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Sat Mar 14, 2015, 09:11 AM

In the Age of Inequality, We Must Rethink the Education Status Quo


In the Age of Inequality, We Must Rethink the Education Status Quo

Friday, 13 March 2015 00:00
By Ruth Boyask, The Conversation | News Analysis


A new generation is starting their working life in an age of inequality. The income of 22 to 30-year-olds is projected to be 7.6% lower in 2014-15 than it was in 2007-8, according to new analysis of median incomes from the Institute for Fiscal Studies. But they estimate incomes will be 2.5% lower for those aged 31 to 59. And now messages about the problems of inequality from the spheres of global finance and economics are converging on a similar path.

There has been a recognition among many prominent financial organisations, institutions and economists that unrestrained capitalism is the source of the world's widening economic inequality. Resolution lies in a fairer distribution of material and cultural resources among the less well-off in society.

For some time, researchers have recognised how education systems sustain and reproduce these material and culture inequalities. In a blog post last year on the educational entitlement of troubled and troublesome young people for the British Educational Research Association's (BERA) project Respecting Children and Young People, education researcher Pat Thomson claimed:

Educational researchers, many now derided and dismissed out of hand, have systematically documented how particular curriculum, pedagogies and assessment practices combine with the administrative processes of schooling to produce and reproduce both educational privilege and disadvantage. The same system leads to both success and failure.


Derision of messages from educational researchers by politicians such as the former education secretary Michael Gove seem symptomatic of a deeper malaise in public life. .......................(more)

http://truth-out.org/news/item/29637-in-the-age-of-inequality-we-must-rethink-the-education-status-quo




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Reply In the Age of Inequality, We Must Rethink the Education Status Quo (Original post)
marmar Mar 2015 OP
swilton Mar 2015 #1
Igel Mar 2015 #2

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Mar 14, 2015, 01:51 PM

1. We (and the planet)

 

will never get the best and the brightest if only those who can afford an education receive an education. The Bush brothers is example A of what family influence gets you for an education and by extension control of the political process. The social Darwinism (the notion that only the cream of the crop rise to the top academically and financially) is a paradigm long perpetuated by US mass culture and it is suffocating the planet.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Mar 14, 2015, 02:15 PM

2. It's a report on a manifesto.

It means far less than it sounds likes.

The writers, like most manifesto writers, have a serious ego problem. It basically says, "We are all important: We are the Great Social Engineers and responsible for all the world's evils." The problem is that's not the case, and by making self-important claims we educators allow everybody else to chime in and say, "Yes, it is entirely your responsibility, so leave us out of it."

Some of the claims and calls are also just pomo ludicrous. Including a broader definition of evidence, for instance. Or making sure that we teach what students say they need. (Keeping in mind that the narrower standard for evidence said that people ignorant of a discipline really have no way of judging what's necessary for that discipline. But in an age where we spend time accommodating every opinion, however senseless, as long as its ideologically appropriate and then complain that we don't have enough resources ... What else can be expected?)

Other calls and claims focus so much on outcomes that they ignore inputs. That's always a recipe for disaster.

And others are so busy accommodating various opinions that they overlook that they'd very likely perpetuate cycles of what they'd call discrimination and oppression if proposed by those not ideologically like-minded. Vocational programs typically serve not the students of college-educated prosperous families but children of lower-class, less educated parents. While I think vocational programs are the way to go for many kids, I can't help but note this irritating little fact: It provides a means for social mobility from the bottom 20% to the second or third 20% from the bottom, but doesn't affect that stat that everybody obsesses about--the social mobility from the bottom to the top 5% or top 10%. (Of course, we only obsess about that fact when it's convenient. To be honest, I'd be happy as punch to see more kids move from the bottom 10% to the 30-40% interval ... Even though that means more kids would move from the lower-mid levels down to that bottom 10%. Sort of the dirty secret about that bottom 10%: There's always going to be one. It's like the #2 in Al-Qa'ida in Iraq--there's always going to be a #2 if there's a #1 and a #3).

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