How Trendy Teaching 'Gives Pupils Huge Gaps in Knowledge'

Article excerpt

TEACHING in state schools is being stripped of facts and figures as politicians hijack the curriculum to promote fashionable causes, a report warned yesterday.

Traditionalsubjects such as history, geography and science are being 'corrupted' by political agendas, claimed the report from think-tank Civitas.

Pupils leave school with huge gaps in their knowledge because lessons have been manipulated to promote trendy causes such as gender awareness, the environment and anti-racism.

It means 'educational apartheid' is now opening up between state and independent schools, where academic content has been retained.

The assault on the curriculum comes in a subject-by-subject critique titled The Corruption of the Curriculum, which was written for the right-leaning Civitas by seven teachers and academics.

'Teachers are expected to help to achieve the Government's social goals instead of imparting a body politically-correct 'perspectives' of academic knowledge to their students,' it says.

It came as the General Teaching Council demanded the scrapping of testing for under-16s. There are fears that youngsters are being drilled to pass exams at the expense of deeper learning.

The Government rejected the call - and yesterday it also dismissed the Civitas report, claiming it was 'based on a profound misunderstanding of the national curriculum and modern teaching methods'.

According to the report, history has become so divorced from facts and chronology pupils are learning about it through works of fiction.

Rather than learning about key personalities and landmark events, pupils study through 24 different politically-correct 'perspectives' including gender and ethnic diversity.

The mostpopular history syllabus in the country requires 15 and 16-year-olds to write about the September 11 atrocities in the United States from the point of view of terrorists, said Chris McGovern, director of the History Curriculum Association.

Writing in the report, he said the Government-backed Schools History Project invites pupils to study speeches by Osama bin Laden without balancing material from America. …