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Primary Schools Expected To Teach Twitter, Blogs And Wikipedia

A radical overhaul of the current primary school curriculum is expected to see students focus less on historical themes in favour of bleeding edge online technologies, if a leaked document is to be believed.

According to draft plans seen by the Guardian, Sir Jim Rose, the former Ofsted head honcho, has put forward major reforms that would see pupils taught how to use micro blogging website Twitter and online encyclopedia Wikipedia rather than delve into the intricacies of their own history.

Amongst often contradictory skills that they are expected to gain will include the use of keyboard (as well as gaining "fluency in handwriting") as well as learning how to use a spellchecker to look for mistakes (as well as trying to use their calculators less).

The new proposals will no longer make it compulsory for schools to teach Victorian history or the Second World War although the institutions can still decide to include them if appropriate.

The paradigm shift marks the biggest change in over a decade as the focus is shifted away from more traditional fields like science, geography and history towards more "modern" subject like media and environment.

In an apparent move to dispel potential misunderstandings, the Schools Minister Jim Knight said that "The bottom line is that we are working with experts to free up the curriculum in a way that teachers have asked us to do but British history has, and always will be, a core part of education in this country."

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Our Comments

Two of the main reasons History is taught in schools is to avoid repeating the same mistakes others committed in the past (genocides, persecutions etc) as well as helping the younger generation make the connection with their country and become more patriotic. That's the theory. But in practice, it seems that it has turned into a boring subject, which is a shame. Sir Rose's report is only a draft for now and it will need to be considered in its entirety before conclusions are drawn.

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.