Cultural Education

Most of what we teach is related to our culture. English is an explicit cultural subject. History takes a cultural bias as does Geography (maps show the UK in the centre of the page), perhaps the sciences (the traditions of Newton etc.), Modern Languages (more often French or German than Chinese), Art and so on. Perhaps Numeracy is the only subject without cultural bias. Does Tony Blair really need to add another subject to the curriculum?

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2 thoughts on “Cultural Education

  1. The numbers may not have a cultural bias, but the context in which those numbers are expressed does! A colleague of mine used to show some problems from German Maths books published during WWII to give an extreme example of cultural bias in Maths. However, once you are tuned in, less extreme examples are not too hard to find. Are there people in the problem? If so, what are their names, ethnic background or sex? What cultural assumptions underlie the problem itself? For example, as a non-sporty-Scottish adult, if I had to answer a question on cricket scores I’d need a lot of help to understand the context of the question.

  2. So really most of what we teach has a cultural context. A German or Spaniard may be just as well educated as a Brit but may have a very different knowledge base.

    this leads nicely to my next question!

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