chapter  2
21 Pages

Discipline and chaos: the New Right and discourses of derision

The second theme is that of dangerous, politically motivated teachers preaching revolution, socialism, egalitarianism, feminism and sexual deviation. Here the link is between comprehensive schools and social disorder. Teachers of English, guardians of national literacy, were in particular indicted on this count. Attempts by a painfully small number of teachers to bring aspects of working-class culture into the school curriculum and to develop forms of critical literacy were regarded as massively subversive. Thornbury (1978 pp.136-7) captures the mood of ideological subversion in his description of English teachers in London.