Natural History Apprehensions

Posted in: Comment, New Publications

The fate of the natural history GCSE is now in the hands of the DfE and OfQual.  Fate as in quality rather than any question of whether it will exist because that battle has been won in the gritted teeth of strong internal objection from the DfE's staid civil servants.  And if anyone is apprehensive about the quality or appropriateness of what will emerge, they probably have good reason to be.

I say this because DfE and OfQual are not interested in natural history (as natural history) and so have no skin in the game over how good or true to its vision it turns out to be.  Theirs is a technical / bureaucratic interest in making sure that this GCSE resembles what GCSEs need to be in what I'm going to call GCSE-ness.  This is one of the reasons why anyone who might be termed a professional expert (such as an academic naturalist) or a passionate enthusiastic (such as Mary Colwell) has been excluded from this stage of the proceedings.  This ensures that there will be no-one round the table who actually understands natural history or, heaven forfend, is warm-blooded about it.  I mean, how else could technical quality be delivered?  Come on ...

This is just a gloomy preamble to my referring you to a recent NAEE blog by Mary Colwell which makes the point that to be part of the natural world is to be fully human; and that we break that tie at our peril.  It's a good read.

Posted in: Comment, New Publications


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