Gove’s masterclass in what Conservative ‘change’ really means…..
Remember the Conservatives slogan? ‘Vote for Change’? Well Michael Gove has given us a masterclass in what that really means. In a piece in The Times he outlines his vision of that the national curriculum will look like under the Conservatives:
I’m an unashamed traditionalist when it comes to the curriculum,” Mr Gove said. “Most parents would rather their children had a traditional education, with children sitting in rows, learning the kings and queens of England, the great works of literature, proper mental arithmetic, algebra by the age of 11, modern foreign languages. That’s the best training of the mind and that’s how children will be able to compete.”
Notice the crafty way he assumes that his views are, coincidentally, the views of ‘most parents’. He would because what all the Conservative talk about ‘parent’ and teacher empowerment’ means, in practice, is that the curriculum will, in fact, be decided by a glut of the ‘great and the good’ including, unsurprisingly following her Question Time performance, Carol Vorderman.
Instead of being taught to be thinking, functioning human beings; children will be taught to recite lists of kings and queens off by heart. They will also be taught about how ‘glorious’ the British Empire was. So much for letting people make their own mind up. Of course, this history is not of real people but of elites; how the aristocracy represented the pride of this nation when, in fact, it is Britain’s people who make it great. Nothing will be said of the misdeeds done in the name of nationalism or of Empire building so in practice what Gove wants to do is replace education with indoctrination. Subjects not in favour will be downgraded and individuality is crushed (ironic, for this is exactly what Conservatives charge the left with doing).
How many job interviews have you had that ask you to list Britain’s kings and queens? Not many I would wager; so, these proposals fall down even under the criteria of being beneficial on that level. Gove’s ideas are from a bygone era and completely inadequate to educating people and developing them as well as meeting the challenges of the world as it is today; a bit like the Conservative Party really…..