005401
In 2013 I also led work to make numeracy skills relevantly linked to workplace experiences:- https://www.youngacademyofscotland.org.uk/numeracy.html
Audio files of lecturing at University of Huddersfield on the development of history curriculum over 4the four UK nations.
More info on this can be found here alongside 2 articles I had written relating to issues of history curriculum reform.
October 2014:- I led the RSE YAS Excellence in Education Working Group enquiry into Inter-Disciplinary Learning https://www.youngacademyofscotland.org.uk/images/Makgin20Strong20Links20Report.compressed.pdf
The enquiry led to this academic publication:- http://www.scotedreview.org.uk/media/microsites/scottish-educational-review/documents/358.pdf
Having published books (with Kevin Murphy) on Skills (Determined to Succeed, 2013, and Art of Achievement, 2014) the next focus was on values, perhaps promoted by this review of our work:- http://www.sec-ed.co.uk/blog/how-should-we-measure-success
The undernoted four blogs had been brewing for a while although I never got them out until towards the end of 2016
March 2018:- Full access to my transcript from the undernoted conference at the RSE can be accessed from Scotland Policy Conferences.
The front page of The Herald ran with my part of my speech; “CfE is dead”; more of the story can be found here:-
This blogger shared one of the issues I flagged up, that Scottish education is trying to achieve an egalitarian meritocracy. http://www.kathleenleslie.co.uk/2018/03/next-steps-for-curriculum-for-excellence.html This is at school level. At system level we speak of social justice but then adopt neoliberalist GERM type management, passing autonomy and high accountability down the system and only focussed on school without clear links with the other levers of social justice within public services.
The undernoted article was a follow up to the conference above:-
September 2018:- https://researched.org.uk/event/researched-scotland-2018/ Lectured in a) Values and CfE architecture and also how we can learn lessons of past to support adverse experiences; looking through lense of Geddes, Brock and ergotherapy thinking.
More on the latter can be found via this BERA blog.
December 2018:- https://www.tes.com/news/scotlands-curriculum-needs-change-fast