Thursday, September 06, 2007

What stupid teachers with way too much time on their hands do

Well, as you already know, they blog sometimes. On other occasions they've apparently got time to waste on this kind of shit. Background: the MoD has produced a lesson plan about Iraq entitled "Promoting peace and security in Iraq", which says ":
"Invasion was also necessary...to allow the opportunity to remove Saddam Hussein, an oppressive dictator, from power, and to bring democracy to Iraq." Our troops "continue to contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq, training Iraqi security forces, rehabilitating schools and hospitals, and initiating immunisation programmes".
Now boys and girls, regardless of the position you took on the invasion of Iraq - or the conduct of the occupation - what would you say to a teacher that used a lesson plan from the MoD uncritically and without making amendments? I think what you should say is something like, "You're something of a lazy arsehole, are you not?"

Not Nick Grant, National Union of Teachers branch secretary in Ealing, though. He thinks the lesson breaks the 1996 Education Act, which bans "the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school" and is, one is to take it, pursuing legal action to get it banned from schools.

Now, this depends on what you mean by 'partisan'. It doesn't push the cause of a particular party but I suppose he'll argue it one-sidedly represents a cause or an idea. It's biased, in other words. Thing is if Mr Grant is to take issue with all teaching materials that are 'partisan' in this sense, while he obviously has way too much time on his hands already, he'll need a whole lot more. This is because teachers, text-books, and curriculae are unbiased in the way the BBC is unbiased - which is to say, not very.

Here's a better idea: why not teach students to do their own thinking and allow teachers to exercise their professional judgment as to what materials they use for this? But that would defeat the purpose of a posturing exercise like this, wouldn't it?

Via: Norm

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