Thursday, March 31, 2016
UK: Militant teachers demand schools stop promoting 'British values' as it makes children from other cultures feel inferior
Teachers are demanding that schools stop promoting 'fundamental British values' over claims it could make children think other cultures are inferior.
The National Union of Teachers said telling children about the country's democracy, law and traditions could encourage 'cultural supremacy' and urged a new focus on 'international human rights' instead.
Under government guidelines, which are aimed at tackling extremism in the wake of the Trojan Horse scandal, children must be taught about being a British citizen as well as tolerance other faiths and lifestyles.
However, union leaders said the term was demeaning to other cultures 'particularly in the context of multicultural schools and the wider picture of migration'.
Delegates passed a motion in favour of campaigning to scrap it during the NUT annual conference in Brighton today.
Christopher Denson, an NUT representative from Coventry, said: 'We need to fight to reject this notion of British values, to fight for notions of human values and human rights.
'We have to stand together across communities to bring down barriers, bring down borders, to say no to Islamophobia, no to anti-Semitism, no to fascism and any form of racism.'
The motion said that migrants make a 'huge economic, political and social contribution' to the country and that public services and businesses would 'face severe difficulties' without them.
It criticised the government for only taking in a 'minute fraction' of refugees and vowed to campaign for 'policies that welcome' them to the country.
The union agreed to 'gather and collate' teaching materials on migrants and refugees for members to use in classrooms from now on.
Mr Denson said he disliked using the term 'fundamental British values' in his classroom when many of his pupils had ancestry in countries which had encountered British colonialism.
He said: 'The inherent cultural supremacism in that term is both unnecessary and unacceptable.
'And seen with the Prevent agenda, it belies the most thinly veiled racism and a conscious effort to divide communities.'
He added: 'It's our duty to push real anti-racist work in all schools. And that doesn't mean talk of tolerating other's views, but genuine, inclusive anti-racist work.'
He said he had requested a week of themed assemblies every year in his school, with topics including apartheid and the rise of Islamophobia 'in the context of anti-Semitism in the 1930s'.
'This year we focussed on the migrant crisis in Calais, the Mediterranean and beyond,' he added.
'We organised a politics day for Year 8s [aged 12 to 13] in the week before Easter.
'They had a day to form a political party in their tutor groups to come up with a manifesto, film a broadcast, and make banners and take part in a debate.
'Apart from the quality of the work, the other thing that really made my proud was that every single tutor group had as a policy, 'refugees welcome, open the borders'.
'We need to be pushing at every level for anti-racism to be in the core curriculum for every child.'
Many of the activists at the conference said they had been to migrant camps over the channel to take food and provisions.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT said: 'Schools and teachers play a key role in welcoming migrant and refugee children and young people to this country, and supporting their progress within schools.
'The NUT condemns the Government's inadequate response to the current migrant situation, which has exacerbated the suffering for so many, including school-age children and young people.
'The NUT has produced a guide to Welcoming Refugee Children to your School and has a dedicated section on its website for teaching resources which have been provided by teachers for teachers, on the issue.
'The NUT will continue to work with Show Racism the Red Card, Hope Not Hate and others, to campaign for Government policies that welcome migrants and refugees to this country. The NUT will also continue to press for anti-racism work to be enshrined within the curriculum of all schools.'
The requirement on schools to teach fundamental British values was introduced in 2014 in a bid to crack down on extremism in schools.
It followed the Trojan Horse scandal, in which state schools in Birmingham were infiltrated by hardliners who tried to impose an Islamic agenda.
Ofsted, the schools regulator, has been penalising schools which do not sufficiently show that they are promoting British values.
Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: 'Teachers should not be playing the role of fifth columnists in the ideological war currently being fought over our national identity and our national sovereignty.
'Teaching children that British values are part of "cultural supremacism" will, at best, make them feel guilty about being British and, at worst, radicalise them in order to 'make up' for the sins of their fathers.
'If one wishes to destroy a nation and build a "brave new world" you begin by indoctrinating and brainwashing the children.
'This process of 're-education' has started some years ago in our schools and we are, now, seeing its consequences in the suppression of free speech on our university campuses.
'The notion of 'value relativism' - that all views are equally valid - has reached saturation point in our schools.
'In many classrooms this has led to the views of terrorists being given equal weight to those of the victim of terrorism. Against this background the latest motions from the NUT come as no surprise, at all.'
Glenn Reynolds: How PC culture is killing higher education
Universities like Emory trivialize education by rewarding politically correct student dictators
If I were to offer one piece of advice to university presidents, it would be to watch the scene from The Social Network in which Harvard President Larry Summers tells the Winklevoss twins to grow up and stop complaining about the actions of other students. “This action,” says Summers, “the two of you being here, is wrong.”
That’s precisely the response that university presidents should give to students who come, claiming fear and trembling, to see university presidents because they’re unhappy with the speech of other students. Instead, all too often, these students are indulged in a way that the Winklevoss twins were not, with consequences for the university, for higher education — and, actually for the complaining students themselves — that are likely to prove disastrous.
The latest example of this phenomenon can be found at Emory University in Atlanta.
At Emory, students of the “social justice” variety were upset when someone chalked ”Trump 2016” on sidewalks. The students announced that they felt “fear” and “pain” as a result. The students challenged the administration; one student demanded that it “decry the support for this fascist, racist candidate.” According to TheEmory Wheel, another student complained: “I’m supposed to feel comfortable and safe (here). But this man is being supported by students on our campus and our administration shows that they, by their silence, support it as well … I don’t deserve to feel afraid at my school.”
Emory President James Wagner at first showed a bit of resistance, but quickly caved, promising to identify and discipline the authors of the offending pro-Trump writings. TheEmory Wheel reported, "The University will review footage 'up by the hospital [from] security cameras' to identify those who made the chalkings, Wagner told the protesters. He also added that if they’re students, they will go through the conduct violation process, while if they are from outside of the University, trespassing charges will be pressed."
As New York Magazine’s Jesse Singal wrote, this response was “extremely creepy, and a sign that something has gone seriously wrong.”
Writing in The Atlantic,Conor Friedersdorf noted that this sort of embarrassing student “activism” is actually fueling Trump’s rise. And as Reason’s Robby Soave commented: “No wonder so many non-liberal students are cheering for Trump — not because they like him, but because he represents glorious resistance to the noxious political correctness and censorship that has come to define the modern college experience.”
But Friedersdorf makes another point, one that college presidents should keep in mind: The Emory protesters managed to fill a conference room and meet with Emory President James Wagner, but they don’t actually represent the feelings of Emory students overall. He observes: “On Yik Yak, a social media app popular among college students in large part because it permits anonymous speech, the Emory student reaction to the chalk controversy wasn’t mixed, as often happens when one views that platform during a campus controversy. It was clearly, overwhelmingly antagonistic to the student activists.”
Freed from a fear that student “activists” — and their allies in the university’s Student Life and Diversity offices — might punish them, students expressed their true feelings, and they demonstrate that the “activists” are a small, unrepresentative slice that is being indulged at the expense of the university as a whole. (This is probably why so many campus administrations and activists don’t like Yik Yak: It allows students to express themselves without fear of repercussions.)
And indulging those activists is dangerous to universities because it makes them ridiculous. As Friedersdorf also notes, Emory and its “fearful” students were widely mocked, even in the liberal press. And they deserved to be mocked, because their behavior was childish and silly.
Higher education already faces falling enrollments, reduced public support and a general decline in public esteem. In Connecticut, the state legislature is even looking at taxing the enormous endowment of Yale University. Universities used to be revered, but now, as Walter Russell Mead writes, “From the point of view of much of the public, highly-endowed colleges are becoming an underperforming asset: The feeling is growing that elite fat cat universities are an expensive luxury, and that the money spent propping up their endowments would be better spent buying school lunches for needy kids, or topping off up the pensions of retired civil servants.”
When students at Emory University — annual cost of attendance, $63,058 per year — act so foolishly , and worse, are indulged by those who are supposed to supply adult guidance, it gives the appearance that higher education is largely a waste of societal resources. That’s not a good place to be, right now. University presidents, take note.
'Precariat' generation missing out on Australian lifestyle
The story below is probably correct. It is one of many stories that report on the unemployability of many young people today. And where lies the blame for that? Squarely on the Left-dominated educational system with its emphasis on saving the planet and glorifying homosexuality.
Kids are encouraged to embark on studies that lead nowhere. Take the kid used as an example below. What did he do his degree in? "Contemporary music". Making money as a musician has always been a grind. It's an oversupplied market. I knew a lot of musicians once and they were all usually "skint".
My son shows how it can be if you have useful skills. He was "headhunted" during his very first job interview by a member of the interviewing panel and given a job immediately. So what are his skills? He is an IT professional. He is at ease writing multiple computer programming languages. And such skills don't necessarily take long to acquire. I learnt to program computers in the FORTRAN language from a course that consisted of just 4 mornings.
Young Australians have fewer opportunities for full-time work and affordable housing, creating a new "precariat" social class lacking security and predictability, according to a new book.
Jennifer Rayner, author of Generation Less: How Australia is Cheating the Young, said policies skewed towards the older generation dramatically increased disparities between the young and the old.
This, she said, had placed an "enduring handicap" on those born from the 1980s onwards.
"There have always been gaps between younger people and older people in Australia, and that's true everywhere because young people are starting out in life, because they haven't had as much time in the workforce," Ms Rayner said.
"But over the last 30 years in Australia what has happened is that all of those gaps are getting wider.
"What the data shows is that young people are going backwards compared to the people the same age 15 years ago."
Less than one in 30 young people reported being underemployed in the 1970s. But that figure now stood at about one in six, Ms Rayner said.
The number of young people working casually also jumped from 34 per cent in 1992 to 50 per cent in 2013.
Over the same period, the percentage of people working without entitlements in their 40s and 50s barely moved.
Unless policies around housing and the casualisation of the workforce changed, the disadvantage would become entrenched, Ms Rayner said.
"The fact that all of these trends and factors are ganging up on young people means that their experience of being an Australian is basically different from other generations," she said.
"The [youth] are currently part of the precariat and they will find themselves locked in there as they grow older, if these trends continue, and if nothing changes in their circumstances."
Ms Rayner said instability affected the material and emotional wellbeing of the young.
Something that 26-year-old Sam Johnston knows only too well. Mr Johnston moved to Melbourne in 2015 with his girlfriend Edie after a year travelling overseas.
He failed to find full-time work, but a bachelor's degree in contemporary music and a graduate diploma in education from Southern Cross University in NSW means he has a debt of about $30,000 "hanging over his head".
Mr Johnston said he "gave up" looking for full-time work in the "depth of winter" and was now focused on his gigs, which were easier to get. He also volunteers as a teacher's aide and tutors students to gain experience.
But the lack of income and the absence of a community in the new city has taken a toll. "I had a bout with depression last year which lasted nine months," Mr Johnston said. "I am still on antidepressants now, which is coming to a close very shortly."
Grattan Institute chief executive John Daley said the book's finding was consistent with the institute's research.
"There is a real danger of a generation that will be less well off than its parents," Mr Daley said.
"You can see it in an older cohort that has much more wealth than their predecessors, whereas wealth in younger households is not going up very fast.
"You see it in incomes, you see it in ... very rapidly falling rates of home ownerships."
Several factors, including rapidly falling interest rates, an age-based tax, welfare, and superannuation system geared towards older workers, were responsible for the situation, Mr Daley said.
Posted by jonjayray at 1:38 AM