Thursday, 12 January 2017

Thank You Sara Holbrook!

I emerge from this article in the Huffington Post praising the Lord.

Even though I don't have a Lord. If I did, it would be a blackbird. Or a squirrel, or a hazel tree. Or summat.

But the point is, here is off-the-page truth.

Who would dispute the huge money-pot of education? It's ripe to be plucked out of everyone's pockets in guise of public taxes and placed - via some crappy mythological testing regime - into the pockets of private companies. And Sara Holbrook explains lucidly and persuasively what the edu-business does to any practitioner working in fashioning an art from life; humanity from despair; wisdom from chaos.

So go and read that article. What America gets, we get, you can see it coming, creeping up on us everyday.

Now isn't it time we had some effective, powerful and strong voices from the world of mainstream education journalism helping us out?


Dave H said...

Some years ago there was a similar article about British authors whose works had been selected for English Literature exam papers. They sat the exams and their papers were marked as part of the normal system, and quite a few of them failed. One pointed out that they have a financial incentive not to say anything because having your work selected for an exam paper means more book sales. Despite that, at least one of them was somewhat uncomplimentary about it all.

Grit said...

Thanks for this, Dave; I would quite like to see noise from authors, parents and educationalists, with some pointed critique from journalists.

We have a progression here, to questions with one answer; it won't matter if the question is about metaphor or layers of meaning. One answer can be marked by machine as right or wrong.

But can we imagine literature - Of Mice and Men, for example - can be tested to the outcome of a set of single, correct answers? Dig tells me that texts that children write for Australia's NAPLAN Literacy test will be marked by machine from this year.

Dave H said...

I'm afraid my opinion of English Lit as it is currently examined is pretty low, and articles such as the Holbrook one only reinforce my view. My Google-fu is failing me, I can't find the piece I mentioned above.

I was lucky in that I did my O-levels at a school where English Language was compulsory but English Lit was an option, so I did metalwork instead. The set works we had to read up to that point were tedious even before we were expected to dissect them and deduce what the author had for breakfast the day she started chapter 13.

To go with all the people who used to proudly proclaim they couldn't program a video recorder, my equivalent dubious claim is that I've never read any Shakespeare. I'm aware of bits of it from popular reference but I've never sat down with a book. I don't remember any Dickens either, so the Lit community would probably consider me a lost cause anyway.