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The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education Paperback – 27 Jun 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (27 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415397014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415397018
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 426,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Kathryn Ecclestone is Professor of Post-Compulsory Education at Oxford Brookes University. She has written two best selling books on assessment, and is a member of the Assessment Reform Group and the editorial board for the Journal of Further and Higher Education.

Dennis Hayes is Visiting Professor in the Westminster Institute of Education, Oxford Brookes University. He is the editor and author of several books including The RoutledgeFalmer Guide to Key Debates in Education (2004).


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Yes! Let's get rid of the curriculum of the self!

Clearly, it took a lot of courage to write a book like this when one reads through it and can imagine what fellow tutors might feel who do not necessarily share your own point of view in the educational world.

The two Professors, Kathryn Ecclestone and Dennis Hayes, have produced a important work on educational policy and thinking here which, in my view, is much needed by giving some balance to the current debate on the future of education and the type of people we are producing for this first generation of 21st century.

So what is this `therapeutic education'? There is no one single definition from the authors but let's has a go- they write that:

`Therapy was once regarded as a cure or treatment for people who were disturbed or troubled or mentally ill.'

They continue `now the term has changed its meaning and become a positive value'. This is where I come into the discussion, reading the work as part of my PGCE studies and being genuinely affected by it because it covers much of what has concerned me about what is happening in education in the early part of this century.

Continuing their theme over 8 chapters looking at different areas, the first introductory chapter is entitled "In an emotional state". Here, the authors examine "how the government has come to sponsor therapeutic education as part of New Labour's approach to `social justice'" offering "examples of popular concern about emotional well-being and the therapeutic orthodoxies that underpin and reinforce this interest".
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If I'd read this book when it was first published I might have hated it. But the more I've read and learned (and written) about education the more convinced I've become that this book has it right. Reading it 2016 it feels like coming home - familiar, reassuring. I can only imagine the shock waves it must have produced on publication.

The case study approach the author's take is compelling and, although their take is necessarily partial, the case they build is damning. Every teacher should read this book.
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Format: Paperback
Pupils taught how to be happy, the front page of the Sunday Times (07/09/08) stares out at me. This American scheme backed by New Labour is to be introduced into our schools to, "immunise youngsters from getting the blues by educating them at a young age." We are also told that the programme will be shown on Tuesday at a government backed (no less) conference on "wellbeing".
We must combat this nonsense is the message in this excellent, incisive and groundbreaking book by Ecclestone and Hayes. It is a warning against the invidious creep of therapy into our education; inevitable they argue, as part of the UK therapy culture.
I agree that a dystopian modern world, where the credit crunch, sub-prime, Enron and junk bonds, failing banks and rising prices, is something to worry about. But to somehow go from this, to argue that the solution to all ills, is to increase therapy across the board in education, is crazy in the extreme. Committing as it does, the category error of getting an 'ought' from an 'is'. It is 'commonsense,' that it's all therapy now, 'innit', is the increasingly accepted chant by those that should know better.
This debate has a longish history going back through Furedi, Nolan, Lasch and beyond. The uniqueness of this book is that it encompasses the therapeutic turn in all aspects of UK education, and related fields of culture and work. This book conjures up my own personal demons. In my current research into the initial diagnosis of diabetes, the psychology component is scattered throughout with, 'well being' questionnaires, 'quality of life' statements, 'interventionist techniques' all aiming to make things better.
The book gives the first frisson of excitement since my time at the London Institute of Education with Michael Young, Basil Bernstein et al.
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Format: Paperback
This is a truly awful and profoundly worrying book, indicating a complete lack of understanding by the authors. As a teacher of 23 years experience I do hope that its potentially toxic influence will not reach too many aspiring teachers. Please spare yourself the effort of trudging through this poorly written material and look for something more inspiring instead - I recommend Ken Robinson.
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