Jonathan Wolff has some ideas for how he would rethink the curriculum – starting with drama, design and daydreaming
I'm not saying that I want a new job, but I have found a job title I'd rather like: Commissar of Enlightenment. Apparently, this was the name given to the Soviet minister of education and culture.
I can see myself settling in to the role quite comfortably. What would I do? Well, obviously, after I'd decided how many stars to have on my epaulettes, my main task would be to rethink the educational curriculum from the ground up, according to a rational plan. None of this letting school and university teachers think they know best.
Let's get started. When should schooling begin and what should be taught? Well, as a first guiding principle there should be age-appropriate learning. Chomsky argued that we can learn languages much more effectively in our early years than at any other time. So what are we waiting for? Leave reading, writing and arithmetic till later. Early education should consist of mucking about with sand and glue, but in three different languages.
You might think then it is time for the three Rs. But I'm the Commissar, not you, so shut up and listen. We will organise the formal curriculum around the three Ds: drama, design and daydreaming.