Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Professor Robin Alexander Vs Sir Jim Rose


Sue R
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

I am increasingly considering these two reports and would very much like to hear other opinions.

 

I am rather uneasy that such an independent, wide-ranging, erudite and academic study as Prof. Alexander's, which advocates extending the EYFS to 6 years of age (with consideration to raising raising compulsory school age to 6), seems to be being flagrantly ignored in favour of a much more restricted Government sponsored study by Rose, which is not only restricted generally but specifically prohibited from addressing the testing regime at all. That it is advocating an effective reduction of school age to the term after a child's 4th birthday I find particularly alarming.

 

I would be very interested in hearing your views, either way. Am I missing something?

 

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robin Alexander has always been something of a hero for me and I'm very impressed with his thorough review of the Primary Curriculum taking evidence from all concerned. I am less impressed with the Rose findings which seem only to confirm the government policy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robin Alexander all the way for me too....I was totally absorbed by his writings when doing my degree.....he is inspirational - just look at some of the research it is amazing.........we need to shout his name loud and clear to the government.....why won't they bloody listen?

 

www.robinalexander.org.uk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It has ocurred to me that much of Alexander's research findings over the last year or two have appeared within the Primary Review. The Government's current drive for talk for writing also all fall back to Alexander's 'Dialogic talk' publications. Don't know why this is. It seems that bits of his findings have been cherry picked and others cast aside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems that bits of his findings have been cherry picked and others cast aside.

Well the cynic in me would suggest that Governments of every colour have been very adept at congratulating research that supports their own policies whilst pouring cold water on that which criticises them.

 

Maz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alexander's findings support good Primary practice which is being delivered throughout Europe. If our polititians want to be full members of the EEC they should acknowledge we have got it wrong and the rest of Europe have it right. Their love of league tables should lead them to examine our standing in Europe when it comes to education. No longer top country with the best education system but falling fast. a system that fails so many, particularly boys who we introduce to formal education far too early.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Mrs Tiggy Winkle

It seems to me that the problems largely arise because the government in this country adopts a 'top down' approach to education with league tables being the main and preferred measure of success. Their reasoning seems to be 'we need to get children to z by age 11, so we need to have them at y by age 7 so they have to be at x by age 5.... if we start them learning reading writing and arithmetic at age 4 then we might just get there!' Will they ever see reason and realise that starting children on formal learning earlier does not mean they get their faster, but rather that we turn more of them off what is considered by some to be 'learning' before they have even matured enough to be ready to grasp the basic principles in such an abstract and formal way?

 

Of course my comments are seasoned with a heavy dollop of cynicism and washed down with a large glass of red, late on a friday after a long, long week at work......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

having come out of primary school foundation stage after many years and into a cc setting, I am constantly reminded of the enormous dichotomy between the two philosophies which I never dreamt would be so different.

EY settings look at the child and how a curriculum can be fitted around them whereas primary schools, in my experience, look at the curriculum and how the child can be fitted into that. To me, the whole arguement is about teaching vs. pedagogy, but I have to say, now that I am being allowed to be a pedagogy, I am a much better teacher than I ever was in school and the children are certainly learning much more becuase it is personally meaningful.

I think some practitioners who have never worked in schools would struggle to fit their child centred approach- which I believe to be the right one- into what is required to ensure children achieve levels and results that can be reported as proof that teaching and learning is taking place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think some practitioners who have never worked in schools would struggle to fit their child centred approach- which I believe to be the right one- into what is required to ensure children achieve levels and results that can be reported as proof that teaching and learning is taking place.

 

I think you are partly correct but while OFSTED judges settings following the same curriculum with two very different sets of expectations schools and teachers are always going be torn. And as I constantly point out for reception teachers alone with 30 children they will never be able to deliver the curriculum in the way they would wish or in the way a CC with 1-8 is able.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does it strike anyone else as weird that these are 2 men researching what is mainly a female led profession? Nothing against blokes but you'd think a female researcher would perhaps be more appropriate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does it strike anyone else as weird that these are 2 men researching what is mainly a female led profession? Nothing against blokes but you'd think a female researcher would perhaps be more appropriate.

 

Suzie the Cambridge Review (Alexander) had a huge team of researchers and contributors among them

They held a number of conferences around the country and invited us to contribute.

When I studied Robin Alexander was recommended reading for primary teachers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, thank you all so much for your terrific engagement with my question! You have all said so much that is in tune with my way of thinking xD

 

Marion - as a non-maintained setting that has a very child-led practice, I understand your point about the difficulties of achieving this. This was my main moan with the EYFS when it came out - the real failure to address the ratio issue properly. It's incredible how you teachers and other graduates suddenly sprout all those extra limbs so you can cope with all those children with just one level 3!!

 

I like the idea of a head-to-head debate with erudite questioning by the EYFSF members :o

 

Actually, that's not such a bad idea.....

 

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sue I feel my setting is very child centred but that we are continually expected to justify our methods by external agencies such as OFSTED and while they place demands on schools to meet targets for EYFSP points there will always be a reluctance to take the risk.

I am fortunate that my head is very early years friendly and supports the whole child centred ethos but just reading posts on other forums where KS2 teachers suddenly find themselves eYFS coordinator with no background or knowledge of child development and a reluctance to share control I despair.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Independent review of the Primary Curriculum can be found here

 

The cynic in me in interested in the use of the word 'independent'!

 

This is an interesting discussions, thanks Sue for starting it. Personally I think the biggest problems for schools (whether nursery classes or reception classes) is not just about ratio. This is a big factor, yes, but I think its a symptom of something much bigger, regarding how early years is viewed within a school context, how OFSTED is focused on targets and scores, largely in literacy, how little EYFS practice is understood by many leadership groups, how headteachers can be recruited with little or no recent EY experience; how budgets can be placed in KS2 as it seems 'more needy'; how teachers have to move out of FS if they want to get on in their careers... etc .. these are the things that can make teaching within the EYFS in a school environment extremely complex and at times very isolating

.

Now I know there are great schools in EYFS, super Heads who support EY practice, with proper budgets, appropriately qualified staff and good ratios; Marion has one for example, but I do wonder how commonplace this is? Perhaps my cynicism has got the better of me and actually everyone in schools is having a really hunky dory time with the EYFS.. well you tell me?

 

I think this is the powerful point for me, that Robin Alexander made about the real issue not being about when children start school but about

the nature, quality and appropriateness of the provision for young children, wherever they are.

 

(Alexander's keynote speech, 19th October)

 

Hmm, I think on...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. these are the things that can make teaching within the EYFS in a school environment extremely complex and at times very isolating

 

I teach in a very early years friendly school and both myself (reception) and the nursery teacher are members of the SLT so we have a loud voice when it comes to school policy, marry this with a head who wants young children to have the type of experiences he wants for his own young family and it doesn't get much better in EYs BUT as mundia says we are very isolated by the fact that we start the day before the rest of the school, we don't have breaks, we have different lunchtimes and we finish after the rest of the school so some days I feel I haven't even passed the time of day with my colleagues. EYFS is complex in schools because we have a curriculum which doesn't fit well with the expectations of SIPs or OFSTED and we don't have the adults to deliver it as effectively as we would wish so it is always a juggling act of what we want to do weighed against have we got the manpower to deliver ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was my main moan with the EYFS when it came out - the real failure to address the ratio issue properly. It's incredible how you teachers and other graduates suddenly sprout all those extra limbs so you can cope with all those children with just one level 3!!

 

The whole response to these reports has left me pretty disillusioned personally. I feel politics just seems to over-run anything else when it comes to policy making. It seems it doesn't really matter what people say or recommend as long as it fits in with the political agenda.

 

This is the case with Jim Rose's 'independent' review. I have the greatest respect for Jim, but his proposals had to fit in with government thinking or they wouldn't have given it the time of day. He wasn't allowed to comment on assessment either despite it being the 'elephant in the room'.

 

I accept the Alexander Review has lots of similarites to Rose's, but for both parties to dismiss hise proposals as 'out of date' I think is appaling. I guess it was the same with EYFS ratios. I'm sure it must have been recommended by experts, but it didn't fit in with government policy (financially I presume) and so was dismissed.

 

I think it can be summed up by Jacquie Smith on Question Time on Thursday: "Advisors advise and politicians decide". And they ignore them if they don't like the advice...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it can be summed up by Jacquie Smith on Question Time on Thursday: "Advisors advise and politicians decide".

Which brings me back to what I said earlier in the thread about governments of all colour praising the advice they like and briefing against what they don't agree with. Didn't Jacquie Smith borrow that quote from Margaret Thatcher? Am off to google to check!

 

Maz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)