Many governments place huge emphasis on the STEM subjects, as these are deemed to be the driving force of future economic growth, but there needs to be balance, for as the educational philosopher, Pring (1999, 74) states ‘liberal education, which is manifested in the teaching of the humanities at its best, is at the heart of a genuinely political education.’ Teachers of all ages and subjects should have the intellectual confidence to articulate their vision of education, centred on the development of key democratic dispositions. And this comes through appropriate teacher education, giving teachers opportunities to engage in valuable discourse and reflection, and providing teachers with the confidence and competences to promote democratic values.
This is what makes the existence of organisations such as Learn to Change so important, to act as an alternative voice in the face of a frenzy of educational reforms, many of which are well intended but misguided, contrary and counter-productive.
Bates, A. (2013) Transcending systems thinking in education reform: implications for policy-makers and school leaders. Journal of Education Policy, 28 (1), 38-54.
Pring, R. (1999) Political education: relevance of the humanities. Oxford Review of Education, 25 (1&2), 71–87.
Winter, C. (2012) School curriculum, globalisation and the constitution of policy problems and solutions. Journal of Education Policy, 27 (3), 295-314.