Monday 21 July 2008

Small Can of Worms Reopened

Well, as Malty observes in his comment, this post seems to have opened a small can of worms - thank you, everybody who's commented. I think, to return to the subject with a little more perspective, what goes on in schools is not that different from what goes on in a wide range of institutions that have programmed out, and lost sight of, their primary purpose. This is down to a variety of factors which cluster round the pseudoscience of 'management' and misguided 'professionalising' (via irrelevant or worse academic qualifications), and which have the effect of creating a self-servicing bureaucracy devoted to box-ticking in various forms, its collective gaze turned firmly inward on its own workings, so that whatever gets done by way of the institution's primary purpose is done in spite of, rather than because of, the institution. The NHS is a prime example of this process at work - patients get in the way of the smooth running of the hospital, just as pupils get in the way of the smooth running of the school - and, as with schools, the widespread failure to fulfil its primary purpose(nurse, heal etc) has particularly damaging and lasting effects.
But it's all right really - this government has assured us repeatedly that we have the best teachers ever, teaching the best pupils ever, in the best schools ever.


  1. Whenever I tell people that I hate the very notion of 'professionalism', they look at me as though I'm odd. Yet there's a difference between being good at a job because you know it from the inside, so to speak, and pretending that you know how to do a job because you inhabit the uniform of the career professional. My best teachers were always the least professional and the most human.

  2. Mine too - well said Dick.