With technology in everyone’s pocket these days, it’s a temptation to think that children know far more than they actually do!
Mr Google, that wonderful machine, is never far away.
And Cirri is there, ever present, to answer their every need. Well, almost!
But we teachers have to see through this mist, this subterfuge, and use our special “teacher-detector-facility” to get to the bottom of the reality — that many children these days can cope with the superficial stuff — the research (copy and paste), the investigation (group work and so-called “teamwork”), the tests in which students can take in with them texts, cheat sheets, calculators that have the capacity to land a person on the moon . . .
And yet they can’t give you change from $10 without a machine telling them how much to give.
Yes, sure, things have changed. But is that change better?
To be sure, in some ways it is. The English curriculum has done it well! It is a prime example of an approach, relatively recently adopted, that GENUINELY teaches students how to express themselves, how to identify manipulation in texts and newspaper columns, how to present their arguments in public in a competent, interesting and fluent manner.
Great! But, Maths?
Are we preparing our students, not just for a career, but for a life in which calculations are a daily necessity?
Another look at the curriculum, perhaps?