Monday, December 12, 2005

National Curriculum for Home Educators?

Forgot to mention the other rather serious issue that arose in The Politics Show on home education: Sean Gabb, libertarian writer and editor of the Free Life Commentary, is of the opinion that legislators will soon insist that home educators follow the National Curriculum. You can see his point. As the numbers of families opting for home education continue to grow, the opposition to it from those of statist inclination and from the teachers unions will probably also grow.

Given that the decision to home educate is often made at least partly on the basis of an opposition to closed, structured, pre-prescribed learning, the threat of the destruction of the freedom in learning makes a consideration of proportionate response seem rather a good idea.

The phrase "over my dead body" does spring to mind, and perhaps the authorities do need to be aware that if they do attempt such an imposition, and are not responsive to good epistemological arguments against the National Curriculum, it is not inconceivable that strong protest will be coming their way.

Incidentally, Sean Gabb's excellent history and summary of the current state of Home Education in the UK can be found here, via his search option, and under the heading: "Home Schooling: A British Perspective. "


Anonymous said...

Good news is that there is a tremendous amount of criticism of the National Curriculum from Teachers' Unions amongst others, so that I suspect an attempt to insist that the NC is the best and only way to be educated (which is what they would be saying if it became obligatory outside the state system) is likely, imo, to fail. This link provides an interesting angle on why the NUT thinks NC testing is damaging and why it should be stopped:


Daryl Cobranchi said...

I don't know how the game of politics is played over there, but if this rumor were spread in the US, 50 state legislatures would be shut down with phone calls and protests.

Carlotta said...

Thanks W, for the link and the very good point. Will keep both for future ref.

It is very satisfactory to catch them out in their own contradictions. eg: the claim made by school representatives that HE children won't learn to cope with bullying seems to imply that they believe that bullying should be on the curriculum...which is kind of confusing when you consider that there are meant to be so many anti-bullying initiatives all over the place.

Perhaps you have to go to school to understand these sorts of contradictions.

Carlotta said...


re vigorous US HEors response to any threat to HE...great to hear.

Tbh, I was beginning to worry that the fighting spirit here had been dissipated by the drip/drip effect, the gradual erosion of independence that has ended up with the effective registration of all HEors; but was actually very heartened this pm by the reaction on the part of a number of HEors at the suggestion that our rights could be further infringed.

Jamming the switchboards could easily be the way to go!

Anonymous said...

Teachers criticise the NC but they still believe one should exist... Their own, perhaps.

I keep saying we have to fight the idea of compulsory education. But nobody agrees with this, parents are afraid of being deemed irresponsible, they want to show the authorities they are good...