The Telegraph is reporting that a new study that suggests pupils are at risk of being exposed to Islamic extremism because most schools link good conduct to top grades rather than a moral purpose.
The research revealed that most school policies explained pupils should behave well in class in order to support their own, or fellow pupils’, “learning and academic achievement”.
The academics argued that a lack of moral purpose in school policies may leave pupils open to “movements which seek to offer an alternative, more explicitly moral or religious, vision, such as the alleged attempted ‘Trojan Horse’ takeover of schools in Birmingham”.
The researchers – from Edge Hill University – studied the behaviour policies of 36 secondary schools in England.
From the sample, 34 schools made a link between good behaviour and strong academic achievement, with some policies labelled as “behaviour for learning”.
One school called its policy “Ready for Learning Policy”. This school policy said: “The promotion of a ‘Ready for Learning Policy’ reflects our pro-active attitude to behaviour management, creating a positive climate to allow all to succeed and fulfil their potential.”
The academics argue that such thinking left students with little virtues to be applied after they left school.
In the paper, which was presented at a conference by the British Educational Research Association, the scholars argued that virtues such as curiosity, critical thinking and respect for evidence should be the overall objectives of schools.
Good academic results, they said, should be seen as “mere by-products of these aims, rather than the defining mission”…
Not sure I totally follow the extremism link, but is there something to the idea that schools are conditioning pupils to think of good behaviour too narrowly?
How would you suggest behaviour policies could be changed for the good?
Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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