Naltalie Blundell - The Peceptive Confessions of a School Girl about the English G.C.S.E.

         Natile's  Tes Article "After sitting 28 GCSE papers in four weeks. I wonder what is the point of all that. Natalie Blundell?,," illustrates that even school children can see the futility of the new English G.C.S.E.'s. The fundamental finding of the Cockcroft Report 1982 was that human memory, the ability to retain factual information, is very transitory.
       Cognitive and neuro-science research is increasingly illustrating that the brain is very plastic.
 It is very easy for politician's to place demands upon children that they would find intolerable if they were placed upon themselves. Politicians' who are demanding that children should learn and be educated through the medium of Welsh in Wales, for instance, would be more respected if they had the conviction to learn and develop fluent French. It would provide them with an empathy of what is involved.
      The problem with all school learning is that it cannot be divorced from opportunities to use it. There is not intrinsic value in expect learners to memorise a whole range of formula for an examination as Natalie suggests. All too often these will be revised, memorised and all to often forgotten after an examination.
       Natalie is very right in recognising that employers will be more interested in employing children, who have an understanding of mathematics, and the ability to apply formulas, than memorising them. If specific formulas are required to employed in a given occupation then the employees will look them up. If they use them regularly they will remember them. It always prudent to check a rarely used formula, because getting it wrong can have serious consequences.
        There was a time that children were awarded marks for specify dates in history. The fact that the Battle of Hasting started a 9 a.m. on the 14th October 1066 has no relevance to developing a knowledge of history and an understanding of it. It the equivalent of remembering security codes. Children are no required to remember historical periods.