BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Education  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 30 January, 2003, 02:06 GMT
Prince Charles says exams dent teaching
examination room
The education authorities are reviewing the amount of testing
The Prince of Wales has questioned the impact of the increased amount of testing in schools.

He also repeated calls for changes in the way history and English are taught.

In an article for the magazine of the Royal Society of Literature, Prince Charles says that in recent years young people have had to face more frequent examinations.

The "unintended consequence" had been perhaps "that their time for learning has shrunk, thus leading towards what could be called 'defensive teaching'," he writes.

Last October, the prince invited a group of writers and teachers to a weekend conference to discuss the teaching of English and history in state schools.

His article is a reflection on the aims and achievements of that meeting.

'Culturally disinherited'

Prince Charles warns that "fashionable trends" in education risk producing a generation of "culturally disinherited young people".

He argues that in the teaching of both history and English Literature there is too much focus on the "exclusively contemporary" and the "immediately palatable".

He says both subjects need a "coherent, chronological narrative" which allows young people to be "rooted in their tradition".

Instead they are often taught what is most "accessible" rather than most useful, he says.

He concludes that many of those who leave school with good qualifications have a "shallow-rooted" education, lacking knowledge of their national history and heritage.

As a result, they find themselves devoid of that all-important anchor when buffeted by the storms of life."

Reviews underway

The prince's comments on testing echo the feelings of many teachers and parents.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) is already looking at reducing the level of external testing in England.

On Wednesday the Scottish Executive also said it would re-examine the amount of examination children face.


Talking PointTALKING POINT
Royal view
Do you agree children face too many tests?
See also:

05 Oct 02 | Education
27 Sep 02 | Politics
25 Sep 02 | Politics
25 Sep 02 | Politics
25 Sep 02 | Politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes