I have to admit that I am just about at the end of my tether with all the talk of education being used as a form of social engineering. Not only are teachers expected to ‘narrow the gap’ between rich and poor, they must also make children more ‘resilient’, fill them up with ‘grit’, ensure they ‘attain mastery’, make ‘expected levels of progress’, develop a ‘growth mindset’, and end up with the right kind of ‘character’. This can all be done (apparently) by having a ‘no excuses culture’, avoiding the dreaded ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’ and feeding them plenty of ‘intellectually rigorous’ novels written by dead white men. Clearly this can only be achieved with a Traditional approach, invoking the God of Data, using Direct Instruction, and studying the Research to find out which method must be used. Taken together, this will all ensure that the dreaded Progressives do not succeed in their evil and fiendish plan to take over the world. Oh, and it’s totally crucial that children learn their 12 times tables as well. This is so far removed from life as I live it, that I sometimes have to pinch myself to remind myself that I actually exist.
I’m taking a break from Twitter at the moment. I was genuinely worried that I might not be able to keep biting my tongue; that I might not be able to stop myself from saying what I really think about a lot of this stuff. That I might just end up shouting: YOU DON’T GET TO SAY WHAT KIND OF CHARACTER THE REST OF US HAVE! Back here in the real world, I have been digging, and planting, and writing, and tidying up the garage. We’ve had a massive spring clean and it feels great. Truly, it’s amazing how much time it frees up when you’re not busy Raging against the Machine. I’ll be back after the Election, when the Battle of the Soundbites will hopefully have dissipated. In the meantime, as Bill and Ted once memorably said:
“Be excellent to each other
And … PARTY ON, DUDES.”