Progressive can be regressive

Progressive can be regressive

There have been many changes in the educational system since the late 1950s and early 60s, including a big move to a more progressive approach.

This threw aside most of the traditional teaching methods in literacy and numeracy.

Literacy focused less on grammar, syntax and good spelling – the structural elements of language – in favour of creativity. It was not so concerned with the accurate use of English.

In maths, methodology and technical expertise in the subject were dropped in favour of exploration.

Again, there was less focus on accuracy and technique. These approaches were reinforced by the National Curriculum in the late 1980s and 1990s which was highly progressive.

The throwing aside of much of what we had learned over centuries and indeed taught in schools across the world in the days of empire (although I’m not in favour of imperialism) was disastrous.

It is not that progressive approaches are bad, but children must master the basics first and this has been ignored, although the New Curriculum of 2014 has restored some of the traditional elements. Explore all you like once this is taken care of.

Why do I mention all this?

Because I believe the British people are more traditional than what has be foisted on them by the liberal elite.

They know these new approaches don’t really work and they have their own education to prove it.

We live in a society with poor literacy and numeracy in the adult population and it’s largely due to these approaches.

Parents want me to teach their child good grammar and syntax – and they do care about spelling.

They want their child to be able to work without a calculator and accurately calculate using decimals, fractions and percentages.

At the heart of British society are strong beliefs in a spirit of just ‘getting on with it’ and not constantly whining and complaining, even in the toughest of times.

People want their children to have strong characters and to be able to function well when things are difficult.

They expect the education system to equip their child to do things and not be ‘touchy-feely’ all the time.

Schools should teach children good literacy and numeracy, particularly at primary level. It barely achieves this at present.

I have made it clear to government ministers on a number of occasions that they have no idea how angry parents really are about their children’s education.

Their children are a captive audience and the parents are constantly told they don’t really understand education so they shouldn’t complain.

However, I think there is a lot of discontent out there. Perhaps the current crisis has exposed parents to many of the weaknesses of the current educational system, particularly at primary level.