Science cannot be Taken out of all Learning Issues - Politician's must Face the Realities

      Howards description of working memory in his 2017 book was that it is like a tractor pulling bails of hay on it trying to go under a low railway bridge. We all have different working memory capacities. We all cannot go under the same bridges.

      Fluency compresses the hay and creates space above it. This allows the thinking that is essential to develop understanding and the committing of factual information to our shorter and then long term memorisation. The more space created, the more effective learning will be.

    The concept of cognitive load needs consideration in all learning situations. It does not only apply to language fluency, but fostering language fluency is enabling. It empowers learners to learn more effectively, especially reading fluency.

       In Howard's 2017  book on Pisa, he raised the concept of learning load, which is rarely given attention in the context of school learning. The relevance this has too Pisa is that if children are taught a narrow curriculum, then they will be able to devote more time and attention to specific subjects, such as those assessed by Pisa and they will achieve higher level of attainment.

      In South Korea, where the curriculum is being broadened, their Pisa ranking dropped in 2016.

       The fundamental theme of the 1982 Cockcroft Report into Mathematical Education was the need of mathematics to serve children everyday life needs. He recognised that it would not be possible for all children to reach the same level of attainment in the subject. He advised that mathematics examinations should be introduced for the less able so they could have a sense of achievement.

      The Welsh Government has created a basic numeracy G.C.S.E. 

 There are demands that learning a second language up to 16 should be made compulsory in England. The harsh reality is that if children were allowed to opt out of maths at school many would chose to do so. Second language learners experience many of the difficulties that exist in mathematics, including the fear of failure.

 What needs to be recognised is that second languages are a very significant basic skill that are learnt in hostile environments in the United Kingdom, because rarely are other language all around learners. They cannot be so easily revised for examination like topical subjects like history and geography.

    We need to consider educational no only in creating targets, but also in working out the curriculum load and working out what the real learning priorities for children of all learning potential.