“[educationl is in fact one of the most effective means of perpetuating the existing social pattern, as it both provides an apparent justification for social inequalities and gives recognition to the cultural heritage, that is, to a social gift treated as a natural one.” (Bourdieu, 1974, p. 32) Education maintains inequality. Bourdieu argues that in … More Whose Cultural Capital?
Today’s identity politics has another interesting feature: it teaches students to think in a way antithetical to what a liberal arts education should do. When I was at Yale in the 1980s, I was given so many tools for understanding the world. By the time I graduated, I could think about things as a Utilitarian … More The Narrowing Curriculum
“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” Is a quote often attributed to Einstein which is actually from a piece by BF Skinner called “New methods and new aims in teaching”, in New Scientist, 22(392) (21 May 1964). The quote was retweeted into my timeline today accompanied by a tweet … More Nothing Will Come From Nothing
Angela Rayner’s speech to the Labour Party conference contained many interesting ideas. The National Education Service, of course, echoes the UK’s beloved NHS: The next Labour Government will create a National Education Service, a cradle-to-grave system supporting everyone throughout their lives. It would start in the early years, where we know it has the most … More Knowledge Belongs to the Many, Not the Few
Every subject is different, it has its own rhythms and constraints around which a positive classroom culture can be created. Getting changed for PE, putting on lab coats, getting out exercise books and pens, all these seemingly mundane rituals are an essential part of creating a positive working atmosphere. In the drama room I have … More Creating a Classroom Culture: The ‘Centre’
If everyone smoked twenty cigarettes a day the difference between those who got lung cancer and those who didn’t would be almost 100% heritable, even though the cause would be almost 100% environmental. Heritability depends on our environment. It is believed that IQ is around 70% heritable, if all children were to have an educationally … More Nature or Nurture? Free Will and Education.
Don’t say goodbye to Mr Chips!!! Maybe its because I’ve read Lord of the Flies but I’m not sure putting children in charge of education is the best thing for them, our schools, or, indeed, all of our futures. In her ‘Utopian Thinking’ piece in the Guardian, Rachel Roberts argues: There are a few things … More Democratic Education is no Utopia
Not all working-class children want to be middle or upper class. says Garth Stahl, the author of Identity, Neoliberalism and Aspiration… emphasising that education is about changing people and not everyone wants to change. We are defined by where we are in the rat race and that is where we feel most secure. This fear that … More Don’t Educate the Working Class
Most people know nothing about learning; many despise it. Dummies reject as too hard whatever is not dumb. Thomas More, Utopia The future fallacy occurs when someone makes a comment about what the future will be like and then says: ‘therefore we should be doing (insert something here)…’ The 21st century skills argument is exactly … More The Future Fallacy
Dichotomy: A division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different OED I keep seeing references from people, too numerous to mention, that traditional and progressive can happily co-exist as, in reality, it is a false dichotomy. There is a problem in this argument and that is tradition … More Tradition vs Progress: a True Dichotomy