Saturday, April 21, 2012

A radical case for children standing up when a teacher enters the room

Conservatives spend a lot of time calling for things to be brought back - Matron, the birch, National Service.

So it is no surprise to hear that David Cameron wants to return to the days when children stood up when a teacher entered the room.

Before you mock, remember that the left is not much better. Its passion is keeping things as they are. The teachers' unions have opposed every initiative in education for as long as I can remember. And in all the debate over the Health & Social Care Bill, I cannot recall hearing someone who opposed it suggest anyway in which the NHS might be improved.

The prime minister should not be specifying how schools run themselves in such detail, of course - that should be left to the schools themselves - but I suspect many parents will share Cameron's view.

I suspect that one of the reasons that comprehensives struggled to win public esteem was that their rise took place at a time when many traditional aspects of education, such as uniform, were in decline. So they became associated with a particular attitude to schooling that not all parents warmed to.

Still, one of the reasons I support Coalition education policy is that I want to see different kinds of school flourish, and it is perfectly possible for an outwardly traditional school to have a more contemporary curriculum than a more modern rival. This was certainly the case with the two secondary schools I attended.

But the point I really want to make here is that there is a good radical case for having children stand up when a teacher enters the room.

The problem with modern society, we radicals surely agree, is that the rich are held in too high esteem and that desirable things other than money - like age, wisdom and education - are given too little respect.

Having children stand, in line with Cameron's outbreak of traditional Conservatism, would be one way of reversing this.


Paul Leake said...

If you honestly think that there weren't alternative proposals for improving the NHS then you can't have been listening very hard! You, or I, may not agree but there is plenty of argument. Actually talking about policy doesn't get even half thr media coverage of a simple Save the NHS or a LD split story.

Jonathan Calder said...

"If you honestly think..."

Everything I write on this blog is what I honestly think. Otherwise I would not waste my time writing it.

LeeT said...

I didn't hear anything either. Where were these discussions going on?

Frank Little said...

I was gratified to find that the primary school of which I became a governor in 2008 teaches respect for elders and (one assumes) betters. One hopes that this is true of the rest of Neath.

Max Atkinson said...

There is a good technical reason for getting kids to stand up when the teacher comes in. It's an extremely efficient way of ensuring the necessary transition from lots of people all speaking at the same time to one speaker (the teacher) speaking at a time - i.e. it shifts focus of attention to where it should be.