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on 7 October 2010
This is an accessible and well written analysis of education policy in the UK over the last 100 years. It provides a searing indictment of the mess that politicians of all parties have made of education provision in general. It details the damaging effect of their various interventions in curriculum and exposes the thin gruel of the educational diet to which so many of our children have been exposed. The vested interest of the ruling elite in protecting private education is exposed. We have allowed education to become a commodity. The value of this commodity is measured by the extent to which is enables the rich to buy competitive advantage for their children at the expense of the rest of society. It is shaming. The adoption of creative approaches to teaching and learning proposed in the book continue to be seen as eccentric behaviour within our schools. The way we train our teachers, design our schools and measure and compare achievement between children is designed to promote conformity and strategic rather than deep learning. How the UK establishment thinks it will develop a competitive economy based on current educational practice is a complete mystery to me.
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on 19 April 2010
This scholarly and persuasive work complements and reinforces much of what has been argued in Wot, No School?Wot, No School?: How Schools Impede Education by Jonathan Langdale and John Harrison.

The 'Might-have-been' had Comenius come to England in the 17th century rather than going to Finland is fascinating to contemplate. The disastrous [intended?] consequence of reducing the age at which primary education ends to eleven in 1902 is a salutory reminder of the harm that unthinking snobbery and prejudice can effect.

To quote Ivan Illyich: 'The result of the curriculum production process looks like any other modern staple. It is a bundle of planned meanings, a package of values, a commodity whose balanced appeal makes it marketable to a sufficiently large number to justify the cost of production. Consumer-pupils are taught to make their desires conform to marketable values. Thus they are made guilty if they do not behave according to the predictions of consumer research by getting the grades and certificates that will place them in the job category they have been led to expect.' [Deschooling Society]

Read these books if you know that we must change the way we educate our young.
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on 17 January 2016
good read
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