How can we improve the quality of Primary education?
There is a need to sort out what primary education is for, and ensure the aim of driving the curriculum and it is not merely cosmetic. To say that the main aim of primary education is to make children ready for higher classes, is to undervalue children's huge potential for development and learning during the primary years.
So how can we improve the quality of Primary education? What priorities should we keep in mind?
Children get a say in their learning
We must celebrate children's voice and rights in school and the classroom. As the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child says, children should "have a right to be involved in decisions about their own learning". We know that discussion, interaction and argument are necessary classroom tools for learning.
Evidence based pedagogy should be given more focus
It's only through understanding the art, science and craft of teaching – from research, inspection and shared experience – that teachers can inform and refine their practice. More focus on what evidence shows us about effective teaching and learning will guide teachers to help every child in the best possible way.
Tests should not just be about results
Where assessment and standards are concerned we need a wider practical approach and a more sophisticated vocabulary. Our approaches need to enhance learning as well as test it. It should support the curriculum, and pursue high standards in all areas of learning, not just the core subjects. Tests have their place, but both assessment and accountability should be about much more than test results.
Schools should be in connection with the community
India has immense demographic, economic, cultural and linguistic diversity, which creates a vast array of educational circumstances and needs. The best of our schools don't just work closely with their local communities but make the curriculum responsive to local needs and opportunities and live the very idea of community in their everyday work and relationships.
Policy makers tend to believe in evidence that fits their ideology or prejudice. Deep and lasting improvements in our education system will be achieved only when policy makers use evidence of examples to their benefit.
This article has been inspired by, and contains excerpts from The Guardian. Read the original here.