The popularity of ED Hirsch
I have just listened to this podcast http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01ng4h5 but I’m still not entirely happy with the explanation that this is intended to increase social mobility. I’m trying to work out why this is, since the Hirsch himself and several supporters insist this is the intention. I suspect one of the main reasons is because it is so enthusiastically supported by Gove, Gibb and right-wing think tanks and I just don’t believe they have the interests of the working class and downtrodden at heart. Their entire behaviour contradicts this.
I agree that facts are important, but skills are too and the education I have observed does not neglect facts in any way but skills are important too.
I have a particular problem with how the “essential” facts are chosen. Who is deciding which particular facts are to be included? Surely there is another way to look at the problem that the black boys in Hirsch’s original story who were disadvantaged because they didn’t know about Lee surrendering in the Civil War. I’m sure they knew lots about other things that the other boys didn’t know about. Is one set of facts intrinsically more important than another? Is the list of important facts set by the patriarchal elite really the only important one or is it designed more to maintain the status quo?
I want the best for children, all children and I worry that I am biased because of my intense dislike of the current government, particularly the Education department. I don’t want this bias to blind me to any advantages. I think I need to hear from someone I trust and respect who has seen a curriculum like this work.