Academic subjects alone won’t ‘set every child up for life’

Jun 17, 2015 by


Employers are crying out for recruits who are creative. The notion that arts and music are not seen as ‘hard’ enough subjects is damaging to the economy

It’s no surprise that Nicky Morgan is in favour of the English baccalaureate (EBacc). But what is genuinely puzzling is her assertion that “evidence shows” that sticking to “these core academic subjects…” – [a GCSE in maths, English, a science, a language and one of history or geography] – “… sets every child up for life”. Even if what she really meant was that it sets every child up for a job, there’s not much “evidence” to sustain the proposition. In fact, it all points the other way.

OK – a good fistful of the EBacc five should set you up for A-levels, and a good fistful of A-levels might set you up for a good university, and a good degree might – just might – set you up for a job that uses a tiny bit of what you’ve spent 10 years learning (if it’s not mostly redundant by then). But what successful employers, big and small, hi-tech and no-tech, are crying out for are recruits who are innovative and creative, who can think laterally, communicate clearly and work as part of a team. These are all abilities that are most effectively developed for children through the arts and music.

But these subjects aren’t included in the EBacc measure – they’re not “academic” enough.

In the future being adaptable, able to learn how to learn, rather than learn how to remember, will be the only way of staying afloat in a swirling labour market. But it seems we’ve decided the future isn’t happening.

Source: Academic subjects alone won’t ‘set every child up for life’ | Higher Education Network | The Guardian

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