Monday, December 29, 2003

Educational ideals

Richard rightly points to some of the actual outcomes of education and makes them a question of purpose. It is possible to address the same question the other way round and look at some of the ideals that education has, and then ask whether they can possibly be served by things that go on in the education service.

I am particularly interested in the ideals of independence and the ability to be critical of the received wisdom. Many such education ideals are addressed by leadership and example rather than explicit teaching, and the governments consistent rubbishing of teachers and the imposition of policies against the advice of teachers leads to students learning that it is not safe to have their own independent views: the POSIWID is clearly to do what you are told. Richard and I have noticed that it is very difficult to get students to take a properly independent stance (critical distance) in describing the business practices they interact with.

More positively I have noticed that where teachers are effective leaders, obviously acting with an element of free thinking, then the response of good students is instant and dramatic.

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