I was asking if Brendan O’Neill and his clone-allies at the “Institute for Ideas” have become so enamored of their own contrarianism that they’re now actually promoting bullying…or at least I was asking if O’Neill has, and I at least thought about mentioning his clone-allies too. Anyway the answer is yes, they have. Here’s Claire Fox – one of the ally-clones – doing just that a few weeks ago:
Schools should abandon their anti-bullying programmes because they make children more “thin-skinned” and less resilient, according to the head of a thinktank.
Speaking in a debate on “character education” at the London Festival of Education today, Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas, said schools should focus on teaching core academic subjects, rather than “grit”.
“I think young people need to be more self-critical and less self aware,” she said.”They should stop worrying about themselves.
“If you want to encourage grit in schools get rid of anti-bullying programmes. We are taking the grit out of kids and we could do with backing off.
“We have a generation of cotton-wool kids afraid to take risks.”
What a stupid, callous, reckless, irresponsible, brutal thing to say. “Get rid of anti-bullying programmes” – for children. Because bullying is so fabulously good for children, as any fule kno.
udith Suissa, a reader in philosophy of education at the Institute of Education, said to suggest abandonig anti-bullying programmes was “ridiculous”.
Earlier in the debate, she questioned why schools focus on building “grit and resilience” in pupils.
“To me, the emphasis on grit and resilience is sending the message to teachers that their main role as educators is not to challenge society but to prepare children to compete in this sytem; not to get children to think about what’s wrong with society but to give children grit and resilience to cope with poverty. It’s deeply troubling.”
Really. Never mind teaching children how to put up with bullying; get rid of bullying. Don’t teach people how to accept bullying, teach them that bullying is unacceptable. Don’t teach underlings how to keep quiet when the boss punches them in the face; fire the boss who punches underlings in the face. As Bertrand Russell’s grandmama liked to quote, do not follow a multitude to do evil.
In December, education secretary Nicky Morgan said England was to become a “global leader” in teaching character, resilience and grit to students.
Oh dear god. How very Tory.