The Age of the Expert

This is The Age of the Expert
The Expert knows just what to do
The Expert has got all the answers
And the answers are sure to be true.

This is The Age of the Expert
When science and evidence rule
The Expert will judge your decisions
And tell you what’s wrong with your school.

This is The Age of the Expert
The time when outsiders know best
You might be the one at the sharp end
But the Expert has done all the tests.

This is The Age of the Expert
Crying “context” is not going to wash
If you say that all children are different
The Expert will tell you that’s tosh.

This is The Age of the Expert
And the Expert must always be right
So please step aside for the Expert
There’s no need to put up a fight.

Don’t say that you know that your children
Won’t learn like the Expert has said
That’s ignoring the truth of the Expert
It’s a dangerous path that you tread.

Don’t say that this won’t work where you are
Or it’s not what you wanted to do
You’re making the foolish assumption
That the Expert would listen to you.

Don’t say that you want to do something
That cannot be measured or proved
If you’re planning to go with your instincts
We’ll just have to have you removed.

And me? Well I’m just an Imposter
I don’t really know what to do
I can give you ideas that I’ve thought of
But I won’t say those ideas are true.

And me? Well I’ve been round the block now
I’ve figured some strategies out
But I’m not going to tell you they’re perfect
For I’m happy to live life in doubt.

And me? If you call me an Expert
I’ll wince but I will not agree
‘Cos the day that I say I’m an Expert
Is the day that I lost sight of me.

It is you in the room with the children
It’s to you that you have to stay true
So don’t fall for the hype of the Expert
‘Cos the expert, in your classroom, is you.

This entry was posted in Children, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Age of the Expert

  1. Keith Havers says:

    My sentiments entirely. Brilliant. I love it.


  2. Jennifer Elisa says:

    Really enjoyed this! Great ideas here!


  3. Yes! Randomly saw Malcolm Gladwell’s TED talk the other day, where he mentioned how we’re moving away from an era of ‘searching for universals’ towards a (much needed and more sophisticated) understanding of variability. Exciting trends me thinks! Looking forward to education catching up because THAT will be the end of the ivory tower ‘thou shalt do as I say’ (even though I’ll never meet you or your students ) ‘expert’ talking about ‘truths’. The world’s moving past that now, the trend started in other fields 10-15 years ago.


  4. Absolutely wonderfully perfect prose Sue. The last sentence pulling it all together brilliantly. Thanks for sharing


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