“Dependency,” said John Dewey, “denotes a power rather than a weakness. There is always the danger that increased personal independence will decrease the social capacity of an individual.”
Got that? That’s the baseline. Now mix with pure Marxist contempt for the bourgeoisie, and here’s what you get:
Children should no longer be taught traditional subjects at school because they are “middle-class” creations, a Government adviser will claim today.
Professor John White, who contributed to a controversial shake-up of the secondary curriculum, believes lessons should instead cover a series of personal skills.
Pupils would no longer study history, geography and science but learn skills such as energy-saving and civic responsibility through projects and themes.
He will outline his theories at a conference today staged by London’s Institute of Education to which he is affiliated to mark the 20th anniversary of the national curriculum.
This being a Daily Mail report, I decided it might be prudent to look for an additional source. Says the Guardian:
The subject-based curriculum stems from 18th century religious communities and academic learning has become the mark of a well-heeled middle class, White will say.
“In 1988 a traditional subject-based curriculum was imposed by the Conservative education secretary with no rationale given for it. This has alienated many youngsters, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds,” he will warn.
White will also argue that control of the school curriculum should be taken away from politicians and passed to an independent education commission protected from “government interference”.
“We need a way of ensuring that the school curriculum is kept at arm’s length from individual politicians’ idiosyncratic preferences,” he will say.
As though only politicians had idiosyncrasies.
The Guardian interviewed White two years ago, at which time he said this:
“If education is about helping people to lead happy, flourishing lives, then schooling should be focused on enabling children to meet their basic needs of health and food, as well as equipping them to find interesting work and form lasting relationships. The curriculum should flow from this, rather than vice versa.”
Pained as I am to say this, “interesting work” is more the exception than the rule, which suggests that it might not be a bad idea to learn those tedious middle-class subjects, in case following one’s dreams proves to be not merely uneconomical but downright foolhardy. Then again, I’m one of those old-school types: you want to be happy and flourish, fine, but you’re gonna finish your homework first.
I showed the Daily Mail piece to Trini, and she said, “That’s it. I’m homeschooling my kids.”