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There’s a reason political parties quarrel over curriculum

At the heart of the curriculum debate brewing between the UPC and NDP is the battle for values.

Why? Because values are what directs one’s action.

They might both take their stand from Proverbs: “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

And how you train a child makes a difference in future votes. The NDP and the progressivist lobby believe that students should learn modern societal values and beliefs before they study any content information and subject detail.

The UPC and core knowledge proponents believe that the study of content information and subject detail should inform the development of values and beliefs.

In the end, both profess to seek societal support through common values.

So which is preferable: direct indoctrination of values or being indirectly guided to values through choice of content study?

The progressive NDP camp knows that a student, conditioned from early childhood to believe something, is less likely to challenge the status quo, regardless of any information to the contrary, later in life.

While conservatives advocate studying information, even biased information, without pre-conditioned values, allowing individuals greater opportunity to question and re-evaluate beliefs and the status-quo as he/she grows.

Why are proposals to improve memory skills, increase study of history and allowance of alternate views of environmental stewardship at the heart of the NDP objections to the UPC curriculum changes?

Might these studies bring back debate, or even objections, to the politically moulded populist views?

Richard Dietrich, Medicine Hat

Education