Majority of children can’t keep pace with school curricula
But there’s a catch. Schooling systems have to want to re-focus learning goals on the average student, by for example, concerning themselves with more immediate and early achievable goals rather than on end of school exams for university entrance etc. This implies that teaching and learning has to become more conscious of everyone in the system and not just a small minority of elite. Surely, education systems can’t ignore such ‘shocking’ findings I ask myself. The answer to that question is proffered most frankly at the close of the report. Have you ever heard of isomorphic mimicry? Me neither, but it’s presented as the principal reason education systems often choose to ignore the reality of learning. The report argues that most schooling systems are rewarded for ‘looking’ like other ‘good’ schooling systems which means ‘processing compliance and inputs’ rather than ‘seeing’ the failures of the system and responding from a genuine desire to promote learning.From this perspective the report continues, it is easy to see how curriculum reform adds more and more new skill sets and topics to look like it’s performing like a good schooling system when in actual fact these reforms are simply camouflaging the real problem i.e. the widening gap between student mastery and curriculum expectation.
But slowing down, the report sagaciously notes, would be akin to admitting failure and in our current political systems that would likely have negative consequences. The authors suggest that we must find the means to sabotage the camouflaging of the schooling systems failures and thus force the system to adopt disruptive innovations that will truly address, as per the report’s title, ‘the negative consequences of an over ambitious curricula in developing countries’.
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