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so what would lessons in "Core British Values" be and how far should the curriculum bend towards multi culturalism?

(79 Posts)
zippitippitoes Mon 15-May-06 10:03:48

Britishness or core British values are to become a school subject in some way..what would a Britishness curriculum or lesson plan have in it?

And according to this article Muslims will not be getting as much as they are asking for in the new curriculum

<<Speaking at the end of a 10-month consultation with Muslim students and academics, Mr Rammell will also warn there needs to be a public debate about what different religious groups can reasonably expect in a historically Christian society. "Some of the demands that are being put forward are unrealistic and I think we have to have a public debate and be clear about what counts as reasonable and what does not," said.

Last night Amar Latif, of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, accepted there should be a debate about role of Islam but there were other issues the government had to tackle. "It is not solely about teaching Muslims how to be good citizens. The government also needs to address its foreign policy and gain a greater understanding of the challenges ... faced by Muslims," he said.>>

(made a hash of this in the in the news topic so trying again here!)

Piffle Mon 15-May-06 10:08:51

I was wondering this
Is Britishness based and defined by as its past values, or on the needs of its current population?

firestorm Mon 15-May-06 10:19:15

yes, of course children should be taught traditional british values. about bloody time. why should this country bend over backwards to accomodate everyone else except the people who were born here? its ludicrous imo if the immigrants dont like the values of the country they have chosen to live in then they can leave anytime they like. if we went to any another country & asked them to change their way of life to suit us it simply wouldnt be tollerated. i am by no means whatsoever a racist by the way. but dont you think that the way british people & our values are undermined in favour of foreign ones simply encourages racial hatred?

zippitippitoes Mon 15-May-06 10:19:29

apparently it's in response to the July london bombings

according to this news report

I find it a bit confusing..

LittleSarah Mon 15-May-06 11:08:32

Yes but what are core British values?? And what if you feel more Scottish/Welsh?

Surely we all have different values.. I am an indivdual after all and my dd will be taught my values...

... still reading the article it seems fair enough - democracy and free speech etc.

zippitippitoes Mon 15-May-06 11:13:22

I guess the idea is that how could people born and brought up here feel so at odds with this country and its people that they became to redress that possibility more emphasis is to be placed on integration through teaching British history, so that it would feel wrong to bomb ourselves.

Piffle Mon 15-May-06 11:15:00

But firestorm...
Immigrants then go on to have British children, although they retain their cultural identities are you saying that their needs and identity should be ignored?
I say that being an immigrant of sorts, but coming from a mostly white British colony, I'm not separated easily...

speedymama Mon 15-May-06 11:16:43

Firestorm, you have to remember that the British Empire was built on the rape and plunder of poorer countries and the British showed total disregard and respect for their culture. On the other hand, immigrants like my parents, have not tried to usurp British culture with their own but they have strived to maintain their identity. What is wrong with that? Look at the British enclaves in France, Spain etc. They have built up their mini British empires in a bid to maintain their British identity so what is so wrong with immigrants doing the same here?

I think if you stopped believing everything that is written in the tabloid press and interacted more with the "immigrants", you will actually find that their values of respecting your elders, a belief in the family unit, having a social concience etc is in fact more aligned with old British values than with what the British value now (everyman for himself, no such thing as society, single parent families etc)

I would also like to point out that not all immigrants are non-white so your comment about not being racist highlights your ignorance. I'm sure you do not have a problem with the white Australians and New Zealanders who make up a large percentage of immigrants to this country.

LittleSarah Mon 15-May-06 11:19:33

The thing is I like people being different... I don't want everyone to be white washed into Britishness...

Piffle Mon 15-May-06 11:19:54

I'm a kiwi Speedy I get you exactly

speedymama Mon 15-May-06 11:21:36

Piffle, glad you are here

shimmy21 Mon 15-May-06 11:23:43

What I find worrying about this is calling them 'british' values. Does that mean that fair play, democracy, free speech etc are not values of other cultures too?

Yes they are good values that I want my mixed race second generation immigrant children to learn. But I don't want them to learn that these are uniquely british. What message is that saying about the rest of the world.

zippitippitoes Mon 15-May-06 11:25:36

Is it that unlike for example the US the British Constitution is unwritten and to some extent consensual and evolving and this gives Britain a unique relationship between its citizens and its partliament and soveriegnty

Blu Mon 15-May-06 11:30:04

This sounds more properley like 'citizenship', (or PPSHE or whatever it's called) which includes the justice system, gvt, free speech, which is taught anyway, isn't it? And, as a separate thing, in RE, world religions. Rolling them all in makes a very peculiar point, imo, amd is tantamount to saying 'you lot need educating'.

I do think that History as it is taught gives a very one-sided version of things like the Crusades, fro example. And things like colonialism, the slave trade, should be taught within mainstream curriculum and not as a special project during Black History Month.

PeachyClair Mon 15-May-06 11:30:31

If it focuses on democracy, free speech and tolerance as it seems, then it could only be a good thing. free speech IS a core Britsish value but it also entitles Muslims, Hindus etc etc to their own viewws and existence, something that I think is sometimes forgotten.

Good pint about the next generation being British. If we don't accept that, where do we draw the line?

We also need to remember that quite a few people convert to other religions AND are long term British origin.

I am hoping top train as an RE Teacher and would love to teach this new curriculum. tolerance is a difficult thing to teach, but we can lay a path for its development. babies are born tolerant, therefore intolerance must develop somewhere. Sometimes (often but not always) it is linked to fear of the unknown and misunderstanding of peoples (the idea that all Muslims are terrorists, or fear of a Sikh who carries a sword) and those children can certainly be helped along the path to tolerance.

zippitippitoes Mon 15-May-06 13:45:27

Did you find that there was an implication in these reports that there would be less of religions other than Christianity taught. More scrutiny and censure of what is taught in Islamic Studies in schools and Universities.

PeachyClair Mon 15-May-06 16:03:29

And I just signed up for extended Islam next year! Oh well

zippitippitoes Mon 15-May-06 18:16:05


I would have thought Islamic studies would make you very employable as well as being interesting study, I was just trying to understand what the lessons in core British values might be apart from the wolly notion of "fair play" which sounds like a Bertie Woodhouse concept of Briishness and not as exclusive to Britain as might be thought.

There are a few intersting views here but I still want to know what will actually be taught..there has to be some content

Filyjonk Mon 15-May-06 18:34:35

"Britain was founded on freedom, democracy and liberty"


britain was founded on sending children up chimeys and selling them as slaves to sugar plantation. Whole towns like bristol were basically built on the proceeds of the slave trade.

women and men without proprty didn't even get the vote til this century.

And we only get to vote every 4 years anyway.

And as for free speech? What? Shouldn't that be "free speech for those who can afford to defend a defamation case?"

PeachyClair Mon 15-May-06 18:36:39

Thanks Zippi, have bookmarked that site until later.

it's not an islamic Studies degree, iit's world religions but I want Christianity and Islam as my main two. just really, really interesting.

Blu Mon 15-May-06 18:38:38

LOL Filyjonk - ain't that the truth!

Filyjonk Mon 15-May-06 18:41:25


peachy-whats your degree in? I did religion as a minor subject (scottish uni-we do majors and minors), it was really interesting.

PeachyClair Tue 16-May-06 09:36:05

It's called Religion and Philosophy, a straight degree. We had to take a minor for a year (I did Psychology) but that has now finished.

The Philosophy part doesn't really kick in until year 3. Basically, we study Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism with also Jainism in Year 2.

it's good

plummymummy Tue 16-May-06 09:59:26

Good post speedymama, I totally agree. Blu, also agree with your point about the flawed way in which history is taught in this country (severely edited)and I am cynical about why that is. It seems that almost every other nation/country seems to have a better all-round knowledge of not just their own history but also that of other countries. This idea of teaching Britishness (wtf?) won't work until they can teach history more honestly.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 16-May-06 10:18:16

Firestorm you make an interesting point.

"if we went to any another country & asked them to change their way of life to suit us it simply wouldnt be tollerated. i am by no means whatsoever a racist by the way"

My youngest bil lives and works in Dubai, he makes the call to prayer in a local mosque, in Dubai (being a Muslim country) the call to prayer is done over a microphone, so people on the streets can hear it. I've been there on and off, and the call to prayer isn't terribly loud, but loud enough for everyone to hear it and go to pray. Keep in mind if your deeply asleep the call is not likely to wake you, I still had to set my alarm to get up for the dawn prayers.

Now the expats who work there, decided this was not on (the call for prayer being made over a Microphone that is), and demanded that the mikes be turned off.... Which the Arabs did, until one of the Sheikhs said pretty much what you're saying, if they don't like it they don't have to stay (keeping in mind expats are not citizens and never will be), so after about a months silence the mikes were switched back on and it's business as usual for my bil.

Funnily none of the expats left in protest.

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