Written on: Mon, 11 Apr 2011; 20:29
Cycling ExamRecently I read an article which is basically summarized in the following sentence: "Dutch primary schools stop examining cycling skills because children cycle less and are less good cyclers." Excuse me? A good reason for me to write my first blog in a long time!

Bad mathsOne of the comments below the article read "This is like: "Schools stop examining maths, because children do maths less and less and they have lost their mathematical skills."... Isn't the whole idee of school to learn things that you haven't yet learned?"

That is exactly my opinion. How far have we descended into the realms of ignorance if we stop teaching kids the things that they do not yet know? Does that mean that by the time that my children go to school, they will only play the computer games that we have taught them to play at home? And of course these computer games will lack any sort of text, only symbols, because children read less and less so why bother teaching them at all?

To become a primary school teacher in the Netherlands you have to get a degree and pass a test proving that you have groep 8 (grade 6) mathematical skills and HAVO 3 (grade 9) Dutch language skills. Still, thousands of students fail to pass this test each year. What should we conclude from this?

Google bikeMaybe we should simply stop teaching all together? We've got Google, so anyone can teach themselves whatever they want. Provided, of course, that they can read and type, so maybe we should still have compulsory schooling until those skills have been acquired.


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