Twenty first century education has become an ideological battleground between secular belief and the Judaeo-Christian foundation on which our education service has evolved over centuries. This is nowhere better demonstrated than in that amorphous concept espoused by successive governments and known as British values. What are they teaching the children? is the result of one person’s search for a definition of those values – whose and what values are we referring to? It is a meticulously researched, valid contribution to the national debate.
One of the purposes of education is to transmit values from one generation to the next. The social upheaval of the last 50 years has been reflected in education as we forge a modern, pluralist society, keen to find its place in global affairs. But what values are being transmitted to our children as a result? Are those values consistent with the Christian faith? Or should Christian parents be concerned?
In analysing the what, the how and the why of current education practice, this book provides anyone with a heart for education with a rich source of relevant, thoroughly researched information about the contemporary scene. It contains 12 essays, each written by an expert in the field, backed up with evidence and a comprehensive list of end notes and references. The essays include in-depth analysis of the purpose of education – the influences, ideas and concepts that have shaped the education system; the rise of the state, and the ‘secularist siege’ that is increasingly gaining ground in the public square.
There is detailed dissection of the current sexual ethic and the wholesale adoption of the concept of gender identity. One essay asks a difficult question – is this about education, or about indoctrination? Whatever the answer, there is evidence which should leave the reader in no doubt that powerful lobbies have planted their flags on the curriculum, using an equalities agenda and human rights legislation to justify their position.
Scientism, and the response of the educational establishment to any alternative to the teaching of evolution as evidenced fact, is skilfully investigated. There are chapters on the relevance of Christian assemblies and the vital importance of teaching RE.
If you want to understand why people who embrace Christian values are increasingly no-platformed in the public sphere, or why Christians are accused of being hate-filled, homophobic indoctrinators, then this is the book to read. If you are a church leader or youth worker wanting to understand the underpinning ideology of modern education, then this is the book to read. If you are a parent who wants to be informed, and who wants the freedom to educate your child according to your philosophical and religious beliefs, then this is a book which you must read.
It would be all too easy to blame secular or liberal forces for the direction in which our education service is heading. But what are Christians doing to make their voice heard above the secular clamour? Are parents exercising their rights under international law (and regularly acknowledged by successive governments) to be the primary educators of their children?
What are they teaching the children? is a comprehensive, data-rich and cogently argued analysis of contemporary education. To engage in any debate, you need to be informed and this is the go to book for that information.
What are they teaching the children? is compiled and edited by Rev Lynda Rose, CEO of Voices for Justice. A conference is being held by the organisation on 25 March, when several of the book’s contributors will be speaking.