A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

Children no longer need facts because they can look them up on smartphone, claim teachers – Telegraph

In Really?!? on April 4, 2012 at 22:04

There is no need for children to learn facts as they now have smartphones, claim teachers

Children no longer need facts because they can look them up on smartphone, claim teachers

Teachers said lessons should put a greater emphasis on broad skills such as independent research, interpreting evidence and critical thinking rather than learning dates, facts and figures by rote.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers warned that pupils risked being failed by a Coalition overhaul of the curriculum that will emphasise the core knowledge that pupils should acquire at each key stage.It claimed that the move represented a throw-back to the 50s and would “kill children’s creativity”.

Jon Overton, a teacher from inner-London, said that smartphones – with full internet access – can by used by pupils to quickly search for facts.Addressing the union’s annual conference in Manchester, he gave the example of Mozart’s birthday, saying phones took less than a second to find the answer – January 27, 1756 – and a “wealth of related content to follow”. “We are no longer in an age where a substantial ‘fact bank’ in our heads is required,” he said. “What we need to equip our young people with are skills; interpersonal skills, enquiry skills, the ability to innovate. That is what universities are saying is lacking, that is what employers say is lacking; transferrable skills that ultimately will make a difference in the life of a young person.”

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has warned that too many children are finishing compulsory education lacking the most basic knowledge because existing syllabuses have been stripped of core content.

An expert panel has now been formed to review the curriculum, with new specifications in the core subjects to be introduced in 2014.


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