An acquaintance of mine called Daisy Christodoulou has just published a book called ‘Seven Myths about Education’. It’s a merciless demolition of the received wisdom of the educational establishment, such as the view that there’s no longer any point in asking children to memorise anything because they can always look it up on Google. I’m a huge fan, not least because she combines a conservative attitude towards education with a socially progressive outlook. As I’ve often argued, those two positions are complementary rather than incompatible.
One of the myths she touches upon, but doesn’t include in her top seven, is the idea that the progressive education endorsed by the left teaches children how to think for themselves whereas the knowledge-based education favoured by nasty Mr Gove produces mindless conformists who never challenge the status quo. Indeed, opponents of the Coalition’s education reforms often claim that this is the secret motive of the Education Secretary, the idea being that unthinking automatons are more likely to vote Conservative. (To read more, click here.)