Loss of faith does not necessarily come in one blinding, revelatory light on the road from Damascus, or indeed, on the road from anywhere. It can be a nagging, insidious doubt that blossoms into full blown heresy only after many years of service and commitment, when, looking back, you scratch yourself and wonder what ‘that’ was all about, after all. I have been involved in formal education for over thirty years, more than half of that time in the capacity of Head, and like many pillars of the community I look at the results, and more importantly the consequences, of our education system and wonder at my part in its demise. For despite any amount of government hype it is failing our society, and no amount of grade inflation or course manipulation can disguise the fact that too many of our young people are in freefall.
‘Overschooled but Undereducated’ is unashamedly a synthesis, a deliberate attempt to destroy the narrow interpretations placed upon education by governments of all political persuasion. John Abbott charts these interpretations, and by drawing together the various threads that make up the rich tapestry we call society, he provides the broader context for our understanding of how and why we learn as a species. It is wonderfully subversive simply because it makes so much sense.
However, it is not merely ‘a good read’, or even a cautionary tale, it is a call to arms. Must we really wait until every child achieves top scores – can jump through hoops – before the moral bankruptcy of our educational system is realised? I hope not, because it may take many years before the logic of government policy reaches its apogee…
… and just think of the damage that could be done by then.
Thank you John, count me in.