At Last: Gove Goes For the Culture of Excuses

April issue of Standpoint“However specious in theory the project might be of giving education to the labouring classes of the poor, it would, in effect, be found to be prejudicial to their morals and happiness.”

Davies Giddy MP, 1807

“The academic, subject-based curriculum is a middle-class creation . . . whose effect, if not intention, has been to make it difficult for many children not from a middle-class background to adjust to a highly academic school culture.”

Professor John White, 2007

Although two centuries and the political spectrum divide these two quotations, they are united in an important sense: both deny the ability of poor children to benefit from an academic education. The first quotation comes from a Tory MP speaking against the 1807 Parochial Schools bill. The second comes from a man at the heart of today’s education establishment, an emeritus professor at the Institute of Education, University of London. His is a different sort of bigotry, one that comes with the gentle inflection of liberal sympathy, but is no less socially damaging. “The soft bigotry of low expectations” is a phrase many, including the Education Secretary Michael Gove, have used to describe such thinking.

Read the full article on the Standpoint website here.

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~ by goodbyemisterhunter on March 28, 2013.

3 Responses to “At Last: Gove Goes For the Culture of Excuses”

  1. Reblogged this on Scenes From The Battleground and commented:
    This is excellent stuff from Matthew Hunter.

  2. Well said and keep up the good work Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2013 17:19:55 +0000 To: bmagthoirealaigh@hotmail.com

  3. This article was corrected on June 13. A quote was wrongly attributed to Matthew Taylor, the head of the Royal Society of Arts. In fact, it was the Guardian’s then education correspondent of the same name who said “This unprecedented project has revealed that a child’s social background is the crucial factor in academic performance, and that a school’s success is based not on its teachers, the way it is run, or what type of school it is, but, overwhelmingly, on the class background of its pupils.” I apologise unreservedly to Matthew Taylor and the RSA for the groundless implications I made.

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