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It seems someone in Germany has woken up and smelled the coffee

(289 Posts)
ProfessorPreciseaBug Mon 28-Mar-16 21:30:24

This from Reuters..

Germany is proposing to demand that refugees integrate into German life or loose rights of residency.. It appears to include learning Grman and not treating women as second class...If only some of our politicians would do likewise.

TheNewStatesman Tue 29-Mar-16 00:30:09

I wish so too, but it appears that this will not be easy, looking at the above.

sportinguista Tue 29-Mar-16 07:04:51

It does sound as if children with a British heritage even like my DS which is mixed with other European and farther afield could end up feeling as though they are almost wrong for existing and should keep their heads down and be ashamed of what they are. Teach a child that and at some point you will have a problem on your hands. It does also sound as if they are being steered to one conclusion when the reality of the situation is it has many nuances and side issues which could affect thinking.

It is a courtesy to speak the language of the country in which you expect to live. It makes life easier for one thing. I would not expect to live in another country without making the attempt to learn the language. I switch to DH's native language when we are over there out of courtesy for his parents who do not speak English and because it makes life simpler. I also respect the local culture and behaviours which includes covering my shoulders when I enter a church there etc.

Many British values at least modern ones are of respect fir others, tolerance and general common sense anyway. Germany has a right for its language and values to be respected too.

ProfessorPreciseaBug Wed 30-Mar-16 07:46:54

I see an elephant in the room. And it has just shat on the carpet!

Whilst the NUT tries to claim that teaching British values amounts to cultural supremecy they ignore one salient fact.. That the imigrants chose to move to this country. The NUT then seeks to not ask the salient question, why do imigrants choose the UK when there are so many places they can move to.

The answer seems quite simple. Because there are better opportunities and more social support in the UK than almost everywhere else in the world.. But is that not a vindication that British (and western European) culture is superior to other places?

The fact that we are at peace whilst Syria is in civil war is not a reflection on the UK, it is a reflection of the lack of democracy and civil rights in Syria.

raininginspringtime Wed 30-Mar-16 07:53:43

That's pretty typical of the NUT!

British values can be identical to Germany's values, and France's values for that matter. No one is or should be stating they only exist in Britain. There is however nothing wrong at all with stating that they form part of our national identity. Given that tolerance and respect form two huge parts of British values, I doubt very much that schoolchildren will be rushing out to join the national front. Anyone would think fhe NUT had an agenda.

BoboChic Wed 30-Mar-16 07:54:32

I am an immigrant, in France, and, yes, I believe immigrants should have to learn the language of the country they live in, understand the values that underpin the country and follow the laws of the land.

TheWoodenSpoonOfMischief Wed 30-Mar-16 08:06:10

I don't see anything wrong with promoting british values - respecting the law, individual liberty, being tolerant and respectful.
Why is that cultural supremacy? It benefits the immigrants to be accepted more readily in a society that has these values as well as helping them to integrate within it.

Piemernator Wed 30-Mar-16 08:14:21

My Father was an immigrant and embraced English values wholeheartedly, loved a tweed jacket and M&S. He was from a Commonwealth country and that may have had some influence.

Of course people should learn the language of the country they live in I never understand why it is seen as controversial. FIL retired to Spain ten years ago and has learnt Spanish to a relatively decent level.

Just looked at the bio of head of the NUT, I literally laughed at just how spot on my guess at what their history would be.

raininginspringtime Wed 30-Mar-16 08:15:36

Do tell, Pie smile

wheelofapps Wed 30-Mar-16 08:35:43

I am English, living in Scotland.
My children follow a VERY Scottish curriculum with Scottish History, Music, Dance and 'Topics' followed almost exclusively. (on a recent 'inventors' topic, Einstein was de-barred as 'not Scottish'. on a recent Clans topic, the children who had no 'Clan' - ie a Scottish surname that was traceable to a Clan - had to do a different piece of homework).

Now, I am not comparing that to an immigrant to the UK. I see the differences.

However, Scotland is proud of and promotes itself at every turn, especially through the 'Curriculum for Excellence'.

Why is England so different?

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Wed 30-Mar-16 08:50:50

"I don't see anything wrong with promoting british values - respecting the law, individual liberty, being tolerant and respectful."

But these values aren't exclusive to Britain, nor have they been prevalent in Britain during the past.

The point is that most "enlightened" countries have come to embrace these values after turbulent histories where they have learned that war is not a path to peace.

We should definitely be teaching something to newcomers but it shouldn't be defined as British.

We need a clear rallying cry of something like the French "brotherhood, liberty and equality" but even that lies open to an unequal interpretation.

raininginspringtime Wed 30-Mar-16 08:53:14

I think this is where problems start because people assume that in defining something as a 'British' value, the implication is that other cultures do not have it. I do not believe that to be the case.

wheelofapps Wed 30-Mar-16 08:58:34

I see exactly what you are saying that values such as religious tolerance, democracy, free speech etc are not 'exclusively British' - of course not.

But, for some mad reason, England is so afraid of seeming to promote it's values that they wont promote these universal ones for fear of seeming 'intolerant'. It is completely Alice In Wonderland stuff.

BIWI Wed 30-Mar-16 09:00:43

Can someone outline what 'English values' are, please?

fourmummy Wed 30-Mar-16 09:03:12

Tolerance, democracy, free speech =universal? confused

originalmavis Wed 30-Mar-16 09:04:04

I suppose you get 2 types of people who move abroad - those who want to live their lives exactly the same as before, don't see why they should change and possibly believe that they are in some way superior to the locals (possibly think they will make their money and go hone); and those who want to live there - learn the language, eat the food, see the arts and culture, live with the locals, etc.

It's when we import crap ideas and madness (think Glasgow last week) that we have a spectacular example if why we need to teach kids whatever we call it - it was citizen studies when I was a kid. But if the kids go home to a place where English is not spoken, media is beamed in from abroad, and family talk of 'honour', not mixing with 'them' and why the country they live in hates them, then that's another battle.

raininginspringtime Wed 30-Mar-16 09:04:16

Well, they're hardly universal.

originalmavis Wed 30-Mar-16 09:07:16

Indeed not. Democracy is not universal!

TheWoodenSpoonOfMischief Wed 30-Mar-16 09:08:10

BIWI - According to Ofsted, 'fundamental British values' are:
the rule of law.
individual liberty.
mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.

DonkeyOaty Wed 30-Mar-16 09:09:59

I think BIWI was asking about "English Values" referred to earlier (correct me if wrong, BIWI)

originalmavis Wed 30-Mar-16 09:10:07

Respect for females?

sinoorsomethinglikethat Wed 30-Mar-16 09:11:12

"But these values aren't exclusive to Britain, nor have they been prevalent in Britain during the past."

See this argument is really not convincing. To me 'British values' conveys that these are the values we in Britain care for, promote and protect. Why would there be a claim of exclusiveness? We are not saying these are exclusively British values.

Sadly there are many countries who do not embrace values such as democracy and tolerance even if they used to, such as Turkey.

My ds (6) is European / Scottish and we live in England. Talking about Britishness in school makes him feel like he belongs here, it's a positive thing.

TheWoodenSpoonOfMischief Wed 30-Mar-16 09:12:26

Sorry BIWI I misunderstood your post.

originalmavis Wed 30-Mar-16 09:15:28

When did teaching values become a dirty thing? Some cultures do things/have beliefs that we cannot sit back and allow in our society just because we cant to be all fluffy and inclusive. God forbid we squish someone's human right in the UK to marry off their child at 14, or mutilate their daughters because it's their culture.

fourmummy Wed 30-Mar-16 09:16:09

The NUT have gone nuts (sorry, couldn't resist)...again. Cultural imperialism? Pah. Evidence-based medicine or witch doctor? Female teachers working or women at home? Secularism or theocracy? Science or religion? Equality for minority groups or persecution? Equal Opportunities Act or religious law?
Instead of getting bogged down in 'British/English values', why can't we teach the above given that this is Britain today and this is indeed what we are meant to be teaching.

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