Plato and the Church of England: Guidelines for Schools

Nov 27, 2017 by

by Rollin Grams, Bible and Mission:

This essay compares and contrasts Plato’s view of education to that presupposed by the Church of England in its recent guidelines for its schools.  It then offers some thoughts on what a Christian educational ethos might involve in light of the earlier discussion.

The Church of England’s Guidelines on Bullying

In its recently published guidelines for schools, the Church of England has advocated a view of education that we might call ‘exploration’ rather than ‘formation.’  The guidelines state that

In creating a school environment that promotes dignity for all and a call to live fulfilled lives as uniquely gifted individuals, pupils will be equipped to accept difference of all varieties and be supported to accept their own gender identity or sexual orientation and that of others. In order to do this it will be essential to provide curriculum opportunities where difference is explored, same-sex relationships, same-sex parenting and transgender issues may be mentioned as a fact in some people’s lives. For children of same-sex or transgender parents or with close LGBT relatives this will be a signal of recognition that will encourage self-esteem and belonging.

In the early years context and throughout primary school, play should be a hallmark of creative exploration. Pupils need to be able to play with the many cloaks of identity (sometimes quite literally with the dressing up box). Children should be at liberty to explore the possibilities of who they might be without judgement or derision. For example, a child may choose the tutu, princess’s tiara and heels and/or the firefighter’s helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak without expectation or comment. Childhood has a sacred space for creative self-imagining (Valuing All God’s Children, p. 20).[1]

The guidelines advocate allowing various views of sexuality to be ‘aired and honoured’ and view any disapproval of same-sex relationships and gender transition to be examples of fostering bullying.

Read here



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