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Scotland: Anne Glennie writes 'Why Upstart is a non-starter' re the 'learning through play' debate

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:26 am
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
Anne Glennie shares her alarm at the growing movement of 'learning through play' in Scotland which is looking like this would be at the expense of formally-planned literacy teaching and would further increase the attainment gap:

Why Upstart is a non-starter ... onstarter/

Upstart Scotland is actively campaigning to introduce a Nordic-style kindergarten system between the ages of three and seven, with learning being undertaken through ‘creative play’ rather than ‘formal’ learning. As a campaign that sits outwith Scottish education, I was shocked to see very full and positive coverage in the current issue of Teaching Scotland magazine. You can read the ‘In Depth’ feature here: Serious side of having fun (from page 20)
I firmly believe that, although the campaign clearly has good intentions, its preoccupation with copying countries like Finland is dangerously misguided. Upstart’s proposal would actually do more to grow the attainment gap, rather than close it – and that ultimately, it would have serious consequences, damaging the life chances of our most disadvantaged children.

Anne Glennie is a passionate campaigner for instigating and ensuring research-informed reading instruction for children - thus teachers in Scotland need training in this field. Sir Jim Rose and other IFERI members fully supported Anne Glennie in her petition for research-informed teacher-training in Scotland - a scenario which at the time I am writing this post has yet to be fully played out in Scotland's parliamentary process, see here:


Re: Scotland: Anne Glennie writes 'Why Upstart is a non-starter' re the 'learning through play' debate

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:36 am
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
Anne described her alarm at the push for the intervention programme Reading Recovery in Scotland. You can read about this here:


In 2015, Anne gave a very touching talk at the UK Reading Reform Foundation conference describing what presented as very low expectations for children in Scotland when many influential people and those from influential organisations signed up to an 85% literacy target and not a 100% target. This talk is very short - it had me in tears with Anne's subtle and powerful ending: ... e=emb_logo