I sent the following email to Gareth Mills (Head of Programme, Futures, Innovation, and E-Learning at QCA) today:
Gareth,Please excuse me contacting you directly in this manner (I obtained your email address from Terry Freedman), but I feel it is important that my school is clear on what is meant by the QCA ‘big picture’ and the Futures in Action initiative. I am a teacher of History and ICT at a successful school in Doncaster – as well as being an blogger about education – and feel that the sentiments behind what the QCA is proposing and what is going on in my school seem to be in tension. What seems to underpin the QCA big picture is a move to a more competency-based curriculum, personalised to the learners in each institution, with the somewhat artificial barriers between the different forms of human knowledge being broken down.
What’s happening in my school, on the other hand, is that departments are merely highlighting on their schemes of work where the elements from the big picture are or could be located. Whilst this could be a first step, it would seem that this is all initiative-weary teachers are likely to want to do, for fear of doing lots of work only for everything to change again. What I think is needed is some clearer guidance on what exactly should be taking place in schools. I agree that, to a great extent, each institution needs to figure out how the result of the Futures in Action initiative will look in practice, but at the moment what is likely to happen is mere tokenism.
I don’t know how much time you will have to read things like blog articles, but perhaps you may be interested in a couple which have been the result of my Ed.D. research (Durham University):
- Where do educational ideas originate? A digital paper trail…
- The QCA ‘big picture’ and curriculum coherence
I’d certainly be interested in any comments you may have, guidance you’d be able to give, or suggestions you’re able to make!