Monday, 22 November 2010

Conservatism Should Be Taught In History Classes

After yesterday's immensely amusing Tory-ribbing fun, Lord Norton (a Tory, believe it or not) has provided me with further ammunition for future stirring of Tory-voting parents.

There are reports that citizenship teaching in schools - it has been part of the national curriculum since 2002 – is under review and may possibly disappear. I made the case that there may have been problems with the teaching of citizenship but that this derived from such teaching being under-resourced and under-valued. My view was that it was essential that it was retained and that schools were provided with the necessary incentives to take it seriously.
Err, it's probably under-valued because it (termed PHSE at the little Ps' schools) quite simply does not belong in our education system, so if it has been under-resourced, fantastic.

The link has changed since I wrote about this in March last year, but not by much.

So what is taught in PHSE? Teachernet gives us the lowdown.

Citizenship at Key Stages 1 and 2;
Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco;
Emotional Health and Wellbeing;
Nutrition and Physical Activity;
Personal Finance;
Sex and Relationship Education.
Look around the site yourself. It is heavy on health & safety; risk assessment; drug, alcohol and tobacco education; emotional health; 'correct' food; financial capability; safety again; and loads of sex ed.

There is a search facility, so I tried it. It returned one match for 'lesbian', two for 'racism', three for 'cancer', and four for 'gay'. There were 14 for 'environment'.

However, a search for the words 'selfish', 'selfishness', and 'tolerance', came up blank.

It goes without saying that 'personal responsibility' didn't figure either.
Is a Tory truly saying that the above should be compulsory (it is planned to be so from next year) in schools, instead of being taught by parents in the manner of their own choosing?

That the state should dictate - from a quango-chosen list of pet issues - how children are instructed to live their lives? How to think along 'approved' lines? And that parents are to have no say in it, nor given the choice to opt out?

Now, there may be an argument that some parents simply can't be arsed to advise their kids about some important life matters but I always believed that Tories - as I understand conservatism to be, at any rate - were against the state effectively over-riding parental responsibility. Especially since we're all paying for such ideology by spending either our own time filling the real educational gaps left while schools peddle this garbage (as I did this evening, like every evening), or in the case of others I know, spending cash to hire someone else to do so.

Following Lansley's superlative fuckwittery yesterday, this will be quite the shit-flavoured alka seltzer to treat the delusional hangover my previously enthusiastic Tory acquaintances are now waking up to.

Another rubbing-noses-in-it exercise beckons.


Gawain Towler said...

But despite it all the evidence shows that children grow up.
In the study it becomes apparant that the authors reckon that with more citizenship education they will be able to reverse the slow natural growth to consevatism that is the way of nature.

Ian R Thorpe said...

Fortunately (though not for recent generation of pupils) it has long been established that the more people are pressured to conform they more likely they are to act like cupid stunts.

Junican said...

I have been over to Lord Norton's site and made a few comments. Fairly civilised discussions there, by the way.

Reading some of the comments, and Norton's replies, it doesn't seem that he is particularly bothered about the propaganda at primary level. His interest is in secondary level.

Anyway, I have given it my best shot. You never know.

Erskine May said...

It's not called that at the secondary level, which is actually what the post - and the speech in the Lords - is about.