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Monday, May 15, 2006

Do we really need classes on 'Core British Values'?

British values classes considered

The government is to review whether "core British values" should become a compulsory part of the curriculum for all 11 to 16-year-olds in England.

In response to last year's London bombings, ministers want to adapt the current citizenship classes in an attempt to make society more unified.

But critics say the definition of British values is too vague and education cannot prevent extremism.

A second review, of the teaching of Islam in universities, is also planned.

The six month-long schools review will ask how all children can develop a strong sense of British identity by learning about Britain's culture and traditions, including the contributions from different communities.

Education minister Bill Rammell says both reviews are part of the response to last July's bomb attacks.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There is a need for a debate and the essential values already taught in citizenship classes, like freedom, fairness, civil responsibilities, democracy are there.

"But they are not developed and understood in the way they developed in terms of Britain's cultural and social history."

........

See the rest of this article here: BBC News


My Thoughts:

Whenever I see attempts like this to define 'British Values' my heart sinks, as I know that it will come back to the age-old thing – by attempting to define 'British Values', what will really be defined is a bigotted idea of what 'British Values' are not.

In other words, those who do not share the 'values' of the body of (mainly) upper-middle-class men defining them will be classed as 'outsiders'. And I really do not think this is exactly helpful to the vast number of ordinary members of society, especially those classified as belonging to 'minority groups'.

Further more, I think it will stir up what is already a tense situation in many parts of the country.

I was curious to see what members of the 'forum fraternity' thought of this, so I looked at the BBC website 'Have your say' where people were asked "What do you think are the core British values?"

Along with the usual bigoted cries of "if we didn’t have so many foreigners here it wouldn’t be an issue ..."


And:

"Why British values? Why not English values...?"


Came some more cynical remarks.

I particularly liked these:

"Cynicism
Humour
Irony
Indomitability
Greed"

"Bigotry
Binge drinking
Ignorance
Selfishness
Stupidity
Hysteria
Xenophobia
Obesity"


And from someone who was really hacked-off:

"Celebrity obsession
House price obsession
Casual violence

That's all I see in this country anyway. I for one, cannot wait to leave. For good."


This one was nicely cutting:

"Who is going to actually define the values taught? If it's Blair, they would be hypocrisy, arrogance, do as I say not as I do, sleaze and dogma......"


And one commentator made a point that I very much agree with:

"Why should foreigners have to learn core British values when they reside here?

You British never learnt the core values of our culture when you occupied our countries.

Had you done so, then it would not have been a problem now a days."


Exactly!


posted by summersun70 at 2:59 AM

3 Comments:

Blogger Haider Droubi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Haider Droubi said...

I do encourage such ‘values’ courses to be compulsory in schools…but I would rather name it ‘human values’ especially that this world is becoming smaller and people are more exposed to other cultures,if not obliged to co-exist with different cultures….these courses should be concentrating on one concept( the world is big enough for all of us )..Teaching children the techniques of dealing and sharing life,country and thoughts with others…
Most important is that these courses should be supervised by civil groups gathering the elite thinkers, historians, and moderate religious men and politicians …not any security or ,military member.

I think such courses should be also available in middle east…

3:10 PM  
Blogger Saki L said...

very funny isnt it all. obviously the way to build a sense of inclusive 'community' is to be just that - inclusive! and not make people who 'appear' different feel different and ostracized. perhaps they could have a class on that yeah-- ooh but who would teach it??

:-)

2:31 AM  

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