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OFSTED and the issue of 'Cultural Capital'

Discussion in 'Education news' started by starship7, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. starship7

    starship7 New commenter

    Culture is not passive nor is it 'troubling' - it's definition is ever evolving with original nuances - it these zeitgeist times. If the CLA recognise ...'children to stand on the shoulders of those that have gone before ...' then why is our curriculum still not recognizing enough the impact of mine and fellow children of immigrants culture enough - the massive contribution they have played in shaping the land where we live now?
    jonnymarr likes this.
  2. archer75

    archer75 New commenter

    I have lots of questions. What is the general consensus though? Should we be overtly teaching (for want of a better word) this? Should this be in addition to the schemes we are working or should it be interwoven into the scheme? Doesn't this happen naturally anyway Should there be differentiation for this within a class?
  3. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    I would hope that education would lead naturally to the great works of human achievement - opera, theatre, letters, the great theories of science - to name only a few. But, no.

    The notion of cultural capital risks making utilitarian what is pursued for its own sake. The great works of the cultural canon stand and endure for their own sakes, for they still speak when we are dead and buried. It cannot be reduced to a means for advancing a political or ideological agenda, because that is to confuse means and ends. Rather, if it has any particular purpose (other than aesthetic), it is to teach man how to deal with his solitude. This is a challenge that relatively few wish or must take upon themselves.

    You cannot condense the learning needed to appreciate something like the Latin Mass, one of Mozart's operas or the great works of literature into a conveniently delivered "unit" to be delivered principally for the benefit of Ofsted. It is enough that they are available, revered and referred to.

    God save us from cultural capital and all its works.
  4. eamonne1

    eamonne1 New commenter

    Ofsted are toxic and negative. Their lack of any ideas as to how to cope with the present crisis, lack of any help to schools, staff, pupils and education is on- going.
    “Cultural capital”? - don’t make me laugh; the latest bandwagon for them to jump on. Whitehead and Wilshaw were arrogant, self- serving and drowning in their own ego. Spielman is clueless- not got a scooby. Scrap Ofsted, get inspectors and advisers in who will help and reform the curriculum root and branch.
  5. Matthew Arnold's 1869 essay - "Culture and Anarchy" contained the phrase, over-used in recent years by the DfE:
    “the best that has been thought and said”

    What is thought to be "the best" will always differ and will certainly shift with time. Matthew Arnold’s own verdict, in that same essay, on what passed for “culture” in Victorian times was that it:

    “is valued out of sheer vanity and ignorance, or else as an engine of social and class distinction, separating its holder, like a badge or title, from other people who have not got it.”
    jonnymarr likes this.
  6. jonnymarr

    jonnymarr Occasional commenter

    ...'the best that has been thought and said' was a central element ( selling point? ) of the training/discussion I attended this time last year - with lofty ideals about creating well-rounded young citizens. See previous post for caveats.

    There was a tacit recognition from some presenters that league tables + Ofsted have created legions of exam-factory-type schools in which pupils are channeled onto easier courses and drilled repeatedly on narrow ( abridged versions of ) topics & texts, then spoonfed answers to become 'exam-passers' in History, Science, MFL rather than developing their genuine understanding of the subject and developing themselves as historians, scientists, linguists, etc... which again, you can see as essentially a worthy ambition... however, it also gave Ofsted a new threat: we're going to judge you on both your pupils' grades and the breadth/depth of your curriculum. If your school is an exams factory, we've got a new way to 'get' you.

    I suppose it depends largely on how cyncial you are ( or are not ) both in general and specifically with respect to Ofsted's/the DfE's motivation as to whether you see this development as a good thing.
  7. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Some people can spend a lot of time arguing about cultural capital. I am sometimes concerned by the kids who seem to have no knowledge of things beyond video games, reality TV, weed and the like.

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