This widely-circulated email from Dr Paul Kleiman is a succinct and powerful contribution to understanding the drive behind the new National Curriculum.
While the Ebaccs have gone (a battle won but the war continues) it’s clear that Michael Gove is still (even more?) intent on creating an arts-free ‘core curriculum’. One hears him continually referring to the Massachusetts Core of Learning (http://www.doe.mass.edu/edreform/commoncore/full.pdf) as the model he would like to follow. I don’t know if he’s actually read the Massachusetts Common Core of Learning or is studiously ignoring its content, but there, in stark black and white, is the following:
All students should:
Acquire, Integrate and Apply Essential Knowledge (in)
– Literature and Language
– Mathematics, Science and Technology
– Social studies, History and Geography
– Visual and Performing Arts
Under ‘Visual and Performing Arts’ there is:
– Know and understand the nature of the creative process, the characteristics of visual art, music, dance and theatre, and their importance in shaping and reflecting historical and cultural heritage.
– Analyze and make informed judgments regarding the arts.
– Develop skills and participate in the arts for personal growth and enjoyment.
Under Literature and Language:
– Read a rich variety of literary works including fiction, poetry, drama and nonfiction from different time periods and cultures, relating them to human aspirations and life experiences.
– Analyze implications of literary works, and communicate them through speaking, writing, artistic and other means of expression.
All students should:
Use Mathematics, the Arts, Computers and Other Technologies Effectively
– Apply mathematical skills to interpret information and solve problems.
– Use the arts to explore and express ideas, feelings and beliefs.
– Use computers and other technologies to obtain, organize and communicate
information and to solve problems.
– Develop and present conclusions through speaking, writing, artistic and other means of expression.
Dr. Paul Kleiman
UK Discipline Lead for Dance, Drama and Music