Oct 222010

This comment from JunkkMale originally appeared on Geoff Chambers’ Moderation in Moderation thread. I’ve moved it here, with the comments it attracted, because I think that this is the kind of problem that seriously needs talking about.

The government talks about the importance of individual actions in the fight against climate change, and it is up to each and every one of us whether we buy an electric car, put a solar panel on the roof, or cancel a weekend flight to Rome. Children do not usually have a choice about what they are taught.

This thread has strayed into many areas beyond the main topic, and I for one have enjoyed the quality of debate on display.

One topic I noted was how certain issues are being shared with our kids. To be honest, it was passing interest… until last night.

The subject of ‘who tells, controls’…. especially in terms of authority figures, was rather brought home to me last night.

My kids are revising currently for some serious exams that do count.

One brought in this book, which forms part of the curriculum: AQA GCSE Science Core Higher Ed. Graham Hill. Pub: Hodder Murray

He wanted some advice on a question. From a series including sections such as 3.3, entitled ‘How do humans affect the environment?’ and 3.5 ‘Global Warming’ (other aspects of global warming and the greenhouse effect also covered in Section 6.4, Air Pollution), and 3.6 ‘What can be done to reduce human impact on the environment?. Here it is, as posed, under 6.4, p113:

21. Which of the following three do you think will actually happen? Write a paragraph to explain your answer.

a) We’ll worry and blame ourselves for climate change for thousands of years.

b) Fossil fuels will run out and renewable energy will save us.

c) The oceans will evaporate as the Earth heats up and humans will die.

His face, when I opined that ‘none are very coherent, accurate, or suggest definite answers that are sensible, at least as posed’, was a heartbreaking picture. He just wanted… needed to provide the ‘right’ one as the system demands it to be one of them. Sighing at the ‘will happen’, I therefore attempted to assist based on the hope that the paragraph of explanation would be rewarded if well argued and having a basis in fact and scientific interpretation.

Forget a), which is facile and shows a poor grasp of even basic climate science terminology, though maybe does reflect the ‘worry’ mindset being churned out in some quarters.

If you have to choose, choose b) as fossil fuels will run out. They are finite. As to whether ‘renewable’ energy ‘will’ ‘save’ us, that rather depends on how many of ‘us’ there are, and from what we are being ‘saved’. It seems, currently, optimistic to presume renewable sources can meet all current and projected energy demands.

As for c), well, yes, as the sun goes supernova in a few billion years. But humans may be in a different place by then.

THIS… is what they are being served????!

More touching still was his further plea to me NOT to get in touch with the school with my now serious reservations about the way this information was laid out and the questions posed… as he just wanted to pass the unit and not get in trouble.

If this is the state of education, at least in this area (I now wonder about history, etc), I am seriously troubled not only by the course structures, but the mindsets prevalent in our educational establishment.

Are there any teachers out there who would be prepared to comment? anonymously if necessary.

458 Responses to “What the hell are we doing to our children?”

  1. geoffchambers

    Thanks for posting that very frightening article.

    The curious government/charity connection sounds like it should not be legal, but I suppose someone has to challenge it.

    I’m sure that there are many parents who would like to put an end to the fear mongering and brainwashing of their children, but it seems to be a difficult battle in your country (as JunkkMale has testified here).


  2. 450. geoffchambers :
    March 24th, 2011 at 7:59 pm
    John Shade has an excellent article on indoctrination in schools at:

    I saw the Bishop Hill post and was going to share it here. Pipped. Good to know that interest is being maintained, but the examples exposed show it is still rather relentless.

    I have to say the notion of yet another ‘survey’ by vested interests sent a shudder down my spine, especially one that revolved around pre-determined expectations from the commissioners (in what questions were deemed worthy of asking) and the format adopted.

    Yet another poorly structured multiple choice. ‘Climate change’ as distinct from ‘extreme weather’ when the two are conflated relentlessly in the media.

    And even in a home more aware of the issues in this arena than many, I am pretty sure my two have a very different priority set than the one laid out here.

    Maybe it depends on which schools get ‘selected’ having already shown suitable interest.


    It seems, when it suits, national bodies can coordinate quite effectively. Were that the case in areas of more immediate concern.

  3. Just had a quick gander at the twitter feed being pushed, to see the BBC enthusiastically agreeing with this tweet:

    @laura8289 Laura Candlin
    by BBCSchoolReport
    Defiantly thinks that any teachers who have not done the @BBCSchoolReport today should do it next year! What a fantastic day!!!

    Not sure I’d be too keen on this lady in charge of much to do with my kids’ defiant education, any more than I feel the national broadcaster can be relied upon to ‘educate and inform’ if they are so keen to push anything simply by being in support even if it makes questionable sense.

    @BBCSchoolReport BBC School Report
    @laura8289 Thank you Laura. Yes, we agree!

  4. Further to the above, and in light of more kid-targeted fun & games (literally; the BBC has a new one out to complement the school syllabus) a delayed link to some commentary that has sprung from it:


    Again, I was truck by the intelligent analysis on the actual structure of the poll, which rather goes to not so much asking questions as driving answers.

    And back to what kicked off this journey.

  5. I feel ill after a few things came out on my latest article over at WUWT:

    A tad off-topic to my post but relevant here;
    Try this where children can calculate when they will DIE because of their carbon footprint, and it can be very young. (Don’t know what they might think of their scarers if they live more than 9.3 years whatever)

    And this video URL including bloody pig explosions:

    To pick the most relevant for this ‘ere thread!

  6. 455. Bob_FJ says:
    April 13th, 2011 at 7:46 am

    And this video URL including bloody pig explosions:

    Aside from discovering where the 10:10 brigade went next graphically, the video was ‘interesting’ for the ‘death’ age of 12.8 by recollection, but seemingly based (at the resolution I could manage) a series of answers provided I would have felt were quite modest.

    One can only imagine what would be required to get to four score and ten, or what most in this family would have entered to discover we are in minus figures.

    What a very odd ‘tool’.

  7. A rather ‘spirited’ discussion has ensued around this topic following this post:


    It’s worth noting that some seem to feel it’s OK for kids to have such views (sure, why not? Well. perhaps so long as arrived at intelligently, sincerely and without adult pushing), but not to then in turn be tackled on them. Even when turned into PR post… er.. children.

    That rather smacks of techniques used in other areas of dispute with poor historical precedent.

  8. As things seem to have moved on for JunkkMale I’ve opened a new thread here:

    Children, schools, and climate change: the next stage

    I have moved relevant comments to that thread and any future discussion should take place there. Comments on this thread are now closed.

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



one + 4 =

© 2011 Harmless Sky Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha