Another thought provoking post from Old Andrew.
Of course, the politicians who dictate educational policy have generally not been exposed to it whilst at school themselves, having been privately educated, and they rarely subject their own children to it. So playing around with education policies is perfectly viable – because if it all goes wrong, it’s someone else’s education you jeopardise, not your own.
I find much of the contribution from politicians to the education debate in this country utterly pointless. So many political types simply do not realise how the system works or what is going on. Here are the key points I want politicians to take on board.
1) Education is an ideological battleground. There are fundamental differences of value in education over the basic aims. There is simply no point in claiming to want to move beyond “tired, old debates” or to replace values with “evidence”. Debate will always come down to ends in a way it doesn’t in, say, medicine. In the words of Chesterton (1910):
Now in bodily ills there is none of this difference about the ultimate ideal. The patient may or may not want quinine; but he certainly wants health No one says “I am tired of this headache; I want some toothache,” or “The only thing…
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