Education Clients

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I was reflecting recently that, in education, the client is not always right. When parents and stakeholders demand certain things of an education system, they are often at cross-purposes. For example, stakeholders such as businesses might inadvertently (or not-so-inadvertently) demand students that are overtrained and will be underpaid. Parents, of course, want their children to

The Core of Education

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Over the last few years, I’ve been exposed to many education debates. These debates have been about whether ‘holistic education’ is a viable educational concept, what an education ought to consist of, how educational results should be interpreted, how educational reform should be carried out and what its objectives should be, and many other related

IB Hardcore

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I’m always new to the International Baccalaureate (IB) system of education, although I’ve been studying it since 1998. But it strikes me that it is a philosophically rather well-constructed system. Although there are points about it that are debateable (‘universal’ systems seldom lack such points), the ideas therein on what elements together constitute a good

Departmentalism

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It is a sad but enduring truth that sometimes some people think of a concept and then espouse it without considering the concomitant problems. One of those concepts is holism, or an holistic education (which is one of the many kinds of holism on sale these days). In several of my previous posts, I have

Complaining about Systems of Education (Part 2)

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The previous post was a basic analysis of why systems of mass education always lead to mass complaints. John Gatto calls such systems ‘weapons of mass instruction’. This post is about the real situation that some think is a problem. The point is not that such systems are bad, but that even if the system

Complaining about Systems of Education (Part 1)

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As the population density rises, the habit of complaining about the system of education also rises. This is silly, but also unavoidable given the essential silliness of human nature. Let me explain. In ancient Greece, the concept of paideia was used to indicate ‘the art of bringing up children’ (from paidion, ‘a child’, genderless noun).

Modern Education: The One Best/Worst System

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Over the last few years, I’ve been on a steady diet of books like Tyack & Cuban’s Tinkering Toward Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform (Harvard, 1995) and its precursor work, Tyack’s 1974 opus The One Best System: A History of American Urban Education, Low & Johnston’s Singapore Inc.: Public Policy Options in the

How To Read The News

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There are three main kinds of news that you might end up reading — and by the way, you might want to reflect on why I am confining myself to text media. The two important kinds are emergent phenomena that are of consequence (i.e. there will be sequelae with impact) and abnormal phenomena that have

COPS

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Sometimes, people ask me stuff like, “What is the model on which you base your ideas about curriculum planning and development?” To be honest, I don’t have one of those name-branded models. I’ve read too much stuff to attribute my ideas to specific researchers or specific models. What I think is a reasonable answer is

Coaching

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I’ve met a number of coaches throughout my chequered career. They fall into a few types which bear mentioning. 1. “I am your father!” No, you’re not. This kind of coach has a fatherhood complex which makes him want to treat you as his son. It is perfectly OK to treat your charges in loco parentis –