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Schumacher on Education? #EducationReform #PublicSchools #PrivateSchooling #Election2024

Thinking that my own is somewhat lacking in the area (& with an election imminent), I’ve done cursory research into the subject today.

“Downloaded this on Saturday…oh boy as an extrapolation of Schumacher’s work it’s awful…on the briefest of inspections one can see that inequality is not stated as necessitating change…Schumachians talk about economy based on a balance of forces but this document strikes one as neoliberalist apologism for a market lead education system that is seen as simply needing reform…as such it’s typical of the bi-polar approach that characterises the struggle for sustainability as a simple either/or choice and takes no account of the need to transform the lives of billions of working people for how can that be achieved without a more equitable (socialised and communised as well as individualised), education system? Competition in the wider economy (a necessary component of the emergence of economy -not “new” an economy is an efficiency if it wasn’t before then you cannot call it an “economy”-), must, therefore, be present within the various educational institutions. Surely this biodiversity is the only way? This doc. reads like “our shite don’t smell” middle class apologism. I was hoping for better, I’ll try and find out more about what E.F said.” From email to fellow UNITE Community member.


Howard Kirk historymanbbc300

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I only skimmed the PDF and checked out who was cited. No freire, no Illich, plenty of bought-and-sold NGOs and UN subsidiaries. Sadly education, and especially higher/further level, is geared to perceived economic needs, and not much else.

A coming government could set out an agenda for not allowing humanities, in particular, to become so ghettoised and unsupported.

I suspect at the level of primary/secondary schooling any attempts at reform would be laughed out of court. “Go open your own academy if you feel that strongly about it”. And some people have done so, though there’s a tendency toward religious affiliation as a way of selection.

Deschooling, and rural-based “skills for survival” would make a lot of sense but are liable to attract the adverse attention of the State: breeding grounds for misfits and weirdos ( in their bigoted view). An enormous shame but the battle was lost a long time ago now.

The Student Loans system accelerates the tendency toward vocational studies, dismantling that would be a good idea to help save the less popular (read “employable”) courses.

A mathematician friend and I exchanged emails this weekend. She’s a senior lecturer but has thrown in the towel. Statisticians and actuaries can still proffer “employability” but Pure Mathematics (her field is Topology) is dying. (She is in her thirties I might add, potentially thirty or more years of research that now won’t happen.)

tl;dr: churning out pliable and obedient parts for the system, and a supply of enforcers, aka the Professional Managerial class, is the best that current system offers. With bullying and exclusion thrown in.

The happiest days of our lives eh.

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