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Brainwashing? Politics

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by xtra, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. xtra

    xtra New commenter

    In PHSE and form time we are being instructed to discuss Brexit, the current political situation and other world politics with students; I’m going to hazard a guess that most schools are doing this and I think it’s good for students. However...

    I nipped into another teachers classroom yesterday while they were showing a BBC news video about the latest developments in the leadership contest for the conservatives and I was appalled at what I heard them say to students! I won’t go into full details for fear of revealing them, but will tell you that they were telling students their views on Brexit (remain/remoan) and what they personally thought of all members of the Conservative party (childish name calling). The teacher didn’t back any of her views with impartial or factual evidence, but invited comments and encouraged a “student debate”; when a student who was pro-Brexit and a supporter of the tories presented their argument, the teacher told him that he was “stupid”, didn’t know what he was talking about, “too young to understand”, and that his parents only support the tories because they are rich?!

    I have reported this teacher to the head because I don’t think we should be brainwashing students like this, present facts yes, but do not inflict remoaning rants on students - and likewise the other way for those who are pro-Brexit.

    Can we not all just stick to educating? Not brainwashing?
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Hmmm... I smell a troll here. Don't believe a word of this 'story'...o_O

    PS Poster has been a member for 12 years, and yet has posted only 65 time sin all that time...;)
    Flanks likes this.
  3. xtra

    xtra New commenter

    Why am I a troll?

    I have only posted 65 times because I have a life
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I wouldn't accuse someone of being a troll based just on them being occasional posters, nor for posting this story. Although as the OP has helpfully signposted his or her own position on Brexit by describing 'remainers' as 're moaners' it's more than possible that OP's description of what was happening in the classroom is also partisan and politically motivated. I'm not clear how long OP was in their colleague's classroom and whether OP was there for long enough to judge whether the lesson as a whole was unbalanced.

    If the OP wishes to pursue the matter they could cite paragraph 406 of the Education Act 1996 on 'Political Indoctrination'. (It only applies to LA schools, but there may be something equivalent for academies elsewhere).
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    On the subject of political partisanship I just discovered TES prohibits the use of the word *********, it gets turned into asterisks. [The word asterisked out there was r e m o a n e r s]
    Flanks likes this.
  6. xtra

    xtra New commenter

    Form time was 20 minutes, I was there for the duration.

    I am neither strongly pro-Brexit or pro-remain, although I voted remain - there are strong arguments for and against.

    I will admit to being completely tired of hearing childish insults being thrown both ways in the argument, and have noticed that these always and wholly (from what I have observed in my own school) come from staff who are pro-remain.

    The whole issue and current debates have really got people’s backs up. I have reported the member of staff, I don’t know if this is going to be taken seriously yet or not, but I want to stress:

    We should be giving students the opportunity to debate political issues, we would be presenting them with facts, we should not be offering our own strong opinions and “shooting-down” our students - or other staff - if they oppose our views.
    a1976 likes this.
  7. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    It's inconsistencies that make me certain that this is a troll - not just their posting history (or lack of it); for example:

    Post 1 - 'I nipped into another teacher's classroom yesterday'

    Post 6 - 'Form time was 20 minutes, I was there for the duration'.

    Then there is the clear anti-remain comments in post 1 compared to the claim in post 6 that they voted Remain.

    This is clearly a wind up troll.
    ajrowing likes this.
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I still don't think OP's a troll Frank, but maybe I'm easily fooled!

    OP's anti-remainer comments in both posts suggest to me that OP is not as politically neutral as they claim to be. OP's staff room appears to be as divided on the issue as everyone else and it looks like it has led to some heated debates. In that context you have to wonder what OP is really hoping to achieve by running straight to the headteacher and making a formal disciplinary misconduct allegation against a colleague for (allegedly) expressing remainer views (or "brainwashing students" as OP prefers to describe it). I'm sure staff relations in the school will greatly improve when staff find out that OP is appearing as chief witness for the management if and when this teacher faces a formal disciplinary hearing.
    lizziescat and FrankWolley like this.
  9. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Interestingly I often ask students to review current affairs relevant to my subjects or read more widely about such economic and business issues, consequently from time to time I'm asked what my view is and it is pretty straightforward to explain that everyone has personal views and we are considering those relevant to the specification from different viewpoints without going on about my personal views. I find it difficult to believe that teachers are being asked to discuss this in PHSE clearly without guidance or training but then again anything is possible these days.
  10. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    It is always difficult to present a non-partisan approach to political events in a school setting. It is natural that our own preferences will influence our teaching to a degree; the challenge is to overcome this.

    I have no figures, but an overriding impression that people in teaching tend to be more left wing (as do their trainers at university), so the OP shouldn’t really be surprised.
  11. xtra

    xtra New commenter

    I think what got my back up was not necessarily that the teacher was expressing their views, it was the way that a student who joined the debate was told they were stupid, didn’t know anything, were too young to understand etc. and the way childish insults were used when referring to politicians. What skills do we want the students to gain here? Diplomatic debating or Bullying and intimidation tactics?

    As needabreak pointed out; the teacher was instructed to present the information and open the debate with no guidance or training - the material had been emailed 10 minutes prior, and they hadn’t even had a chance to watch the video. Even so, that doesn’t make it okay to belittle the student who is more right-wing.
    needabreak likes this.
  12. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    You'll see a lot of that type of behaviour here if you hang about and it's never acceptable in my view (from either side), while it's often counterproductive to 'the case/cause'.
  13. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    I also don't believe a word of this post.
  14. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I suspect the teacher the OP observed was really espousing a pro brexit bias, as, in my experience as both teacher and student, the quickest way to get students to have an opposite opinion is by a teacher telling them what to do or think especially if it’s inveigled with insult. ;)
    Piranha and FrankWolley like this.
  15. a1976

    a1976 Occasional commenter

  16. a1976

    a1976 Occasional commenter

    Darling, this is only ONE reason why I left teaching and support homeschooling.
  17. tr6rv

    tr6rv New commenter

    I hope you haven't behaved like the sly kid grassing others up and told the teacher in question what you did...………..
  18. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    The first statement sounds like you needed to borrow something/speak to a student. The second sounds like an observation. It is bad enough being reported on by somebody authorised to be there as an observer; this sounds even worse.

    I don't like the comment mentioned, but I even more dislike the idea of teachers "nipping" into each other's classrooms and then reporting them.
  19. xtra

    xtra New commenter

    Would I have got these responses if I had reported a staff member for being openly anti-Brexit, and calling the likes of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson names I wonder???
    Jonntyboy likes this.
  20. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    It's just Frank's go to accusation... he uses it a few times a month. If someone doesn't agree with him then that person must be a 'troll'!
    Jonntyboy likes this.

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