It seems like it’s open season on Curriculum for Excellence with various individuals and groups seeking to attack or defend Scotland’s new 3-18 curriculum depending upon their point of view.
It was this in mind that I wonder if perhaps we “Can’t see the trees for the wood”?
The traditional idiom reads “Can’t see the wood for the trees” i.e. where someone gets so caught up in small details that they fail to understand the bigger picture.
My interpretation of some of the recent criticism of the programme is the opposite, i.e. they are so caught up in trying to describe the big picture that they fail to recognise the myriad of emerging details which come together to make up the whole.
That’s why when I’m working with parents I try to focus on actual examples of practice which exemplify the principles of Curriculum for Excellence – as opposed to describing/incanting the principles and capacities which tend make people’s eyes glaze over. I’m convinced that some of the claims about the wooliness of Curriculum for Excellence have been due to well intentioned attempts to decribe the wood – when a few well chosen desciptions of the trees would be much more useful.
Of course, there are still some details to be finalised – most notably in relation to assessment – but from a personal perspective I believe there’s more than enough for us to work on in a positive and creative mind-set which will be to the advantage of young people in Scotland.