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In which I fear for my daughter’s education…

April 20, 2009
CGI human brain

CGI human brain

As if my fears that our local primary school will be too busy ‘teaching to the test’ to inspire in my four-year-old daughter a love of learning and a wonder about the world weren’t already nagging away at my over-loaded mummy-guilt neurons, I learned this weekend that said school teaches Brain Gym…

I hadn’t learned about the horrors of Brain Gym when I applied for her place at the school in the autumn, and the truth is there aren’t any other attractive options (at least affordable ones!) if I had known enough to ask. The only other school I could consider sending her to (if they’d have heathens like us) is the local RC school and that would be exposing her to a different load of codswallop – although I’d find easier to explain that some people believe in god, and other’s don’t, than explain that while she should respect her teacher and listen to him/her 99% of the time, but when they’re doing Brain Gym, she should ignore him/her, because they’re talking 99% garbage…
It’s a conundrum, non? Suffice to say that I will be raising my concerns with the head when the first round of school invitations come in (assuming my beloved girl hasn’t been given a place at our second-choice god-bothering school!), but what do I do if the head doesn’t agree with me (and Ben Goldacre – I intend to photocopy the relevant section from his Bad Science book to take with me as back-up!) that teachers have no place teaching pseudo-science? I know we all collude on the lies about Father Christmas, but teaching children untruths about biology is a scandal.
Just to depress me further, apparently Wellington College is actually going to teach its pupils how to think. Lucky them – perhaps the concept will catch on in non fee-paying schools too.
NB – for the record, despite my dismissive attitude here, I do respect the rights of people to believe in a god of their choosing, as long as they respect my right to consider religion a lot of supernatural twaddle. A view which I keep to myself in conversation to avoid hurt feelings and/or arguments about why god left fossils lying around to test our faith… scheesh.
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