Skip to comments.Great Britain: Experts say toy guns are 'good' (Teachers' Union blasts Gov't guidance)
Posted on 12/28/2007 11:06:08 PM PST by Stoat
'Learning aid' ... boy with toy gun
Nursery staff have been advised to resist their natural instinct to stop boys playing with weapons in games with other toddlers.
Government guidance says: Creating situations so that boys interests in these forms of play can be fostered through healthy and safe risk-taking will enhance every aspect of their learning and development.
But teachers have slammed the Department for Children, Schools and Families advice.
National Union of Teachers general secretary Steve Sinnott said: The trouble is that the toy gun is often accom-panied by aggression.
The reason teachers often intervene is that the boy is being very aggressive.
Chris Keates, of the NASUWT, said: I dont think schools should be encouraging boys to play with toy weapons.
She warned that nurseries following the guidance risked incurring the anger of parents.
She said: Many parents take the decision that their children wont have toy weapons.
Childrens minister Beverley Hughes defended the advice. She said the guidance takes a common-sense approach to the fact that many boys like boisterous, physical activity.
She added that staff are advised of the need to teach children that harming another person in the real world is not acceptable.
Toy weapons 'help boys to learn'
In guidance for nurseries in England, the Department for Children, Schools and Families says staff should resist a "natural instinct" to stop such play.
It says role playing helps create the right conditions for boys' learning and could help them become more engaged in education in the future.
Teachers have condemned the advice, saying toy guns "symbolise aggression".
The guidance - entitled Confident, Capable and Creative: Supporting Boys' Achievements - says "practitioners" often find boys' chosen type of play "more difficult to understand and value than that of girls".
Boys regularly use "images and ideas gleaned from the media" as starting points in play, the advice says, which "may involve characters with special powers or weapons".
"Adults can find this type of play particularly challenging and have a natural instinct to stop it," the guidance continues.
"This is not necessary as long as practitioners help the boys to understand and respect the rights of other children and to take responsibility for the resources and environment."
Fostering these "forms of play" helps to "enhance every aspect of their learning and development", it adds.
Boys' underachievement in schools has been a source of concern for teachers and ministers.
Girls are more likely to get the benchmark five good GCSEs than boys and more girls do better at A-level.
But the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has criticised the government's advice on toy guns.
General secretary Steve Sinnott said the problem with toy weapons was that they "symbolise aggression".
"The trouble with weapons is that the toy gun is often accompanied by aggression.
"The reason why teachers often intervene when kids have toy guns is that the boy is usually being very aggressive."
Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teachers' union, said any nursery following the government's advice risked angering parents.
"Many parents take the decision that their children won't have toy weapons," she said.
"In addition to that, I think this is a clear example of gender stereotyping.
"I do not think schools should be encouraging boys to play with toy weapons."
But children's minister Beverley Hughes said the advice took a "common-sense approach" to the fact that many young children favoured boisterous, physical activity.
Many boys liked pretending to be superheroes or playing at "Star Wars characters with their lightsabres", she said.
"Although noisy for adults such imaginary games are good for their development as well as good fun."
But she added: "The guidance also impresses upon staff the need to teach children that they must respect one another and that harming another person in the real world is not acceptable."
Strange, when I was just a young stoat I would be constantly playing with toy guns, and I didn't turn out TOO weird.....
It's astonishing to see a Teachers' Union arguing with a Labour Government over what is usually such a bulwark of Socialist ideology, the disarming of law-abiding people, the recasting of anything suggestive of weapons - including their imagery - as being 'evil' , and the feminization of boys........
When I was just an apple seedling, so did I.
...and the cool girls also played cowboys; cops & robbers; and, especially, Army, if they wanted the boys to play any of their games later.
Some of those girls were really vicious "Nazi" & "Jap" killers, too. And you would not believe where they would hide 'secret messages', if they were spies!
Oh lawdy...I'm guessing that "interrogator" was a highly prized position on the battlefield :-)
ha! they’re not just clamping down on the real thing:
So, as I understand it,
(scratching head with perplexed expression on face)
real guns (except handguns) can be used anywhere where it would be legal to use them including defense at home IF it was proportionate to the threat, but you can’t own handguns except for muzzleloaders and antiques, unless you deal in them abroad say, or you are a vet requiring them for humane destruction of animals. You can’t carry a gun for defence with some exceptions: probably current and former govt employees in Northern Ireland who have PPW licences. Correct regarding the other 2 points.
This should be informative regarding laws concerning private firearms ownership in the UK today (official as it gets IMO) given that its produced for the London Metropolitan Police themselves:
You may read things such as the govt praising the shooting sports: its BS - if anything, things are becoming more restrictive for those already in the sport and they’re making it harder & harder to start.
My sister got her son a NERF rifle and the thing is so much freakin fun that I was thinking about adding one to my arsenal. It has a scope mounted on it and a bipod. My niece got his old NERF gun and they have shootouts in the house. My sister couldnt be happier because it keeps them from wanting to watch TV.
It’s not hard to trip up this sort of liberal ass by pointing out that aggression exhibited by girls these days seems to be all the rage.
Still, anyone who deosn’t understand the purpose of play in the growth and development of humans will probably just stare blankly whenever anyone around them goes off PC point.
It’s surprising that the UK still has any military.