Friday, March 22, 2019

Calx Mariae on Sex Education in Schools

I have an article in the new and excellent edition of Calx Mariae, which is published by Voice of the Family. You can take out a subscription here.

Calx Mariae is an impressive publication, with some very distinguished contributors: this issue has articles by Prof Roberto de Mattei and Duke von Oldenburg.

My article begins:

I confess I am a reluctant home-schooler. I do not believe that schools are intrinsically problematic, or that formal education is bad. Clearly they have their limitations in trying to cater for the individual needs, interests, and abilities of a room-full of children, but in principle they also have many advantages: the specialisation and therefore expertise of the teachers, the sharing of resources, and the interactions and group projects, from sports to drama, of the children. If I were living in any other era where schools existed, I would be sending my children to them. So what is the problem today?

The headline issue has long been sex education, known as PHSE (‘Personal, Social, and Health Education’). Long ago I came to the conclusion that I would be wrongly abdicating my responsibility as a father if I allowed my children to be subjected to the teaching materials used in these lessons with the approval of the state and, in many cases, of the Catholic bishops. Text-books, lesson plans, ‘teachers’ resources’, and videos for showing to children as young as five are not difficult to find online, although teachers themselves can be understandably reluctant to show parents what they are using. Many parents seem to prefer to remain in ignorance.

Formal sex education classes are, however, just one manifestation of the problem with education today, and it would be besides the point, even where it is possible, to withdraw one’s children from those lessons alone. The deeper problem is two-fold. First, the state and the educational establishment has decided that the cultural and moral education of children is a matter for them, and not for parents; second, they have simultaneously lost all confidence in traditional Western culture and morality.

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1 comment:

  1. I entirely agree but the acronym is in fact PSHE (not PHSE) and furthermore these initials stands for Personal, Social, Health and Economic education. The inclusion of 'Economic' in the title adds a further potential horror to our children's education. I believe that PSHE applies only in England although some parts of these factors are applied in Wales, Ireland and Scotland.