Monday, June 14, 2010

No grammar, can't spell and want to 'do' PR

Dr Aric Sigman, a psychologist, is suggesting that the "nappy curriculum" – the statutory rules introduced in 2008 which dictate that toddlers should be introduced to computers as early as 22 months of age – is "subverting the development of children's cognitive skills".

In an article in the Telegraph, Dr Sigman is reported as saying that "Children should be banned from using computers in schools until they are nine-years-old because the early use of technology is destroying their attention spans." Here then, is another insult delivered to the profession.

Perhaps an academic can, in the future, present findings to the professions for the professional to consider rather than some headline grabbing and throw away line.

Is it the use of computers that explains why the generality of students with three or more 'A' level exams cannot spell and have appalling grammar? Why is it that some can construct a 'sentence' without a verb and often a subject?

How is it that PR, journalism and other students enter university without an ability to recognise and write in different styles?

Why is it that a lecturer is not able to return scripts to students without a mark because the quality of grammar makes the work confusing, contradictory and or misleading?

Now that the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority is to be abolished can we have a simple rule for teachers at every level. Stand up to the bureaucrats, confront the parents and give the (paying) student a chance of a sustainable career by refusing shoddy work and if that means using computers or not is down to the professional judgement of the teach.

I am the least of literates, but now see young girls in offices being mentored for their writing after 18 years of schooling. They have been let down badly by the likes of the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority. Now it is the teacher's turn to show how education can be just that.

Picture: Socrates using his socratic method.