A few months ago I attended an event at my former school. I had a very nice time with old friends, and was moved to write a little treatise about education for my loyal readers here (aMToNW). Like most of my homework, I have still not finished it, and will probably end up with an E. In fact, until tonight I have not started it. Might have started once and discarded it. The dog might have eaten it. Who knows?
Anyway, when I turned on the electric radio this afternoon, the idiot Gove was on - for a very long time indeed. I do not understand why the BBC (for it was they) believed that anyone apart from Mr Gove and his family had any interest whatsoever in what Mr Gove had to say. I doubt whether his family find him interesting, in fact, but I hope that in the interests of humanity that someone is fond of him, even if he is an unlikely recipient of love.
One of the real reasons that I did not finish the essay alluded to above was the fear that I could not summarise my feelings in what is acceptable in a blog. I don’t like reading long blogs, and expect that many of us are of the “tl;dr” persuasion.
Let me try to be precise.
Gove is an arse. He knows fuck all about education. I sometimes find myself agreeing with parts of what he says, but then realise that he must be wrong because he is an arse.
My headmaster, E. Sprope, knew lots about education. He knew (belief is not a strong enough term to describe his conviction) that if you provided young people with an environment in which they were supported and encouraged, they would succeed. In essence, human beings are fundamentally good. I tried to thank him for what he had done for me, but he countered with the view that I had done it myself. To argue with him would have been to contradict his underlying principles. The smart arse.
What else do you need? Well, young Johann wrote this nice essay the other day. Have a good read. It is very good. I was tempted to steal it and present it as my own work, but you know that even if I have a quarter of the ability to write this well, I seldom have the inclination.
To sum up, children are generally nice. If you love and respect them they will flourish, and become the sort of people we want to live among. It might be good if, during their school years, they learned a few skills to help them function in the world. Maybe stuff like being able to count, read, write, enjoy learning, present their ideas clearly, perhaps even be clever enough to expand the limits of our knowledge. Beyond that, I don’t care much. My view is that we have more than enough accountants, bankers, marketers, salesmen, entrepreneurs (some people use that word as if it is a good thing, ffs!), and Goves.
I think that was pretty much it.
*** My headmaster was not really called E. Sprope, that was his sobriquet in our semi-underground student magazine. His name is Andrew Finch. He is by far the most intelligent person I have ever met. I hope he lives healthily and happily for at least another 90 years, and is recognised for the fine human being that he is.