I'm not sure it gets to people as much as it gets to me, but the more we seem to learn the more and more corrupt, political and totally opposite to what I thought it was, education becomes. I used to see it as fun, fascinating, magical; learn for the sake of learning; learn what you found interesting. I wanted to believe that people were being taught for the sake of teaching people about all those wonderful things out there in the world. I think I was very naive.
I've recently handed in an essay on the effects of marketisation on education, and just had a lecture on the effects of globalisation. And it just gets to me. I enjoyed tests and exams because I had plenty of time to draw and daydream, and I found the material interesting...but I had started to find it annoying that I couldn't learn something without someone then testing if by chance what I learnt from the course would answer one of a few questions just the way they want it to...there is more to learning than that, but the education system doesn't really focus on that. And I know, testing and exams help see the progress students are making, helps you to see how much they understand, helps to judge if a school or university is doing it's job...but how much do they REALLY test all that stuff?
There were a couple of interesting quotes on the slides in my lecture today which I wanted to share, and then my rant is over.
"The obsession with standards risks alienating creative teacher and stultifying classroom practice" (Phillips & Harper-Jones, 2003: 130)
"We are creating hordes of smart conformists. They know what they have to do to get ahead, but they have little understanding of why they do what they are doing." (Brown, 2006: 393)
"A 'variety of classroom practices aimed at improving test results' have 'distorted the education of some children'" (The Children, Schools and Families Committee, 2008: 3)
"We have embraced dullness, and so close are we to it, we do not even see what has happened" (Seldon, in Davies, 2009: 9).
I'm kind of not sure about the whole education thing at the moment, and feel more and more as if I haven't gotten out of it what I wanted...but then I don't really know what it was I wanted anymore...