Spiritual needs

16th June 1995 at 01:00
I hope that John Hanson, who denied that the arts should be equal in status to other curriculum subjects read the article by another science teacher, Kevin McCarthy, in the same issue.

For Mr McCarthy "head, heart, science and spirituality need to be taught and brought together, not kept apart".

And he quoted with approval Rachel Carson: "For the child and for the adult seeking to guide him or her, it is not half so important to know as to feel."

Unfortunately our education system has never favoured the education of the emotions and the cultivation of the intelligence of feeling.

As the Gulbenkian Report on the Arts in Schools suggested in 1982: "The case for the arts in schools does not amount to special pleading.

"It derives from the need for a system of education which takes account both of contemporary social circumstances and of the perennial and varied needs of children and young people, for a broad-based curriculum rather than one which is too occupied with academic learning."

If Mr Hanson, and others who think like him, would read the whole report, they would perhaps understand the compelling case for the needs of the arts to be central, rather than peripheral to the curriculum.

Sadly the so-called national curriculum, and even more the national tests, have been devised by technicians rather than educators.

They seem more interested in what can be measured rather than what is important. We should be more concerned with top, rather than bottom, lines.

Perhaps this is a reflection of the fact that so much of our industry is in the hands of external companies, and those who manage to remain in jobs are more likely to be technicians than innovators.

MAURICE PLASKOW

9 Lakeside Weybridge Surrey

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