Draft Curriculum as a word cloud

Just out of interest I put both the draft national curriculum and the current 2000 curriculum into a word cloud generator – a visual representation of the most common occurring words in the two documents – below are the results. Unsurprisingly the word ‘pupil’ appears a great deal in both.What appears to be immediately different is the importance of the word ‘learning’, in the curriculum 2000 cloud ‘learning’ is the second most common occurring word, in the new draft curriculum it seems to have disappeared altogether, replaced I guess by ‘study’, although that also appears in the Curriculum 2000 cloud.

‘Taught’ is another word appearing frequently in both documents, but by ‘teachers’ only in curriculum 2000.  ‘Skills’ is another dimension prominent in curriculum 2000 that seems to have disappeared almost entirely from the new curriculum. Other words prominent in curriculum 2000 and less so in the new curriculum include: ‘Activities’, ‘develop’, ‘appropriate’, ‘support’, ‘information’, ‘opportunities’, ‘ideas’, ‘design’, ‘planning’ and ‘language’.

In contrast ‘words’ has become much more prevalent in the draft curriculum, along with ‘spelling’, ‘number/numbers’, ‘fractions’, ‘requirements’, ‘statutory’, ‘programme’, ‘read’ and ‘key’.

I’m not rushing to judge the new curriculum, and have no interest in defending the current one, however these word clouds do seem to suggest a significant change in focus between the two documents. In particular a new emphasis on being taught specific knowledge, although not necessarily by teachers.

It would be interesting to hear other people’s views. Please comment below.

This is the proposed new National Curriculum word cloud.

Wordle - draft curriculum


This is a word cloud for the current Curriculum.

2000 curriculum word cloud


One Comment

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  1. John Mountford April 27, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    It comes as no surprise to me that these, far from subtle changes have occurred in the new curriculum. Clearly, significant shifts in focus are evident, as was previously heralded. It seems that the Secretary of State is to have his way and it will be up to professionals, working in close collaboration with colleagues in schools and hopefully across local clusters, to ensure that this attempt to introduce a new ‘Gradgindian” learning approach to learning is thwarted. Never has the need been so pressing to challenge the whole method of education management in our country. The impact of party politics on education is devastating.

    It seems almost certain that the final version of the new curriculum will end up close to this latest draft. Unless teachers have the courage to resist its implementation in their classrooms and unless they are supported by their headteachers and governors, the new curriculum will severely limit the opportunity for so many young people who find their inspiration through the arts and humanities. The belief, and it is no more than this, that we will end up with a broadly balanced curriculum fit for the present century is misguided.

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