Monday, February 19, 2007

Hope for education from Scotland

Will has emailed to draw my attention to a quote posted at Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Republic . The passage, taken from an intriguing looking book, Andrew Lockhart Walker's The Revival of the Democratic Intellect, speaks to me at a time when narrow vocationalism is dominant.

People who attend schools are too often approached as merely fodder to meet our society's needs. Education begins in acknowledging what a libel on their natures this is. Teaching should be an attempt to meet the needs of the taught, not of the teachers. Illich's distinction between 'hope' and 'expectation' is relevant here. We should never, through a desire to equip them with the means for having expectations, forget that what they have a right to is hope. A career is a poor substitute for a life.

Just when the crushing demoralisation of life-destroying educational instrumentalism is about to finish you off, something like this gleams through the gloom and renews hope with its ardent idealism. There is only one problem; with a career you get a salary.


Uncle Joe said...

Lots of good things happening in education in Scotland. No "city academies" and handing over schools to rich businessmen or flat-earthers; no return to selection; no tuition or top up fees; retention of the four year degree; record investment in music in schools etc. Shuggy might be a bit less positive, but compared to England this is paradise. Come join us - loads of English teachers are.

The Plump said...

I have often thought that if Bonnie Prince Charle marched south today he would be greeted as a liberator.

Shame about the weather though.