Tuesday, August 01, 2006

(Brit) Schools Told Don't Teach Right from Wrong

Excerpted from The Times (UK) Online:
SCHOOLS would no longer be required to teach children the difference between right and wrong under plans to revise the core aims of the National Curriculum.

Instead, under a new wording that reflects a world of relative rather than absolute values, teachers would be asked to encourage pupils to develop “secure values and beliefs”.

The notion of relative values is thus established as being universally true.

The draft also purges references to promoting leadership skills and deletes the requirement to teach children about Britain’s cultural heritage.

So "Who we are, how we got to be that way, and why?" gets replaced with "Who cares?"

Ministers have asked for the curriculum’s aims to be slimmed down to give schools more flexibility in the way they teach pupils aged 11 to 14.

[…] The present aims for Stage 3 pupils state: “The school curriculum should pass on enduring values. It should develop principles for distinguishing between right and wrong.”

The QCA’s proposals will see these phrases replaced to simply say that pupils should “have secure values and beliefs”.

I believe Hitler had “secure values and beliefs.” So does Osama Bin Laden.

The existing aims state that the curriculum should develop children’s “ability to relate to others and work for the common good”. The proposed changes would remove all references to “the common good”.

The requirement to teach Britain’s “cultural heritage” will also be removed. The present version states: “The school curriculum should contribute to the development of pupils’ sense of identity through knowledge and understanding of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural heritages of Britain’s diverse society.”

The proposals say that individuals should be helped to “understand different cultures and traditions and have a strong sense of their own place in the world”.

[…] Professor Alan Smithers, of the University of Buckingham’s centre for education and employment research, said: “The idea that they think it is appropriate to dispense with right and wrong is a bit alarming.

A bit alarming indeed. Ta ta, Britain. It was a nice 940 years.