Gove Calls for Collaborative Approach to UK Curriculum

UK Education Secretary Michael Gove has proposed a new “wiki” approach to designing curriculum. The proposal was created to allow teachers and experts to collaborate on tailoring lessons for schools to tap into “the dispersed wisdom of the best teachers in the country.”

It is believed that the inspiration behind Gove’s new idea for the curriculum spawned from reading a US military counterinsurgency strategy outlined in Thomas Friedman’s latest book, That Used to Be Us, writes Jeevan Vasagar at the Guardian.

Talking after a speech at the BETT education trade fair, Gove said:

“What [Friedman] explained is that those at the frontline were using their access to the wiki which was responsible for which government troops were deployed, and how hearts and minds could be won, to ensure that in real time they adjusted to the challenges of a life-or-death scenario.

“It struck me then that if we can have a wiki approach of those who have direct experience of the frontline, if we can do it in something as critical as the role of the military, then there is a huge potential to do it in education and other areas as well.”

The “wiki” approach will first be piloted in the government’s new program of study for computer science, Gove said. If it is successful, the policy would be extended to other subjects.

Teaching resources in computer science, designed by leading employers and academics, will now be available for schools to use in a move by Gove to transform the teaching of information and communication technology (ICT).

Gove said:

“I believe the dispersed wisdom of the best teachers in this country and globally will be better than any bureaucracy’s attempts to freeze in time and for all time the best way of teaching. I want to see that approach trialled through the development of new and more rigorous computer science curricula, and in due course computer science qualifications, and I then want to consider how we can more widely apply that to other subjects.”

In attempting to establish a more creative curriculum, Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said we should not be undermined by “continuing with the system of league tables and unnecessary floor targets which can lead to teaching to the test, resulting in all creativity being knocked out of schools,” in a jab aimed at the Government’s apparent concentration on rankings.