Teaching values versus imparting knowledge

14th December 2012 at 00:00

For the head of an organisation devoted to the dissemination of ideas, Claire Fox displays a startling lack of original thinking.

To her credit, she does not argue that schools should be value-free zones. But the examples she uses to illustrate her case - multiculturalism, sustainable development and healthy eating - suggest less that she is uncomfortable with teachers exploring values with their pupils, more that she is concerned their teaching may not entirely conform to her own values.

Ms Fox is keen on Knowledge but how does she know that teachers spend their time "propagandising"? Isn't that the point? Good teachers use evidence to develop pupils' knowledge and understanding of the world, and on occasion use their professional judgement to explore different points of view. Polemicists such as Ms Fox express their opinion unburdened by the need to draw on evidence or experience: we might call it Knowledge of what they are talking about.

Dr John Hopkin, Birmingham.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now