Different Subject Specialisms - Post One of "Ten Reforms That Might Just Work"

In light of the Education Act 2011 coming into force this week, and my disappointment as to how far the reforms go in terms of restoring teacher's faith in the fact that the system actually works, I've been thinking about exactly how I would reform teaching.

I've thought of ten areas in which I think it's worth considering reforming radically, and I absolutely invite comment on them. Most of them I discovered through comment and debate to begin with. So here goes with the first one:

Different Subject Specialisms

Sometimes it is argued that the traditional subject specialisms in schools are quite outdated, and are based on the ideas of lofty private school educated ministers with no idea of what students really need to know in order to get ahead. I know students often argue that they can’t see the relevance of what they are studying to what they need to learn for real life.

From this point of view, I wrote a list of new subject specialsims that I think would fulfil the requirement of being what students need for success in everyday life and work. I’ve mentioned some traditional subjects that it would include as well as some other things I think students should know about.

World: SMET, Religion, Geography
Self: Exercise, Household Management (DIY, cooking etc.), Psychology, Personal Finance
Communication: English, ICT, Transliteracy
Expression: Visual Arts, Performing Arts and Music
Citizenship: History, Careers, Languages

I've also got a list here, taken from Frank Chalk's book "It's Your Time You're Wasting" of his suggested subjects:
  • Basic Maths and English
  • Good manners and pleasant demeanour, attitude, punctuality, concentration, multi-stage tasks without needing support
  • Their lives, and how and why they can go wrong
  •  How your house works
  • How to clean yourself
  • How to fix things when they go wrong
  • How tools work and how to use them safely
  •  How to save money on your bills
  • How to manage a bank account
  •  Face to face communication
  • Buy good food, store it and cook it
  • Advertising, and how to avoid it’s grasp
  • Basics of the law
  •  Happiness
  • Developing a hobby
  • Relationships and families
  •  Material possessions and greed
  • Realities of life: responsibility, perseverance, patience and dedication
  • Real casualties in A and E
  •  Live a good life, regardless of religion

Read the full series: Reforms That Might Just Work


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