Peace Matters Index

military involvement in schools

ONLINE contents

- in memoriam
- conversion to peace
- send in the blue shirts
- soldiers in the laboratory
- military in schools
- monitoring toolkit
- descent intomadness
- history of movements and ideas
- science and war
- cold war modern
- history of movements and ideas
- 'New thinking' needs new direction

- complete issue pdf

Additional to university research partnerships are a range of schemes in which military corporations provide educational materials and support to UK schools and colleges. Many of the larger corporations provide extensive science and technology materials attuned to the National Curriculum. In addition, they run a range of activities for schools. Current examples include BAE Systems’ School Challenge competition and a theatre-based roadshow. Rolls Royce runs a science prize for teachers60, while DSTL has a science and engineering ambassadors schemel, and the Atomic Weapons Establishment runs the ‘AWEsome’ science campaign. The major US military corporations are also involved in a very wide range of ‘educational activities’.

Military employers are also very active at the college level. The large-scale involvement of BAE Systems is one such example.

It is especially common for military corporations to build good relations with schools and colleges local to their main industrial facilities, which helps ensure their future workforce and where there is least opposition. For example, BAE Systems has sponsored schools in cities like Portsmouth, Bristol and Plymouth not far from their local divisions or factories.

Military industry clearly wants to encourage uptake of science and technology subjects at school in order to ensure a supply of qualified staff for the future. A little-discussed secondary aim of this strategy is their wish to encourage schoolchildren to associate the subjects with the particular company so that they are more likely to come and work for them rather than for anyone else. However, this strategy can undermine critical questioning of the role of the military from an early age.

killing strangers - the ultimate adventure
‘Two years ago travel and adventure were just a dream’ is the latest slogan of the recruiting adverts for the British Army. This follows recent vehement denials by the MoD that the army glamorised its work. Who knows perhaps this ad appeal to those for whom adventure and travel is a nightmare.

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