New Report Reveals Green Brainwashing In UK Schools
Call For Inquiry Into Disturbing Teaching Materials
London, 8 April: A new report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation is calling for Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, to institute an official inquiry into the way environmentalism and in particular climate change are being taught in schools.
In the report, authors Andrew Montford and John Shade describe how environmentalism has come to permeate school curricula across the UK, featuring in an astonishing variety of subjects, from geography to religious education to modern languages. Passing examinations will now usually involve the ability to recite green mantras rather than understanding the subtle questions of science and economics involved.
The authors review in detail the climate change teaching materials currently used in British schools, with disturbing results. There is ample evidence of unscientific statements, manipulated graphs, and activist materials used in class and even found in textbooks.
The report also describes how activist teachers try to make children become the footsoldiers of the green movement, encouraging them to harass their schoolmates and pester their parents to bring about “behaviour change”.
The use of fear of climate change to alter children’s behaviour is also highlighted. This is undoubtedly having harmful consequences on children’s development and surveys indicate that fear of the future is widespread. The report quotes one child as saying:
“I worry about [global warming] because I don’t want to die.”
Author Andrew Montford says: “The brainwashing of our children for political ends is shameful. Those responsible for education in the UK need to take action and take it quickly”
by Professor Terence Kealy, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham
Politicians and political activists have always wanted to control the schools, for obvious reasons. St Francis Xavier of the Jesuits may or may not have said ‘give me the child until he is seven and I’ll give you the man’ but too many politicians have wanted the child until he or she is seventeen, just to make sure.
In this impressive paper Andrew Montford and John Shade have shown how effectively eco-activism appears to have captured our schools’ curriculums. It is of course true that the greenhouse effect is based on good physics, but even better physics recognises that the globe is a complex system and that many different effects – not just the greenhouse effect – will influence the climate. And since we cannot yet model the world’s climate with confidence, we must be suspicious of the certainty with which eco-activists seek to influence the schools’ curriculums.
Eco-activism is, as Montford and Shade have shown, only the most recent example of attempted curriculum-capture by political activists, so we need to construct institutions to protect the schools from such capture. Montford and Shade have invoked the horrible examples of education under the communist regimes of Eastern Europe or China, and in so doing they point the way to the only solid future – democracy.
Educational researchers such as EG West (Education and the State, 1965) and James Tooley (The Beautiful Tree, 2009) have shown how the nationalisation of the schools in England and Wales during the 19th century was a mistake, which neither increased the expenditure per pupil nor fostered social justice – it only handed the schools over to John Stuart Mill’s ‘dominant power in government.’
But the nationalisation of the schools is now effectively irreversible, so how can we protect the curriculum within it? One harbinger is provided by the UK Statistics Authority, which is funded by government but which reports not to a minister but directly to Parliament. Thus its independence is optimised. Perhaps we now need a Curriculum Authority, reporting to Parliament via a select committee, because by its nature a legislature can foster a wider range of views than can the executive branch of government.
In the meantime, let us echo the call from Montford and Shade for an independent review of our current climate curriculum, because if – as the title of their paper suggests – schools are indoctrinating rather than educating, we have a problem.