Monday, March 13, 2006

If Every Lesson Counts, Why Doesn't This One?

The latest government initiative Every Lesson Counts demonstrates rather well the ridiculous contortions that you have to go through to support a basically corrupt idea. The aim of the initiative is to educate parents as to the importance of every single lesson for their kids and to encourage them not to take their children out of school during term-time, say for a holiday or even for routine appointments.

Honestly, does anybody really believe this stuff? In whose head precisely does every lesson count? Surely the ptb know that kids may well be in class. The kids may even look as if they are listening. But it sure doesn't mean that the lesson counts for anything at all anywhere important, ie: in the minds of the kids. Really, if every lesson counted quite as much as the government says it does, how is it that they are happy to let teachers progress to the next one when the last one was so patently not understood by a certain proportion of the class? And how are they so sure that going on holiday to Tuscany, or even just talking to parents, or going to the shops, won't be a far better learning experience than sitting in a classroom?

Sorry, this initiative is epistemological rubbish.

And just in case anyone is falling for the idea that this initiative is all nicey, nicey re-education stuff, think again. This story from the BBC suggests that parents who take their kids out of school, even for apparently very educational purposes, will end up being prosecuted for their efforts.


merry said...


Says it all really. You must do numeracy hour even if you need a filling, you must do luteracy hour rather than spend quality affordable time strengthening your family ties.

You know, we've had a rubbish few weks of illness, mess, busyness, trying to sort out house stuff etc etc etc - and the strain is showing on my children. They need better than that; when we are focussed just on good family/HE time everything is SO much better. Okay so it's been a negative few weeks, but i can remedy that (starting today, must get off pooter!) - i couldn't if i never had the flexibility to actually spend time with them.

What is the governement thinknig of? I know there are people who need help to master their responsibilities but really, marshalling the rest f us in with them is helpful to no-one.

Carlotta said...

I agree entirely, Merry. (And also sympathise deeply with the bad few, illness related weeks). We had three of those recently, but are back to normal now.
Do hope it works out OK for you!

Anonymous said...

at time when child was in a private school, the headmaster said that any holiday they could have during term time was no problem at all: 'travelling', he claimed, 'was the best education of all' and 'time with the family was invaluable'.

Obviously, though, in the private system the money has to come in for the term holiday or not, so a head is relaxed and able to focus on what is good, iho, for the child. Maybe attendance affects money received by the school now - I suggest cynically - so attendance is magically 'more important'.

Anonymous said...

Very well put! Although I must say that boring classes improved my drawing skill - I drew on my notebooks so much - not that it matters now.

It would be a good letter to send to the site, have you tried? I would be curious if they replied to you. I don't think the word "epistemological" was needed though. ;)

The story about the family bein taken to court is quite frightening. :(

merry said...

Of course, it would help my case if i could spell literacy!

Carlotta said...

lol..that's a classic!