Howard Booka -  Pisa and Donaldson -

             The greatest concern about Pisa is that is clearly promoted as the "World Cup" of educational attainment. if children were graded to 100 th of mark let alone 1,000 ths then there would be uproar. In 1960s when I was in school were also ranked. Some hand to bottom of the class however  hard they tried.

          Pisa is  crime and punnishment view of learning.  Andreas Schliecher must know how he is deceiving the public.  Education ministers are being forced into making knee-jerk reaction because they have a couple of of thousands of Pisa points difference from another country. 

        The Pisa's results simply reflect the populations that measure.  Wales does not have  a official Pisa ranked scoring and ranking. It is official scorers United Kingdom. Where is get castigated because of their scores tend to be lower than the United Kingdom ones, but if the four countries of the United Kingdom only had an overall score like the United States, then there would be no cause for the public to know that Wales is doing worse in the oven countries United Kingdom.

        It is known from instance of United's gates had separate schools for every state in the country there be a different school for every state. Countries like Luxembourg are scored and ranked seperately.


          There's also the issue of comparison of performance from different languages. Prof Dylan Wiliam quotes Pasi Salsberg stat that the reason why Finland does so well in Pisa is because of Finnish language is a regular lanague and the Fins are avid readers.  English is a very regular one.

         This privately published book appears to be the first research book written Pisa. Many people do not understand it.  It consider the issues with reference to the Pisa Manual.

B4 Pisa.pdf

            The fundamental problem with the "Curriculum for Excellence", which the new Welsh curriculum is based upon, is all you that it was proposed in the 2000s. It was implemented in Scotland in 2010.  Prof Dylan Wiliam contended in 2011 it would be unlikely to deliver the promised standards. The have been concerns expressed about the quality of Scottish education.

       There has been a lot of educational developments as related to the finding cognitive scientists since the Donaldson report was written in 2015, especially the work of Prof John Sweller, who has created a branch of cognitive science related to cognitive overload.  Although Cockcroft 1982 in "Mathematics Counts" referred to working memory, his only become generally known education in the last three or four years. It has implications for the validity of the Donaldson Report.

          The Donaldson concept of child-centred education is nothing new. It was applied and failed in primary education in the late 1960s.  Prof John Swallow refers to problem-based learning is making unreasonable demands upon working. The arguments presented in this research that problem-solving should be the outcome of the curriculum and not the learning means. It is explicitly clear that Cockcroft advised this approach for mathematics.

          All subject blending is is used in certain countries like Australia, contact context is very important enabling memorisation and many of the historic subject boundaries are associated with subject understanding, such as historical reasoning feeling for history. It questionable whether children will see the focus subjects through a blending of the subjects. There's also risk the curriculum can be contrived to accomodate the blending, as opposed to apply meaningful subject sequencing.

           The greatest concern is that the curriculum is very bureaucratic. Research suggests that significant curriculum reform is not necessarily improve standards if the blended curriculum is is is develop in Wales will be very difficult to undo should the curriculum not produce the promised improvements.          

BK8 Donaldson Criticism.pdf