Callaghan said: "The goals of our education, from nursery school through to adult education, are clear enough. They are to equip children to the best of their ability for a lively, constructive, place in society, and also to fit them to do a job of work. Not one or the other but both. For many years the accent was simply on fitting a so-called inferior group of children with just enough learning to earn their living in the factory. Labour has attacked that attitude consistently, during 60 or 70 years and throughout my childhood. There is now widespread recognition of the need to cater for a child's personality to let it flower in its fullest possible way."
I do not wholeheartedly endorse the views he expressed, but I do agree with his argument that the curriculum should not be a "secret garden" and that parents and others should be fully informed about the early years curriculum. Things work out best for children when parents and professionals work together in a respectful partnership.
I hope this blog illuminates aspects of early education, its theories and its controversies, to a wider audience. I am always interested in comments, and aim to reply quickly whenever they are posted.
Links to more information about the Callaghan speech:
'Towards a national debate' - the full text of the speech by Prime Minister James Callaghan, at a foundation stone-laying ceremony at Ruskin College, Oxford, on October. 18 1976.