Sunday, June 08, 2008

Dunce adviser

What's going on with education in England?

An education professor is advising the government to drop academic subjects because supposedly they have a middle-class origin and alienate the disadvantaged. Moreover, such education has the nefarious effect of improving one's economic well-being.

Children should no longer be taught traditional subjects at school because they are "middle-class" creations, a Government adviser will claim today.

Professor John White, who contributed to a controversial shake-up of the secondary curriculum, believes lessons should instead cover a series of personal skills.

Pupils would no longer study history, geography and science but learn skills such as energy- saving and civic responsibility through projects and themes.

He will outline his theories at a conference today staged by London's Institute of Education - to which he is affiliated - to mark the 20th anniversary of the national curriculum.

Last night, critics attacked his ideas as "deeply corrosive" and condemned the Government for allowing him to advise on a new curriculum.

Professor White will claim ministers are already "moving in the right direction" towards realising his vision of replacing subjects with a series of personal aims for pupils.

But he says they must go further because traditional subjects were invented by the middle classes and are "mere stepping stones to wealth".

Not everybody is happy with the ed prof's prescriptions:

Tory schools spokesman Nick Gibb said Professor White's view was "deeply corrosive". He added: "In the world we are living in, we need people who are better educated, not more poorly educated, more knowledgeable about the world, not less so.

"This anti-knowledge, anti-subject ideology is deeply damaging to our education system. It is this sort of thinking that has led to the promotion of discredited reading methods, the erosion of three separate sciences and the decline of mathematics skills.

"I just find it astonishing that someone with his extreme views has been allowed to advise the Government on education policy."

Via Joanne Jacobs.

7 comments:

NYC Educator said...

Stepping stones to wealth? That must be stopped. It's a well-established fact that money is a bad thing and absolutely no one wants it.

Barry Garelick said...

Sounds like this guy watched "To Sir With Love" too many times.

Barry Garelick said...

I meant the advisor, not nyc educator, just so there's no confusion!!

nick said...

The format of education must be changed from decade to decade.

Anonymous said...

wha' happened to you?

lacey said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Kate
http://educationonline-101.com

Anonymous said...

The latest in a long line of batty pronouncements from the British educational establishment.

For a good history of how Britain got to this stage read Melanie Philips' excellent 'All Must Have Prizes'.