Monday, June 8, 2009

Edubabble in Action

The Times of London reports that the language of managerial bureaucracy and corporatism is infiltrating the British school system in an article entitled: "Edubabble is turning British schoolchildren into customers." If you understand this sentence, then you might be a bureaucrat in the ministry for the management of learning outcomes and social engineering: "Performativity is forcing curriculum deliverers to focus on desired outputs among customers in managed learning environments." All over Britain, apparently, little boy and girls, when asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" now reply "A curriculum deliverer in a managed learning environment."

The article goes on to say that,

"Edu-babble has become so common that it earns censure today in a review of education led by professors at the University of Oxford. Their report criticises the “Orwellian language seeping through government documents of performance management and control that has come to dominate educational deliberation and planning”."

The report also blames (surprise!) the government:

"It claims that ministers’ micro-management of schools and colleges has resulted in a narrow curriculum, teaching to the test, and a high number of disaffected teenagers not in education, employment or training.

The report says: “The increased central control of education brings with it the need for a management perspective, and language of performance management — for example, levers and drivers of change, and public service agreements as a basis of funding. The consumer or client replaces the learner. The curriculum is delivered. Stakeholders shape the aims. Aims are spelt out in terms of targets. Audits measure success defined in terms of hitting targets. Cuts in resources are euphemistically called ‘efficiency gains’. Education becomes that package of activities (or inputs) largely determined by government.”

It adds: “As the language of performance and management has advanced, so we have lost a language of education which recognises the intrinsic value of pursuing certain sorts of questions, of trying to make sense of reality, of seeking understanding, of exploring through literature and the arts what it means to be human.” "

It is noteworthy that it is the party of socialism, not the party of capitalism, which is responsible for introducing the language of business enterprises into schools, where it has no business being.

In a related story, Boys to Get Credit Cards for Condoms, The Times describes the latest scheme hatched by the managers of schools, uh, er, managed learning environments, to increase sexual activity among children. Boys as young as 12 will be given "credit cards" that can be used to pick up condoms at barber shops, football grounds and scout huts so they can be spared the embarassment of buying them in a drugstore. And if you can imagine the backward and pessimestic thinking of some people, we are told that:

" . . . critics believe it will encourage children to be sexually active from a younger age."

How cynical can you be? I mean, just because . . .

"Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe and the government has failed in its pledge to halve rates of pregnancy in girls under the age of 18."

One supposes that in the Orwellian world of Labour Party social engineering masquarading as education the encouragement of schoolchildren to engage in recreational sex would be described as "mitigating the consequences of pleasure seeking" and sleeping around would be "experimenting with novel social interactions." Oh, and in this parallel universe, raising the teen pregnancy rate is known as "cutting it in half."

Labour's motto: If what has been done for the past 12 years has failed spectacularly, do more of it more diligently. As Gordon Brown and the Labour Party implode, one can only hope that the next election will destroy the party completely once and for all. That would be a "desired outcome" to be fervently desired, along with the ending of centralized government control of education.

1 comment:

Allan R. Bevere said...


A great post.