I am both idealist and realist. For there is no point in ideals if they cannot be realised.
Jacob (Jake) Barrie Gordon

Jake Gordon

Disabling Education System

7 October 2003

In the long run, I want to be a teacher. I want to be a teacher for many reasons, but partly want to change a failing system from the inside-out.

“The British education system today [1984, mind] probably harms more people than it helps… To be a pupil in a large school is a strange experience… organizationally, the secondary school is not organized around the pupil as worker but around the pupil as product. That so many come through it, smiling, grateful and grown up is a tribute to the dedication of many teachers who impose their humanity and personality on those huge processing-plants [schools]. But many do not come through so well They leave alienated by an institution that seems to them oppressive, irrelevant and dismissive of their possible contributins to the world. Truly, for them, it is a disabling system.

“Why… do we have an assessment system so biased towards one dimension… could there not be more multidimensional assessment, more tests in which ‘celver’ did not always mean ‘best’?

“Why is co-operation (even called ‘cheating’) so frowned upon in education when work is always organized around co-operating, sharing groups? Do schools falsely encourage an individualist approach to work because that suits their examination system?

“The education system has outlived the society which created it…“

(pp. 133-138), Charles Handy (1985) ‘The Future of Work’, Oxford: Basil Blackwell


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by Jake Gordon, some rights reserved