Sunday 12 May 2013

Lies, Damn Lies and Michael Gove

Experience has already taught most teachers not to believe anything that Michael Gove has to say any more.

Unfortunately, that doesn't stop Gove's press and media friends giving plenty of coverage to his distorted claims - claims designed to throw mud at teachers and schools in an effort to win over public support for his vicious attacks on the curriculum and on teachers' pay and conditions.

Last week, he claimed that the Historical Association advocated using Disney films and Mr Men characters. It may have grabbed a headline or two but, as he must have known, his claim was a distortion of the actual facts (regrettably, a common occurrence in political history)

The Historical Association (HA) have sought to put the record straight in this post: 

As the post asks, "why the attack on the HA?" ... "Is it because we:
+ Met with over 500 teachers face to face in less than 6 weeks to collect our response evidence;
+ Presented Mr Gove face to face with the evidence collected by an annual survey that 96.2% of secondary teachers felt that insufficient attention had been given to teachers in the new NC;
+ Conducted an online poll which received over 1700 responses showing that only 4% thought the new history NC was a positive change;

"We represent teachers from all sides of the political spectrum with a breadth of knowledge, thoughtful opinions and well-trained critical minds.Whatever Mr Gove's reasons are for wanting to diminish the Historical Association we will continue to produce respected and credible resources, to listen to teachers, academics and all those who think history is something that young people are entitled to learn about without the political messaging of governments. Our core mission for over 100 years has been to help raise the standard of history teaching and learning in schools and we will continue to do so irrespective of political agendas".

In a more light-hearted response to Gove, one blogger has responded with a post introducing a new member of the Mr.Men series:

art by @KaiserOfCrisps

Of course, before throwing stones, Mr.Gove should be careful about his own record on using sound facts and reliable sources

A recent Facebook post directs readers to an interesting exchange of letters:

It suggests that, while we teach our students to consider the reliability of their sources, Michael Gove bases his claims on UKTVGold, the Sea Cadets and London Mums Magazine!

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