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Secondary Education: Curriculum

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 1 May 2007, Official Report, column 1575W, on secondary education: curriculum, (1) whether the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority prepared any (a) systematic reviews and (b) quantitative meta-analyses on the principles of effective teaching during the preparation of the secondary curriculum review; (137061)

(2) what evidence the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority used to base its decision to focus on explicit teaching of metacognitive strategies in the secondary curriculum review supporting documents;

(3) what quantitative effect size was identified for each of the principles of effective teaching by the review of research into effective teaching carried out in the preparation of the secondary curriculum review.

As part of its ongoing remit to monitor the National Curriculum, QCA draws on research evidence about effective teaching from a wide range of sources. Analysis and evaluation of the principles of effective teaching developed by Ellis et al was not part of the curriculum review remit given to QCA, nor was this an explicit part of the process of developing the new curriculum.

The National Curriculum is primarily about setting out an entitlement to learning in terms of the knowledge, skills and understanding that forms the statutory part of a wider school curriculum. The National Curriculum does not prescribe specific approaches to pedagogy; it is for schools themselves to choose the teaching methodologies most appropriate for the material being taught and the needs of individual learners.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 1 May 2007, Official Report, column 1575W, on secondary education: curriculum, what evidence the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has found to suggest that learning how to learn can be taught independently of subject content. (137172)

The ability to reflect on learning and how to improve performance is an essential skill for life and work. This is why it continues to be an important element of the National Curriculum.

Schools provide opportunities for young people to develop these skills through their approach to pedagogy and assessment, and particularly through their approach to assessment for learning. These opportunities can take place within subject contexts and beyond them.

As part of its ongoing remit to monitor the National Curriculum, QCA draws on research evidence about effective teaching from a wide range of sources. Evidence for successful approaches to assessment for learning can be found on the DFES Standards Site at:

http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/personalisedlearning/five/afl/.