Sunday 1 February 2015

Rote learning and the Puritans.

The Puritans 'discovered' that rote learning was essential and virtuous so that poor children could be saved from eternal damnation. They could be torn from their wayward habits of getting up and going to bed to fit in with lambing and harvesting, and made into industrious creatures (i.e. going to the mines and factories on time) who learned that we should live by the dictum of 'moderation in all things' and that 'self-sacrifice should be its own reward'. 

They also learned that the world is made the way it is, with the rich man in his castle and the poor man at his gate and we shouldn't presume to change our station in life. All is ordered as God intended. 

When learning how to read, the children should only read good and godly material, otherwise they might be led into sinful ways, becoming slothful, lascivious and gluttonous. That's why the children had to learn the right texts off by heart and nothing else. 

Any similarity of this with what this government has tried to do in education is purely coincidental.