Thursday, 13 December 2012

Minds Like A Sponge, So Get 'Em Young

After a few months respite, I was beginning to think that state educational silliness had been left behind now my two have left primary school. It has come thick and fast in the past couple of days, though.

If you follow on Twitter, you may have seen these tweets yesterday afternoon.

Then today I had this conversation with the boy.
DP: How was school?
Little P: We went to some temples.
DP: Temples?
Little P: Yes, we, err ... oh never mind.
At this point, I think he must have noticed some of my heavy sighs in the past and was trying to save me the pain. Bless.
DP: No, carry on, you've started now.
Little P: Well, we went to a Jewish temple.
DP: You mean a synagogue.
Little P: Yes. The other half of the year went to a Sikh temple.
Little P: Then we all went to that mosque we see from the bus on the way to cricket.
DP: Great. So when are you going to look around a church?
Little P: I dunno.
DP: Are you doing a carol service in one, or anything?
Little P: Don't be silly.
Now, there's nothing wrong with learning about other religions - I remember having to put on a skull cap to tour a synagogue myself at school, albeit only for one lesson and not taking up the entire day - but shouldn't it be in the context of making it implicitly clear that this country is predominantly Christian? Because this certainly doesn't appear to be the case any more.

After the above exchange, I described my visit to the magnificent Muhammad Ali mosque in Cairo a few years ago. Perhaps mischievously, I asked if he knew which country Cairo was in. He didn't. In fact, he knew little about any capital cities at all, which I would have thought should be high on the list of basics for state teaching. Apparently not, all the right-on shite above is obviously far more important.

After this evening though, they do both now understand the word 'propaganda' and how it differs from the word 'education', so there's always a silver lining.


V said...

It's unbelievable how fast all this stuff has happened. I'm 23, and when I was at (state) primary and secondary schools I don't recall any of this rubbish. In RE lessons it was back to back bible (admittedly I was at Catholic schools), and science was science with nary a cigarette to be seen. Nowadays, whenever I see my 7 year old cousin I get long diatribes about how cigarettes kill and alcohol kills and don't do that and teacher says sugar is bad for you. Not to mention the horrendous anecdotes I hear about climate change being shoved down every child's throat.

Cheers, New Labour, cheers.

Tony Hand said...

Cheers, New Labour, cheers.

In case you hadnt noticed the current government is conservative and they dont look like changing anything anytime soon.


Tony Hand said...

Also remember having an antismoking lecture in a science lesson as well and I left school in 1983.


Lysistrata Eleftheria said...

Judging by his reported reactions to your questions, I am warming very rapidly indeed to the young Master P.

Tony said...

I am amazed that they are allowed to push the climate change scam on children, what the hell is that all about? All but the most die-hard of zealots know it's all a load of bollocks.

John M said...

It might have been amusing to prank the "smoking poster" homework by designing a poster based on Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca with the motif "Smoking - how cool is that?" or similar :)

Steve Wintersgill said...

Veering off topic slightly, but I thought it worth sharing. The latest IPCC report (AR5) has been leaked and some kind soul has provided a torrent:


Frank J said...

Welcome to the world of modern day education. I've been through this 3 times with mine. Thankfully we've managed to overcome the bullshit. We also concentrated on Countries and Capitals when they were young so even they're able to see how sparse and PC their Geography lessons are. They even cover immigration these days. To add insult to injury, one useless Geog. teacher even maintained that Glasgow was the capital of Scotland to my eldest! Fortunately I've taught them to be bolshie so he wouldn't have it.

The up and downers I've had with the school over their curriculum, I'm surprised they allowed my kids to stay. Geog., 'Science', Literature and don't get me started on what passes for history. Climate change shite, anti smoking bollocks, I've had a go about the lot and, somehow, they manage to infiltrate into most subjects.

Best get used to it, Dick. It's complete bullshit.

V said...

True, but I think it's one of these where once you've opened Pandora's box, it's very hard to close.

Jonathan Bagley said...

How about a photo of Badley Wiggins with the caption, "Best wait until after you've won before you light up".
Or two photos side by side - one with him smoking and one with him holding the SPOTY trophy.

Lyn said...

"...but shouldn't it be in the context of making it implicitly clear that this country is predominantly Christian?"
But is it, Dick? I am not so sure these days - Mosques are certainly aplenty and far more prominent than Churches, Cof E or Catholic!

Little Black Censored said...

And stamping on a bicycle helmet.

David C said...

I'm pleased to say my eldest (10 years) refers to the 'government indoctrination centre' rather than 'skule' when it comes to state propaganda. There was a recent 'climate conference' at which he and fellow year 5s had to design ways in which they could convince younger children to be very very scared about global warming.

Tatty said...

"After this evening though, they do both now understand the word 'propaganda' and how it differs from the word 'education'..."

Yep, now rinse and repeat.

My two know not to take anything a secondary school teacher says at face value and...on the offchance they feel strongly either way about any propaganda in particular...the internet with it's wealth of information and differing opinions is the perfect antidote.

Frankly, they just aren't as bothered as us adults might think. When you're a kid school doesn't half interfere with yer social life. They're just killing time.

So long as they can tick the right boxes on the exam papers at the end then that's all that matters to the teachers and employers. They're clever enough to know it's all a game to be played. Oh and there are many other sources of "education".

Life, mainly.

John Pickworth said...

My other half (a holder of a foreign driving licence) is currently studying for his UK driving test. He has all the official books, DVDs and practice materials etc.

Thing is, its full of inane drivel like: When shouldn't you use your car? A little ironic considering you're learning to drive one but the answer is: for short journeys. And while I get the emphasis on safety its the constant nagging throughout that this or that action is bad for the environment.

Surely is cannot be long until the red triangle road sign with a pictured cow doesn't warn of 'cattle' but instead 'increased climate damaging methane ahead'?