Wednesday, April 04, 2007

How to be an education expert (and warrior)

This is by Mercurius Goldstein (what's in a name ... right!) posted over at Larvatus Prodeo. Keep it coming MG.

Mercurius says:
Well, here’s my review of “Dumbing Down”. Actually it’s a review I wrote for Dr D’s last book, but I’ve since found you can use to review everything he’s ever written. It’s a kind of meta-review.


You too can enjoy the public acclaim and consultancy fees that come with being an education expert! Just follow this prescription for success and a government grant can’t be far behind…

1. There is a crisis in education - your business depends upon it. Take every opportunity you can to point out the crisis in education. Think of it as advertising.

2. Teachers are Marxists. Teachers who deny they are Marxists are postmodern Marxists, which is worse.

3. Postmodernism is a world-view that makes it impossible for people to see that you are right. Postmodernism causes teenagers to challenge authority and spell badly. Before postmodernism, these problems did not exist.

4. There aren’t enough men in teaching. And by men, I mean real men, not these postmodern Marxist nancy-boys you see flouncing about our public schools (there’s something suspicious about them…). Be careful not to make too much of this however, because men will demand the same salaries they can get in other professions.

5. Repeat after me: repetition works. Studies have shown that a claim becomes true if you say it over and over again without listening to any alternative suggestions. Studies have shown that a claim becomes true if you say it over and over again without listening to any alternative suggestions. Try to make your claims truer than everybody else’s.

6. Paying for private education is a noble act of self-sacrifice, made by parents without any thought for the future social or material benefits that may result. Parents who send their kids to private schools love their children more and are better people than public-school parents. If public-school parents only loved their children more, they would be able to afford a private education for them.

7. Public schools are not failing enough students, and are heartlessly providing them with nothing but support and encouragement. Fortunately, there is lots parents can do to balance things up. Start by telling your child every morning what a disappointment they are to you, and provide them with years of shaming and criticism. This will result in a happy, well-adjusted individual ready to negotiate in the modern workplace.

8. Teachers are to blame for teenage delinquency, moral relativism, greengrocers’ apostrophes, multicultural policy and Leo Sayer’s comeback. However, to give credit where it’s due, we should remember that when young Australians make great achievements, or grow up to be decent individuals holding down a job and raising a family, it is all thanks to their parents.

9. In the modern classroom, students don’t do any real work. Instead, they get given namby-pampy “assignments” where all they have to do is think of a topic, find research materials, form a logical argument based on the evidence and make a persuasive presentation to their classmates. But since they do all that without copying anything down from the blackboard, they haven’t really learnt anything, have they?

10. The golden rule: If you ever let anybody think that Australian education is doing well, they won’t give you any gold to fix it.

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At 8:11 pm, Anonymous Riccardo said...

Donnelly is an idiot, but I always remember what a friend of mine, a Greens Executive member and lawyer said over drinks one night "Competitive external examination and rote learning worked for me"

Having a rigourous traditional education system provides a stake in the gronud which is not going to move, that kids can have confidence in and plan towards.

Anything else, scoring using assignments or other fluffies just doesn't work, provides arbitrary outcomes and only postpones the day when kids must face the unfairness of the world.


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