Accelerated Christian Education on BBC Radio 4

Accelerated Christian Education on BBC Radio 4 May 18, 2012

In 2010 I was asked to speak to BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Programme about Accelerated Christian Education.

Here’s the segment that went out (it’s a little over five minutes long):

[soundcloud url=”″ iframe=”true” /]

In case you can’t listen, I’ve transcribed the words of the three people interviewed: Me, Professor Michael Reiss, and Christian Education Europe‘s Arthur Roderick.

So, in order of how much I like the interviewee:

Jonny Scaramanga on Accelerated Christian Education:

“Everything is tested in the form of multiple-choice questions, true or false questions, filling-in-the-blanks questions – short answer questions, which don’t require critical thinking skills. And that’s because it’s based on a fundamentalist philosophy, and they believe they have absolute truth. So the development of the ability to ask questions and find answers, and form arguments, is not relevant to them. They’re not interested in teaching children how to think, they’re interested in teaching them what to think.”

Professor Michael Reiss on Accelerated Christian Education:

“There has been a very strong historical tendency for ACE schooling to use an extraordinarily narrow understanding of learning which is very much like each child working away at his or her textbooks or worksheets on their own. And frankly my own view is that’s just completely boring for most children after a while, and is a travesty of what personalised learning can be all about.

“What I would like to see is some of the teachers including the head teachers in these schools to have actually a bit more confidence in the young people whom they are educating. It is not the case that young people abandon their Christian faiths just because they are presented with good quality teaching about evolution and cosmology ­– if anything quite the reverse.”

Arthur Roderick on Accelerated Christian Education:

“Yes it is true that we want to teach the children a particular point of view. It is true that there are some things we don’t want the children to pursue or to accept. And as parents we think that that’s our responsibility and prerogative for the children to get what we think is the very best worldview.

“We might be viewed as not being balanced, but we can see where the alternative is leading. It is simply going to be: Parents, you don’t indoctrinate your childen because we want to indoctrinate your children. That I will not tolerate.”

At the time I was annoyed that Arthur Roderick got to talk so much, but then he fully revealed how paranoid his view of mainstream education is, so that’s fine.

I was interviewed for twenty minutes. Most of it was unusable because I was making potentially libellous accusations, and didn’t then have evidence that would make them fit for broadcast. Frankly, I wished the interviewer had told me that sooner, because there were a lot of other accusations I could have made for which I did have evidence. Still, I’m going about gathering the relevant evidence and I’ll be making all of it public in due course.

"Hello, I'm only seeing this now as I made a new Disqus account since. Thank ..."

Guest post: Be careful, or your ..."
"While it sounds like he has switched to the church of the Daily Show, he ..."

An atheist wrote the theme tune ..."
"I wish I knew about this blog years ago. I'm glad it's still here. Thank ..."

It’s time to move on from ..."
"Gibbs III is also responsible for the ludicrous 'Terri Schiavo has changed her mind!' argument. ..."

The Fixer: Christian lawyer’s history defending ..."

Browse Our Archives