Reformation - good or bad?

27th March 2009 at 00:00

John Burnside's comparison of A Curriculum for Excellence to the Protestant Reformation (TESS, March 20) was thought-provoking in the extreme. This is indeed a fertile analogy.

It is true that the Reformation challenged orthodoxy, but only to offer, over time, a multiplicity of alternative and competing orthodoxies. One thinks here of "curriculum flexibility" which, like the Reformation, might be considered a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on one's perspective.

However, no matter the orthodoxy - old or new - a common factor was the conviction that only those who gave themselves up body and soul to its teaching were bound for redemption. One feels that the more zealous among the CfE evangelists would wish only hellfire upon those with the temerity to dissent.

It is also worth noting that the Reformation did not fully supplant the status quo, in the form of the Roman Catholic Church, which is still doing well. One wonders if, with time, the orthodoxy of Scottish education might prove equally robust in the face of yet another challenge to its modus operandi.

John Devine, depute head, Blairgowrie High, Perth and Kinross.

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