Education and How To Do It

So other recent news was about media studies being taught at primary school level. Seems like a good idea to me, assuming that it’ll teach kids to be media-savvy. There are so many news stories that push a sensationalist angle while less exciting but worthy stories go unreported that the world view from the media is, in my opinion, very different from reality. From the media it’d be easy for a kid to assume that everybody in every profession is corrupt in some way – the only innocent party being Joe Public ‘man on the street’, who doesn’t really exist. That’s got to be quite depressing for some kids, so any teaching that the media isn’t a true picture of reality should be a good thing.

I suppose the alternative view would be that in teaching kids to be cynical they will be less inclined to believe anything anyone says. This would, indeed, suck. How do you govern people who are taught to distrust? However if you teach them this in conjunction with a desire to insist on evidence then we’d really be getting somewhere. 49% of people saying “the Hutton Report is a whitewash” when they know absoloutely nothing about it and are basing this on ‘politicians are always corrupt’ is just dumb, but 49% of people saying “it’s a whitewash and we can prove it” would be a force to be reckoned with.

Citizenship has been a part of the secondary school syllabus for a while now, which also sounds like an excellent idea. How many people do you know who know next to nothing about democracy? Voter apathy has to be sorted in some way or we’ll all go to hell in a handbasket, so teaching people from an early age why democracy is important looks to me like a great step forward.

I’m growing to dislike this phrase in the media, as reasoned arguments are invariably ignored in favour of soundbites, but given that I know you’re all intelligent enough to be able to back up what you say and are willing to listen to opposing views, here it is:

What do you think?