Post lifted from Random Observations. Melanie Phillips also has some scathing observations on this. Her summary: "This surely is the Nanny State gone stark staring mad"
It is just me, or is this UK precedent, reported in the Telegraph, distinctly creepy?
Babies will be given marks for crying, gurgling or babbling under the Government's new curriculum for 0-5 year olds which all nurseries must follow.
Playgroups and childminders will also need to show that they help babies make progress in 69 areas of education and development or risk losing funds.
The new Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum lays down how children are expected to develop from birth to the end of the first year of compulsory schooling, the year in which they turn five. The document, which has the force of law, was published yesterday alongside a book of guidance and cards containing the main requirements and underlying principles.
And of course:
By three years and four months, children will begin citizenship lessons so they understand that "people have different, needs, views, cultures and beliefs, that need to be treated with respect".
What does it mean to be a British citizen? It means recognizing others are different. Is that it? Different how? And what does "respect" actually entail?
This working document [pdf, as HTML] on the curriculum reveals there's a huge focus on indirectly instilling cultural relativism in 3-year-olds though their caregivers. In fact, it's apparently the first thing that pops into the authors' minds:
The first page of this document states that it is to be ’a single framework for care, learning and development for children in all early years settings from birth to the August after their fifth birthday’. This statement has huge implications for racial equality. It means those responsible for working with young children must:
* have an understanding and knowledge about how racism* is deeply embedded in our society and its implications for working with all children and their families
* ensure that every child is equally cared for. This means ensuring equality of treatment, being knowledgeable about the needs, family background, culture, religion (or none) ... of every child, being observant and watchful about their experiences within the setting and being aware and understanding of any potential racial prejudice or discrimination a child may experience or manifest and how to address them effectively...
* encourage every child equally to develop ... their ability to stand up for themselves about fairness and justice as well as standing up for others who are treated unfairly
How to break this down? First, let's note that little tiny asterisk next to the word "racism", where the footnote reveals "racism" doesn't simply mean actual racism -- which all good-minded people oppose -- but rather also includes "cultural racism", "enthnocentrism", "institutional racism", and "structural racism."
And what do these various terms mean? For example, here's what "cultural racism" denotes:
The culture of minority groups is seen as flawed in soem [sic] way, and thus as standing in the way of their progress. Unlike post-reflective gut racism, however, cultural racism does not involve belief in the existence of any biological incapacity to change. On the contrary, change is exactly what is sought. Minorities are encouraged to turn their back on their own culture and to become absorbed by the majority culture.
So it turns out these alleged "citizenship" lessons ultimately mean we convince children there is nothing better about British culture than, say, a society ruled by the Taliban. (But certainly not the reverse. Down with assimilation!)
And "institutional racism"?
... institutional racism generally refers to the way that the institutional arrangements and the distribution of resources in our society serve to reinforce the advantages of the white majority... [necessitating] the moral judgment that once the discriminatory consequences of the institutional practices are raised to consciousness, anyone seeking to perpetuated them is guilty of racism
Example: If some minority group is more often arrested for some category of crime, whether the police and lawmakers have racist motives or not, those involved are guilty of "institutional racism" -- and anyone who still insists due process should be racially blind "is guilty of racism", ironically.
So the goal here is, amazingly, neo-Marxist* structural analysis, where the caregiver (and thus, by influence, child) is taught to think in terms of membership groups, rather than as individuals; in terms of relative societal power of those groups rather than goodness or badness of an individual's behavior; and in term of outcomes rather than traditional standards of fairness -- by which I mean applying the same rules equally to all.
And thus the instruction to be "observant and watchful" for "discrimination a child may experience or manifest" means that we watch for traditional ethics and values instilled in children from "family background, culture, [or] religion" and counter it. Indeed, the document further admits the curriculum must "plan how to support children in learning positive attitudes and unlearning any negative attitudes to differences between people... helping children unlearn any prejudiced attitudes..."
Concerning the selection of caregivers, the document adds:
At present there are great differences in qualifications, knowledge and experience about racial equality among providers and practitioners. This means that this document must be explicit about such issues. It points to the considerable need for training for them about equality issues
And, they add, "recruitment practice" (hiring of new caregivers, presumably) must "ensure only those knowledgeable or committed to implement equality are selected." Note the exact phrasing: "those committed to implement equality", apparently in a revolutionary sense. The focus, again, is a desired societal outcome, not merely to prefer individuals who have a heart for small people, or those who will apply the same rules equally to all kids.
In fact, quite to the contrary:
... treating all children equally – this does not mean treating them all in the same way because every child is different from every other one
So the upshot here is that if you want to take care of a child in the UK, you will be gauged and even selected henceforth on your committment to these dogmas.
A nice, efficient way of taking control, it would seem, of "all nurseries" in the UK and turning them into state-run creches -- while halting the transmission of familial and majority moral, religious, and cultural values. (Under the guise of providing "uniform care", of course.) In fact, it seems this particular document addresses nothing else.
So why am I writing this? Not because I wish to defend racism, that's for sure. But what we see is the installation of an entirely different moral paradigm and value set -- one which is rampant in today's university -- into very young children, under the guise of fighting racism. That's why you see so many different words with "racism" appended, like "cultural racism" which is simply the charge of not buying into cultural relativism, framed so to make those who disagree "racists."
And ultimately, I believe this alternative morality create citizens who are conditioned to avoid critical thinking, and who are more malleable to the needs of a strong, centralized government. Dewey would have been proud.
Australian teachers criticize their own education
Graduate teachers say universities are failing to make the grade and want courses overhauled to give them the skills to teach. The 1351 state, Catholic and independent school teachers surveyed in all states in October last year said they needed better training in how to actually teach and manage students. All the teachers canvassed had less than three years' experience.
While 93 per cent said they "loved" or "liked" teaching, almost one in four, or 24 per cent, planned to leave the profession within five years because of the pressures they faced. Much of the pressure resulted from more than a quarter of the teachers, or 27 per cent, who were teaching subjects outside their areas of expertise. This occurs most often in English, maths and religion, but also in science, social studies, languages, the arts, technology and special needs. "At a time when literacy and numeracy are high on both the Commonwealth and State Government agendas, it is a concern that mathematics and English are the two subjects with the highest volume of beginning teachers working outside of their training," the survey report said. Uncertainty of employment was also a major concern, with 54 per cent of the surveyed teachers on contracts.
Among Queensland teachers, 60 per cent rated their practical teaching in schools as excellent or very good preparation to teach effectively. But only 30 per cent said their university pre-service was excellent or very good as teacher preparation. Comments from teachers included:
"The university is out of touch with real teaching."
"The Bachelor of Education was a whole lot of ----. I did not learn anything until I started teaching."
"I was disillusioned with my diploma of education training. I felt that the lecturers were out of touch with today's school environment. They were more concerned with the academic aspect of the degree than the practical hands-on experience that could have really made my transition into teaching so much easier."
"Not enough on behaviour management."
Queensland Teachers Union president Steve Ryan said the findings were no surprise and supported the union's research. "It is certainly a concern to us that good teachers are leaving the system too early," Mr Ryan said. "It is not simply lack of training but workload and stress are also major problems."
In the report, teachers said they valued schools with strong induction programs, saying it made them more likely to remain in the profession, rather than being left to their own devices, with little support. Many also said they were overwhelmed and dispirited because of high workloads and the bureaucratic requirements of state education departments. "I could cope if I could just teach," a teacher said.
Almost half of those surveyed had become teachers after previous careers. Leonie Trimper, the president of the Australian Primary Principals Association, said the wide range of experience of many new teachers was "a rich resource we cannot afford to lose". "We've had 25 reports into teacher training in the past 20 years and little has changed," she said. "It's just not good enough." Geoff Ryan, the chairman of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia, said: "we need an improvement in the relationship between schools and teacher training institutions".
For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.
The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.