Angst over the state of education never goes away:
Much more important is the way we seem to have turned away from the very idea of education that sustains a healthy, vibrant liberal democracy. As I write this I am conscious of how unfashionable it sounds. However, there has been a steady erosion of the notion that education can and should fuel our individual ability to think critically about the world as we find it – which requires knowledge and understanding of how the world has come to be. We are swamped with a language of targets, skills and 21st century ‘learning to learn’, but have forgotten what it is that distinguishes learning (a word that now seems to carry huge weight and always deemed a good thing in itself, when clearly it is not) from education. All worthwhile education is, in the end self-education, based on the student’s curiosity, their need to know and readiness to rise to the challenge of finding out. Indeed, offering challenge to young people is one way to motivate them – so different from today’s orthodoxy which says we should make learning accessible, bite-sized and achievable by all.
These guys write from England, however, and they write from the vantage point of teaching geography and having just published their book on how better to teach geography.
See their take on what geography teachers should be teaching about Haiti right now.