Beth Fine

Educational Fiction Author – Serious Thinker – Child at Heart

“We Don’t Need No Education”

Pink Floyd’s prophecy of “We Don’t Need No Education” has played out in reality out over the last four decades. Now, when I consider what has happened in American public education is mirrored in England as well, the song may actually be sadly prophetic.

What struts around calling itself “academic achievement” I describe as throwing the baby out with the bath water; discarding all the things that made cultures strong. Current pedagogy has kicked out all mention of faith, adopted secular values, touted political correctness, and produced a crap crop of human beings. This unfortunate harvest unfit for industry or intellectual pursuits appears poorly positioned for responsible citizenry and leadership. How sad for us all– these individuals included!

When searching online for others who have grown weary of society’s failing educational mantras, I stumbled upon articles about Sir Michael Wilshaw of Manchester, England. His analysis of the current state of western education made me feel an instant camaraderie. He is an applier of real pedagogy rather than one who carries a clipboard thinking up new acronyms, feeding students pabulum, retreading old social programs that never worked at all. We have “done ourselves in” by refusing to open our eyes and acknowledge the bells ringing in our heads are giving real warning to the decay of education. By tippy-toeing around political correctness, multiculturalism, and disadvantaged populations, we have been expected to subjugate our individuality to “group think” as mediocre as it is. We are forbidden to express our faith and must adopt more useful secular values like abortion on demand as we tout educational advances like creative spelling,

Sir Wilshaw’s aggressive “tough” love approach to remedying the situation has not gone without complaint from recalcitrant school bureaucrats. He promotes a “return to traditional subjects, strong discipline, extended school days and no excuses.” His approach has already improved the lives of countless English children. He has concentrated on “pupils behavior, teacher quality, and children’s reading. He seems to waste no time placating stubborn teachers who have cranked out students that by age 15 are already behind their Chinese counterparts in math by two years.

His success between 1985 to 2003 of turning around St. Bonaventure’s Catholic Boys School won him knighthood. His work from 2003 to 2011 at Mossbourne Academy in Hackney brought him a promotion to chief schools inspector of Ofsted. Already in his mid-60s, he shows no signs of slowing down and sees how long-ignored  problems in education need radical surgery rather than therapeutic tweaking.

Although my series is a commercial venture, I want freely to spread the news of philanthropists and educators who are investing heavily in the world’s future. So check out some of the links and follow anything that jumps out you. That may signal an unseen connection to your own quest for answers?


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