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Do you think politics should be made a compulsory subject in secondary education? Watch

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    By the time one has advanced to secondary education, I think it is fairly safe to say that pupils should have freedom of choice over what subjects they study. An institutionalised national curriculum can only lead to boredom and an incompetent education.
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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    By the time one has advanced to secondary education, I think it is fairly safe to say that pupils should have freedom of choice over what subjects they study. An institutionalised national curriculum can only lead to boredom and an incompetent education.
    As far as I'm aware Math, Science and English are compulsory..
    Insofar as Math and English - they develop necessary skills in numeracy and literacy which if were not taught on a compulsory basis, would quite frankly leave a substantial level of our student populace without the relevant skills needed to succeed in the most simplest of jobs.

    There is a limit to which you can exercise the argument of abusing peoples freedom, and is a premise which if often thrown around too loosely.
    The democratic values which we pride ourselves in fighting for and pioneering, is falling to knees of a generally ignorant nation. Ignorance that is not largely voluntary, but more so because our educational system if failing to teach students anything about how we operate our country.
    We've fought through civil and religious wars, against dictators and overseas threats, for us to be left sitting dumb founded on what it even was in the first place we were fighting for. You talk of liberties, the very same liberties which we have established through governments we helped found.
    What is the point having these liberties if we don't even know how to exercise them collectively for our own benefit?
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    (Original post by Cuckoo91)
    Insofar as Math and English - they develop necessary skills in numeracy and literacy which if were not taught on a compulsory basis, would quite frankly leave a substantial level of our student populace without the relevant skills needed to succeed in the most simplest of jobs.
    Which is precisely why, I believe when given a choice, most students would eventually decide to pursue the choice of studying such core subjects voluntarily. Otherwise, students have freedom to exercise their free choice of education, whether studying privately in the quite and comfortable zones of the school library or assuming a more energetic approach to education, moving in and out of various workshops freely. The average student could obtain 21 GCSEs in the two years they are given if no time was wasted. Well no time would be wasted if they had complete and utter liberty to study (and only study) the subjects they desired to choice without interference from students who did not want to be there and without the problems initiated from not being able to study their choice subject decisevly at their own speed.

    There is a limit to which you can exercise the argument of abusing peoples freedom, and is a premise which if often thrown around too loosely.
    The democratic values which we pride ourselves in fighting for and pioneering, is falling to knees of a generally ignorant nation. Ignorance that is not largely voluntary, but more so because our educational system if failing to teach students anything about how we operate our country.
    We've fought through civil and religious wars, against dictators and overseas threats, for us to be left sitting dumb founded on what it even was in the first place we were fighting for. You talk of liberties, the very same liberties which we have established through governments we helped found.
    What is the point having these liberties if we don't even know how to exercise them collectively for our own benefit?
    This is an authoritarian attitude: people "don't even know how to exercise them [their liberties] collectively for [their] own benefit". Ultimately, leaning upon authoritative officials who have obtained higher positions in the hierarchy and so have authority to make decisions for us will make us stupid. Making our own decisions in life will make us intelligent and sophisticated. You want to abolish ignorance? Abolish hierarchy. That is all.
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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    Abolish hierarchy. That is all.
    Yeah, because it's not like hierarchy is important in providing direction and co-ordination (and therefore efficiency and success) in almost every element of our society. Healthcare, military, education, government, charities.. the list is endless. Even the most primitive of people follow social hierarchies to ensure survival - take tribes for example, almost all follow the wishes of their elders. Why, because history has proven over the last few millennia that the use of hierarchies is the best way for mankind to move forward.
    You're argument of abolishing hierarchy, in particular government hierarchy, is quite an ignorant and equally disastrous statement.
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    Yes.
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    YES. Absolutely yes.
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    Well I don't know about making it compulsory, some people obviously won't give a sh*t about it. But I do think that it should be made available as an option for GCSE.

    I took politics for an AS level over year 10/11 and I found it fascinating! If people can have the choice to take it they may take an interest in it.

    At the moment the only form of political education people seem to be getting is the odd snippet in a PSHE lesson, which frankly was a joke. No one paid any attention at all and didn't want to be there.
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    (Original post by Cuckoo91)
    I've thought this for quite a long time and interested to hear other peoples opinions on it.

    As a nation we seem to be very poorly educated on the actual workings of our own political system and the general beliefs of the political parties that fight to govern our country. It seems strange to me that the very basis in which our country operates is almost completely left out of compulsory education?
    Surely if we add say, a once a week politics class for all year 10 & 11 students, we as a nation will become much more politically abled resulting in people making real informed decisions when they vote.
    Obviously there will be obstacles to face, like creating a curriculum that isn't politically biased to certain parties and acquiring funding. But really, the benefits in my mind far out weigh the negatives.
    it would be a bad idea, it'll be boring and the kids in the class will just get out of hand as usual
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    (Original post by Cuckoo91)
    Yeah, because it's not like hierarchy is important in providing direction and co-ordination (and therefore efficiency and success) in almost every element of our society. Healthcare, military, education, government, charities.. the list is endless. Even the most primitive of people follow social hierarchies to ensure survival - take tribes for example, almost all follow the wishes of their elders. Why, because history has proven over the last few millennia that the use of hierarchies is the best way for mankind to move forward.
    You're argument of abolishing hierarchy, in particular government hierarchy, is quite an ignorant and equally disastrous statement.
    Why is it ignorant? What do you actually know about my political beliefs?

    Direction and co-ordination can be put into effect via decentralised labour associations. The key principles here would be free association, liberty, equality and solidarity: none of these can be achieved without providing the worker with the opportunity to manage his own labour. Of course, all of this is completely irrelevant to the thread topic, good sir.
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    Yes. Most of the National Curriculum is *******s, and has no relevance to day to day life.
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    It would be useless. Democracy is useless.
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    I'd say no. I live in China and my country makes politics a compulsory course for middle school students (well Grade 7-9) and it's like... super boring. In high school people have to continue studying the subject for a year and if they choose to enter the Arts division of the College Entrance Exam they have to learn the subject throughout high school. I don't think it's very much fun in anyways... haven't had a lesson for more than 2 years now but what we learned in middle school could be quite brain-washing. It's just not right to implant political ideas into young minds, IMO.

    Well China kinda has a really notorious reputation, which I agree... but it's just natural that any country would pour its political beliefs into textbooks once politics becomes a compulsory course... I don't know how liberal Brits think their country is but basically all governments seek ways to justify what they do... International relations and politics should be learned in unbiased environments and merely teaching politics to high schoolers isn't going to change the fact that many are not so smart and know little about the world other than Britain.

    Ah oh I ain't making any communistic propaganda here so plz ignore me and consider me American. LOL.
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    (Original post by Johnshopkinser)
    I'd say no. I live in China and my country makes politics a compulsory course for middle school students (well Grade 7-9) and it's like... super boring. In high school people have to continue studying the subject for a year and if they choose to enter the Arts division of the College Entrance Exam they have to learn the subject throughout high school. I don't think it's very much fun in anyways... haven't had a lesson for more than 2 years now but what we learned in middle school could be quite brain-washing. It's just not right to implant political ideas into young minds, IMO.

    Well China kinda has a really notorious reputation, which I agree... but it's just natural that any country would pour its political beliefs into textbooks once politics becomes a compulsory course... I don't know how liberal Brits think their country is but basically all governments seek ways to justify what they do... International relations and politics should be learned in unbiased environments and merely teaching politics to high schoolers isn't going to change the fact that many are not so smart and know little about the world other than Britain.

    Ah oh I ain't making any communistic propaganda here so plz ignore me and consider me American. LOL.
    I think China is probably not the best country to compare with the UK. I lived in Tianjin (just south of Beijing) for 7 months last year.
    The politics classes wouldn't be used for teaching party propaganda, but rather teaching the basics of how our political system works. Such as parliament, the house of commons, the house of lords, powers of the prime minister etc and a history of our political leaders and what they have done so far for our country.
    If possible a brief and unbiased history of the main political parties could also be given to help depict a general image to the students, of what the main differences are between parties such as the liberal democrats, conservatives, labour and what they fight for.
    All with a predominant emphasis on encouraging the students to become more politically conscious.

    At the moment a worrying level of students have absolutely no clue when it comes to UK politics. And the sad fact is, unless it's made a part of compulsory education, the chances are the vast majority will continue to be left in the dark. My belief is creating these classes would help to evolve our political spectrum, and create confidence in something now many feel confusion and distaste towards.
    I'm not saying the content I've cited is the most ideal but as others have mentioned, it could be incorporated into a more general class. Which covers basic politics, economics, international relations etc.
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    I would argue that every citizen of sound mind, who is not currently serving a criminal conviction, is not currently permanently residing abroad and is aged 18 or over on election day has the right to a vote which has equal weighting within their constituency.
    Why people permanently residing abroad can't vote ? In my own country you can still vote even if you lived for years abroad. Being abroad does not make you less of a citizen and you can somehow still serve your country even if out of his border.

    So to go back to the topic, we have courses about how the institution works called "Civics Education" where you learn the basic institution and how the constitution work. When you watch TV people does not seem less ignorant and stupid about it.
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    Like a bunch of 14 to 16 y/o's are interested!
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    I think we need more education on politics in general.. although, I can't see having it as a compulsory subject as a good thing. Most people I know find the subject really very boring, and if we were to have classes in it at GCSE years or below, it'd be treated as a doss lesson. Most teachers manage to make the subject mind-numbingly boring.
    I now do politics at A-Level and love it - but I chose to do it, so am naturally interested in it. If it were to become compulsory, I have a feeling it would just turn out to be a lesson nobody pays attention to, and treated like a joke.
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    (Original post by Johnshopkinser)
    I'd say no. I live in China and my country makes politics a compulsory course for middle school students (well Grade 7-9) and it's like... super boring. In high school people have to continue studying the subject for a year and if they choose to enter the Arts division of the College Entrance Exam they have to learn the subject throughout high school. I don't think it's very much fun in anyways... haven't had a lesson for more than 2 years now but what we learned in middle school could be quite brain-washing. It's just not right to implant political ideas into young minds, IMO.

    Well China kinda has a really notorious reputation, which I agree... but it's just natural that any country would pour its political beliefs into textbooks once politics becomes a compulsory course... I don't know how liberal Brits think their country is but basically all governments seek ways to justify what they do... International relations and politics should be learned in unbiased environments and merely teaching politics to high schoolers isn't going to change the fact that many are not so smart and know little about the world other than Britain.

    Ah oh I ain't making any communistic propaganda here so plz ignore me and consider me American. LOL.
    I think I agree with you on this.. but Britain wouldn't have it to that extreme at all.. I was given a sheet in my politics lesson for what American kids are being taught at the age of 14 about the left and the right. To me it seemed okay, but then I am slightly right wing, the rest of the class were all horrified with the brain washing.
    Britain's wouldn't attempt to "brainwash" us I don't think. For example Politics lessons for 16+ give a non opinion approach to learning the system. We basically learn the facts. It's the individual teachers that put the spin into lessons, last year I had an Old Labour teacher and now my teacher is more like a Fiscal conservative of the Republican party.
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    (Original post by Cuckoo91)
    In regards to the comparison to RE/RS classes - The fact some students found it boring is probably because of a teacher that failed to motivate student interest in the subject.
    RE/RS is necessary to educate students in accepting and understanding the beliefs of different cultures, and I support it.
    This was the case for me: I was put off taking RS which I regret now; I was told in my first RS lesson in year 7 that I would 'grow out of atheism' and a lot of us were 'just doing it to rebel'. I'm yet to grow out of it, but I am still interested in RS, and I quite like ethicals, and I think it's useful to have people of different views there. Splitting classes into certain religious groups doesn't, as far as I can see, lead to a sufficient range of views for a proper debate.
 
 
 
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