The thing that attracts pupils to physics is its precision. Here, at last, is a discipline that gives real answers that apply to the physical world. But that precision is now gone. Calculations — the very soul of physics — are absent from the new GCSE. Physics is a subject unpolluted by a torrent of malleable words, but now everything must be described in words.
In this course, pupils debate topics like global warming and nuclear power. Debate drives science, but pupils do not learn meaningful information about the topics they debate. Scientific argument is based on quantifiable evidence. The person with the better evidence, not the better rhetoric or talking points, wins. But my pupils now discuss the benefits and drawbacks of nuclear power plants, without any real understanding of how they work or what radiation is....
Pupils are taught to poke holes in scientific experiments, to constantly find what is wrong. However, never are the pupils given ways to determine when an experiment is reliable, to know when an experiment yields information about the world that we can trust. This encourages the belief that all quantitative data is unreliable and untrustworthy. Some of my pupils, after a year of the course, have gone from scientifically minded individuals to thinking, “It’s not possible to know anything, so why bother?” Combining distrust of scientific evidence with debates won on style and presentation alone is an unnerving trend that will lead society astray.
Note this bit, "Scientific argument is based on quantifiable evidence. The person with the better evidence, not the better rhetoric or talking points, wins." That is precisely why I went into science and mathematics in high school, it was a concious decision because I was empowered, I could compete with the teachers. In the humanities it was always a matter of opinion, and teachers often have silly opinions. Now the humanities seem to have won in England. So the scribes will have their permanent positions while the peasants labor to support them in the manner to which they have become accustomed. It is progress that any of the pharaonic priesthoods would have appreciated.