Username:  Remember me?
Password:




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: The National Curriculum as Intellectual and Cultural Monoculture
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: 16 July 2008
Posts: 113
Here's an interesting article I found on the South West Surrey Home Education blog

An analogy occurred to me today. The National Curriculum as Intellectual and Cultural Monoculture. The aim of the NC is to ensure that an entire generation learns basically the same things, the same bits of history, the same poems, the same books, the same everything. In biology monocultures are ticking time bombs, the lack of genetic variety makes them extremely vulnerable to pests, diseases and changes in the environment. That’s why sexual reproduction is such a success, mixing up the genes every generation makes the whole population more robust not to mention occasionally producing really useful new traits. It’s one of the engines of evolution and without it (or an alternative method of exchanging genetic material) you’re looking at a short future.

Now think of knowledge and ideas as the cultural equivalent of DNA. It seems to me that a society where one person studied the philosophies of Aristotle, the next Nietzsche and a third The Simpsons might be a little bit more interesting and have a more healthy mix of ideas than one where everyone was required to study Descartes. If we’re meant to learn from history then a population which in total has studied all of it is likely to avoid repeating mistakes better than one where everyone half remembers the same small bits. How can our children come to appreciate a wide variety of art, literature and music when they are force fed the same limited selection or ‘approved ‘classics’? People are different, our tastes are different, not everyone is going to enjoy Shakespeare and nor should they, not that being required to study set scenes is exactly designed to inspire a love of The Bard in any case. An educational polyculture not only offers a more interesting society to live in but also one much better able to adapt to a changing world.


Top
 Profile  
 
Share this information
  • Print view this post
 Post subject: Re: The National Curriculum as Intellectual and Cultural Monoculture
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: 19 April 2008
Posts: 58
Location: Dorset
I have long held the view that the state school system churns out identikit people. This is even more acute now than in the 1980s because GCSE options are more limited and less flexible than O Level options were. This sounds very ironic but it has crossed my mind that the so called skills shortage is the result of an increase in the number of young people going into higher education. Colleges and universities teach only a limited selection of things and there are plenty of skills and knowledge useful in the real world that aren't generally taught in colleges and universities. Is there a shortage of people with these 'real world' skills?


Top
 Profile  
 
Share this information
  • Print view this post
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Registered users: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron