Core Curriculum – Detailed Toil & Loss of Liberty

MindMake – Paul Henderson

I am not sure if brevity is the soul of wit or the sister of talent, but I think most of us like it and know what it is when we see it.

I remember when the new national curriculum for English arrived on my desk at work.

My sense of excitement and joy, however, was quickly dispelled when I lifted the weighty package.

I put it back down on my desk and looked at it. I considered putting it in the bin.

Instead, I decided to tear the large brown envelope open. Prising the document from it was not an easy task. Then, there it was before me. The New Zealand English Curriculum—109 pages of it.

For those used to reading thick novels that might not sound like many pages, but for a teacher and a policy analyst it represented 109 pages of detailed toil, and a loss of liberty. From that day forward what was to be taught was overtly prescribed. Read More