Monday, 15 December 2014

Death, dying and bereavement in curriculum for excellence

Angela Constance Education Secretary
It is clear that Curriculum for Excellence despite its label is a curriculum for non-academics. All teachers must take responsibility for literacy across the curriculum but when this consists of talking, listening, designing posters and digital texts, literacy is being dumbed down. Along with the literate mind and the text books out goes the individualistic mind who can read deeply and study widely, following his or her own inclinations and standards.

To fill the gap there are a whole set of skills for pupils to develop their understanding of the shared experiences and outcomes, and group activities and projects galore. They give pupils the opportunity to show that they have acquired the appropriate attitudes, values and behaviours. Preparing students for the skills they will need for their economic and civic roles is what matters in the 21st century.

As well as literacy and numeracy, `health and wellbeing` must be adopted across the whole curriculum. This covers physical and mental wellbeing, social and emotional learning, character development, sex education, healthy eating and so on. Teachers, unsure of their ground, are being assisted by a wealth of different charities and not-for-profit organisations who are prepared to engage with teachers at conferences or to go into schools to talk directly to pupils.

Character Scotland

Character Scotland is an "educational charity formed in 2009 by a group of academics, educationalists and local entrepreneurs. The Character Scotland Network is an informal group of organisations, professionals, practitioners and members of the public who are enthusiastic about personal development and dedicated to supporting the cultivation and recognition of character attributes in Scotland."

The charity does spread itself about.

Gary Walsh from Character Scotland attended the Global Conference on character education in Geneva, Switzerland. One of the featured speakers was Deputy Director of the Education Directorate of the OECD, Bernard Harris. Character Scotland also co-hosted the Values Education conference in Edinburgh with Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC), Learning for Sustainability Scotland, and Lifeworlds Learning. The two day conference covered practice in values and character education from a variety of spectrums...

Who are these people to push their own ideas of the good life on to our children ?

Good life, good death, good grief

This charity has a sample of ideas on their website for those who work with young people. "Engagement with children and young people is vitally important in helping to foster healthy and constructive approaches to death, dying and bereavement among young people in Scotland. ..With reference to Curriculum for Excellence they say: "The mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing experiences and outcomes within CfE Health and Wellbeing Framework provide an excellent opportunity for discussion and activities related to death, dying and bereavement."

Yes, they do call it an excellent opportunity - but this is Curriculum for Excellence.  (In newspeak `excellent` means `dumb.`)

Then, to add insult to injury their final example is the Perth and Kinross Schools Bereavement project. Each school in the area was provided with resources and a teacher to engage in an activity such as artwork relating to bereavement - as if pupils in Perth and Kinross have not been distressed enough with the probing questions in the Evidence2success survey.

The charity was established and is hosted by the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care which promoted the use of the discredited Liverpool Care Pathway. The protocol involves deliberately removing food and fluid from those diagnosed as dying (not an exact science) and has caused the premature and agonising death of thousands. There`s a new protocol in place but it is doubtful that it is an improvement.

The Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care is a death cult.

With these protocols in place, it is easy to understand why children are expected to develop a more casual attitude towards death - but is that good for a child`s character ?

See conference details:
Note this one: Human Enhancements: redefining what it means to be human


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