Are British parents prepared to be 24-7 role models for their children? They’d better be, since British schools have apparently decided to opt out of a large part of their previous responsibilities for educating students.
It all started when a re-wording of the national curriculum statement revealed that the education establishment was no longer bound by pesky moral absolutes like right and wrong.
Ostensibly created to “slim down” the rules and regs, the working draft’s new wording eliminated a previous statement saying that “the school curriculum should pass on enduring values. . .(and) develop principles for distinguishing between right and wrong.”
According to David Sapsted in The London Daily Telegraph, the new wording says that pupils should “have secure values and beliefs,” whatever that means.
Even the current goal of developing children’s “ability to relate to others and work for the common good” was too cut and dried for the Brits, whose new version struck out any mention of “the common good.”
And as for teaching the kids about Britain’s cultural heritage, that’s gone too.
Instead of imparting an “understanding of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural heritages of Britain’s diverse society,” the teachers’ new goals emphasize providing students with information about “different cultures and traditions” that will strengthen their “sense of place in the world.”
And that outdated goal of teaching “leadership” has been replaced by encouraging kids to become more “enterprising.”
How are parents, concerned citizens and educators reacting to the way that the public education establishment has sold out to trendy relativism?
A Church of England spokesman said: “We would be very concerned to see any erosion of the fundamental principle of education to provide for the spiritual and moral development of pupils and of society.”
A spokesperson for the National Union of Teachers responded by saying that “teachers always resented being told that one of the aims of…school was to teach the difference between right and wrong. That is inherent in the way teachers operate. Removing it from the national curriculum will make no difference to teachers…”
Deborah Lambert writes the “Squeaky Chalk” column for Accuracy in Academia’s monthly newsletter The Campus Report, available as a download at www.academia.org.