HEY UKIP – stop telling teachers what to teach.

If after reading this you want to contribute to the debate you will find it here – there are many more examples of how you could use nazis and ukip in a lesson on comparison in the thread.
This blog is not about what a teacher did or didn’t do. It is about how UKIP members and former candidates for office find it impossible to understand that the classroom is a place where students should be asked to think, to critically analyse to compare to reach conclusions and to be able to support those conclusions with the use of correct language styles, wether it’s a persuasive, discursive or a critical essay or discussion. The teacher provides the hook, the spark to get pupils engaged and then teaches pupils the skills they need to do all that previously mentioned.

UKIP have taken offence at a lesson about Nazis, pre the holocaust in comparison with UKIP today. The story can be found here. What is clear is that a comparison is made between Nazis and UKIP but not how it was made, wether it was a starter, the main part of the lesson, the plenary. And what was the comparison? What was being compared? What was the expected outcome of the lesson? What source materials were being used? ( if any ) Was it teacher led or pupil led or a mix of the two? Where did it fit into a scheme of work, or was it a one off lesson?

UKIP seem to be hyper sensitive to comparison between themselves and nazis, and yet a simple Internet search for class lessons on political propaganda finds pages lessons comparing nazi propaganda to the allies own propaganda produced by the Holocaust Museum ( Are they suggesting the nazis and allies were the same?)

There are a number of possible lesson that could have included a comparison – none of which are expecting an outcome where students leave the class saying “Yep UKIP are nazis”

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As a teacher who tweets politically I often get UKIP supporters accusing me of unduly influencing my students. I would remind UKIP that I am entitled to my view, that I do not use my name so students are not unduly influenced and I am a qualified professional. I value the role of the teacher as one where, thank goodness, it is part of my professional standards not to unduly influence kids politically. However it is my role to provide them an opportunity to explore their own views in a safe non judgemental environment. It is this kind of tweet that is personally offensive but also offensive to all teachers.

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In case anyone wants a starter for a lesson on propaganda language and images I suggest these

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You could discuss the use of images, language, style – Where do the messages differ? Where are they the same? Why is the image from 1933 more offensive than the one from 2013?

In the case of the teacher in Derbyshire, the complaint was made by one father who had stood as a UKIP candidate, Mike Dawson. That he was motivated by his personal politics should not be in doubt he spent a long time threatening the school with consequences on twitter. The schools has apologised for offence caused, because clearly he is not very mature and has taken offence!

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