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Secondary Education: Curriculum

Volume 459: debated on Monday 30 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority secondary curriculum review is based (a) wholly and (b) in part on an outcome-based educational approach. (133462)

[holding answer 23 April 2007]: The purpose of all education is to achieve outcomes or results. The secondary curriculum review is based upon the need for all young people to acquire prescribed subject knowledge, skills and understanding including high level skills in literacy, numeracy and scientific understanding; to develop a knowledge of British history and an understanding of our place in the world; and to understand contemporary issues which shape the international context for the next generation.

The secondary curriculum review also seeks to provide all young people with the skills to continue to learn throughout life; to be inquisitive, independent thinkers; to be problem solvers; and team workers.

If that is what is meant by ‘an outcome-based educational approach’ then the secondary curriculum review can be said to be ‘outcome based’.

If however, ‘an outcome-based educational approach’ is defined as a curriculum which is content-free; lacking in rigour; entirely skills based; and not specific and particular about cognitive content, then that is most definitely not the approach upon which the secondary curriculum review is based.