Thursday, 31 October 2013

Apparently there is a new subject

on the curriculum called "Work Studies". It will begin next year and is, apparently, compulsory. The alternative name for the subject is "How to find a job."
It is yet another thing schools are expected to find time to teach.
And yes, finding a job is difficult. Even well qualified people have difficulty finding a job. I would not get one now.
But the "curriculum" outlined in our paper concerned me. Apparently teachers are expected to cover things like "on line etiquette" and "standards of dress" and "other cultures" - and this is for the last years of the secondary school.
Now, to me, "on line" behaviour should be taught from the time you can use a computer. (Another little report said something about children learning to use computers before they can talk but presumably they do not mean social media.) But, if you can use a computer well enough to access social media without adult supervision - and I would guess the vast majority of children and young people could do this - then you need to know about online etiquette long before you start to search for a job. What is more, I think parents should be involved. I think they should be teaching children basic etiquette from the start.  I know it is hard work and I know it also takes time but children need to know. By the time you reach secondary school acceptable social behaviour should be what is normal, not what is exceptional.
The same goes for standards of dress. It should be obvious you turn up appropriately dressed and well groomed. Surely it is something that parents should show by example.
As for "other cultures" I am not quite sure what that has to do with finding a job. Surely that is part of your overall education? It seems it is an excuse to put a little more "political correctness" into an already politically correct curriculum. I would prefer that tolerance and acceptance was taught from the start.
And then "standards of behaviour" was mentioned. All the above mentioned surely come into this as well? Surely it is common knowledge and common sense that there are acceptable and non-acceptable standards of behaviour?
If these things need to be taught in the last years of the secondary school could someone please tell me what, if anything, is being taught elsewhere - and who is teaching it?


Anonymous said...

Too late to instill old fashioned common sense, manners and respect, and that is all they need. Well apart from the ability to read, write and do some basic maths.

Judy Edmonds said...

I got totally confused reading the specs of this new subject - it seemed to cover two completely separate areas that were not remotely connected. I certainly agree that preparation for the grown-up world is very necessary, though not necessarily in the way it it suggested here. And it was certainly available in a different format as an elective at my children's high school. Manners, common sense, respect, are things that should be started from infancy by parents and carried on throughout childhood and schooling by families and schools.