Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The power of education
Whenever I feel despondent, stressed and exhausted in my job then there is something that turns up to remind me how worthwhile it is. Today it was Dennis. Loud, disruptive, kind, generous and clinically manic. Follow the link. Adult education saved his life, literally. He arrived in my office bearing a cheese board as a gift, disrupted everything and then left for his evening class leaving me exhausted but smiling. He has, at the age of 63, discovered a genuine artistic talent. Those in government who harbour prejudice about adult education purely being about equipping a workforce with level 2 skills should meet people like him. Those who talk about 'leisure classes' and who denounce learning for its own sake as "a bit dodgy" should shelve their thoughtless instrumentalism and realise the value of the phenomenal power of transformation and rescue for individuals and groups. And jaded professionals like myself should sometimes stop and remember that we really have the most privileged jobs in the world. Thanks Dennis, for more than the cheese board.