Good for you

Ominously, Gordon Brown has said he wants to make sure that:

a minimum of four hours of sport a week is the reality for most children in Britain, not just for those who want it

Uh, hang on a minute. I’m all for making sports facilities available, but I thought the government was just waking up to the novel possibility of giving children a say in their education?

Mr Brown says in the interview that his memories of his school days are less about his academic studies than about the sports teams in which he was involved and he remembers the joy of being picked for the school rugby team.

Ah, I see. This is about nostalgia, plus the unshakeable conviction some people have that their own experience can be generalised into an education policy. How about this one, then? Music was my thing (certainly not sport) and therefore I propose that schools should provide 4 hours of music every week, whether children want it or not.

“I am a believer in competitive sports,” Mr Brown said. “I think people do better when challenged and you are challenged when involved in teams and comeptitions.”

OK, but I’ll argue that there’s nothing like being in an orchestra, band or choir for a bit of team-playing, and there are plenty of competitive festivals to provide that frisson of rivalry.

There again, maybe we could just let children have the choice. Hmm, strikes me that the government hasn’t quite got the hang of this ‘personalised learning thingy’ yet.


5 Responses to Good for you

  1. Pete Darby says:

    Well, let’s make this policy. My experience will make four hours of Drama & four hours of IT compulsory: I understand that many of my contemporaries at school would make smoking and pornography compulsory for four hours a week each.

  2. Ian Brown says:

    Quite right Terri. Schools should be encouraging students to discover physical activities they can enjoy into adulthood, not force them into games they hate and that turn them off exercise for life.

  3. Longrider says:

    I recall the misery of games lessons from my school-days some thirty years on. My utter hatred of football stems form being forced against my will onto the playing field. Perhaps Mr Brown could explain just what good this did me? Apart, that is, from a deep loathing for control freaks everywhere, a strong sense of self determination and refusal to cooperate with those who try to make me bend to their will?

  4. archrights says:

    What I learned from school games: always play in goal for the best team, and make sure your mate is goal defence. In the summer, develop a passion for javelin or shot-putt because then you’re left well alone in a corner of the field. Don’t know if there’s a metaphor for life in there. Determined individualism?

  5. […] to it, there is a problem. I notice a similar theme being discussed a couple of weeks ago over at archrights last week when Terri picked up on Gordon Brown’s desire to increase the recommended two […]

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