Monday 6 January 2014

How not to be an arse: history, schools and the minister

Let's rack back a week and imagine that Gove had not written his vain, self-regarding, megalomaniac article about the First World War in which he pretended to know everything whilst showing that he just likes waving his arms.

Let's rack back a week and spend a few moments imagining what a modest, creative, facilitating and democratic education minister could do about the First World War.

What could we come up with?

Perhaps he or she would spend some of the money being wasted on bribing academies and free schools on convening a big conference of heavyweight historians to discuss and argue about the First World War. And this could be livestreamed into schools all over the country.

Perhaps, he or she could put some money into schools holding local performances of plays, dance and poetry, exhibitions of paintings and films, created by a mix of school pupils and adult professional companies.

Perhaps he or she could improve the editing, digitizing and circulating of all the memoirs and recollections of the First World War...

So, rather than thinking that the job of an Education Minister is to give the 'national' line on what we should all think, his or her job would be to up the quality and quantity of debate and discussion. Then we could all, adults and young people, get on with it ourselves.