Gove on Computer Science — and Mathematical Logic

It seems that Mathematical Logic may be the next big thing in education, at least according to Michael Gove’s speechwriters. Here are quotes from his speech :

The best degrees in computer science are among the most rigorous and respected qualifications in the world. They’re based on one of the most formidable intellectual fields – logic and set theory – and prepare students for immensely rewarding careers and world-changing innovations […]

Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word and Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11 year-olds able to write simple 2D computer animations using an MIT tool called Scratch. By 16, they could have an understanding of formal logic

previously covered only in University courses and be writing their own Apps for smartphones.

What follows at practical level is more sensational:

That’s why I am announcing today that the Department for Education is opening a consultation on withdrawing the existing National Curriculum Programme of Study for ICT from September this year.

The traditional approach would have been to keep the Programme of Study in place for the next four years while we assembled a panel of experts, wrote a new ICT curriculum, spent a fortune on new teacher training, and engaged with exam boards for new ICT GCSES that would become obsolete almost immediately.

We will not be doing that.

Technology in schools will no longer be micromanaged by Whitehall. By withdrawing the Programme of Study, we’re giving schools and teachers freedom over what and how to teach; revolutionising ICT as we know it.

See also:

Michael Gove Written Ministerial Statement on ICT – 11 Jan 2012 (Word, 36 Kb). [And here is a local copy of the file of statement.]

Comments are welcome.

Early entry at GCSE

Have a look at a scan of the article that appeared in the Times Educational Supplement of 25 November last year.

Early entry at GCSE

Early entry at GCSE (Times Education Supplement 25 November 2011)

The worrying trend is that the % of GCSE A* grades is falling with early entry.

I am aware of schools that enter students early to ‘get it out of the way’.

Pupils get a C or better then do little or no mathematics in Year11.

What worries me is that some pupils may not then pick up the mathematics in Year 12 since some of the fire and passion for mathematics has gone out without having done much for a year. There is also a worry that pupils who would achieve an A* if they did GCSE Mathematics in Y11 may get an A or B at early entry and be content with that without realising (and I may be wrong in assuming this, so please correct me if I am wrong) that universities look at GCSE results as well when making offers. This could mean that entry to university courses in great demand is denied to those who do not achieve top grades at GCSE and pupils may not be aware of this.

Does a message about this need to be disseminated to schools? parents? pupils?