I’m not going to make any bones about it, I was, and still am, a very ardent “Remain” voter re Brexit. I am also strongly opposed to Trump. Apparently this makes me one of the liberal elite. Now, as far as I’m concerned liberal means that you care about others, not just yourself; you are a vocal proponent of equality of opportunity and vehemently opposed to any sort of racism, sexism etc. and you are tolerant. Elite in this context means educated. It used to be that these were attributes to be admired, now they are flung at you in an accusatory way as if thinking about things for more than a nano-second and looking at things deeper than a soundbite are failings in your character. Continue reading
I have been wondering how we teach our children the importance of facts, logic and scientific proof in this era of post-truth politics. A time when people can appear on television and tell lies and deny facts with apparent absolute conviction – and get away with it.
I remember an incident many years ago when a Jamaican work colleague told me that if a man and a woman went for the same job the man should always get it even if the woman was better qualified. I tried all my powers of reason and logic to persuade him otherwise, to no avail. In the end I said, “Actually, you have a point, Vince, because I think that if a black man and white man went for the same job the white man should always get it.” He was (quite rightly) appalled and correctly accused me of prejudice but was still blind to the prejudices he was displaying. At that point I realized that some attitudes and outlooks are so deeply ingrained that no amount of logic is going to shift them. You can’t fight emotion with logic. Yet all our teaching is based on logic and facts (not alternative facts) So are we sending our children powerless into the future armed only with scientific thought and common sense – attributes that I used to think would combat all? Continue reading
How Does Your Curriculum Measure Up?
Did you see the programme about Korean education? It was fascinating. The students are either in school or an after-school tutorial from 6am – midnight. Every week day! I remember taking a Korean visitor into a Primary classroom. The students were all completely engrossed in their work, so much so that they didn’t even notice us walk in. But the thing that really got him was…