The Guardian view on A-level changes: loss of civilisation

Oct 19, 2016 by

Dropping archaeology, history of art and classical civilisation from the sixth form curriculum is cultural vandalism

First art history, then classical civilisation and now archaeology. One by one the A-level subjects that introduce British sixth formers to disciplines they may not come across at home are being axed from the curriculum to make way for what the Department for Education considers more rigorous studies. At least that appears to be the justification for removing these life-enhancing subjects, although the exam board AQA suggested it was more to do with the difficulty of standardising marking regimes across different papers. It is true that relatively few state schools offered the subjects, partly because there was a shortage of teachers in some parts of the country. It is also the case that, thanks to public service broadcasting and free museums, there are other ways of learning about the original inspiration for our contemporary sense of what is beautiful, or understanding how our ancestors lived and worshipped, or what principles guided classical life. But if such ideas are unfamiliar at home, or considered unimportant, there may be no guide to the museums and no incentive to watch Time Team or Britain’s Lost Masterpieces. In the name of a more demanding curriculum, the government is narrowing access to the culture that shapes our sense of ourselves and what it means to be human.

Source: The Guardian view on A-level changes: loss of civilisation | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

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