According to the BBC website, a government spokeswoman had the following to say about the research (which incidentally was conducted in tandem with a project funded by them).

“This research is based on information collected in the previous school year in a single council area and great strides have been made since then to ensure effective implementation and build the confidence of teachers.

“The relevant council, we understand, has already learnt from the findings of the research and has reviewed its implementation programme, building on the strengths identified in the report, and addressed areas where further work is required.” (source http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-17674574)

I have two immediate reactions to this apparent dismissal of the research findings.

  1. The implication here (repeated elsewhere) that the research is out of date is interesting. Actually, the survey part of the data was collected in September 2011 (during this school year), so the assertion is factually incorrect. Furthermore, the general picture of CfE provided by this research is mirrored by more recent research activity – the EIS survey, and our ongoing project on teacher agency in a different local authority. And let’s not forget that this is what teachers seem to be saying universally – as anyone who regularly talks to them will know.
  2. A second implication is that this situation might only apply to the ‘single’ local authority. It does not, as is evidenced by the research cited above. Indeed, this council was chosen for the government-funded project because it was innovating in response to CfE in ways that were distinctive and in many ways ahead of the national picture.

A major goal of the project was to generate insights as to how curriculum development might be improved. These are laid out in the final two pages of our report. So let’s use these insights to look to the future, making CfE a curriculum that Scotland can be genuinely proud of.

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