Education make you fick, innit?

What’s gone wrong in England’s schools, colleges and universities
and how to start putting it right

Martin Allen and Patrick Ainley

This book links teachers and students in schools, colleges and universities to ask what has happened to education in a mass system of lifelong learning from primary to postgraduate schooling. It explains how allegations of ‘dumbing down’ and deskilling contrast with claims of rising standards for a world class workforce, showing how education has become the main means of social control in an increasingly divided and self-destructive society. Rather than emancipating the minds of future generations, education forecloses their possibilities. In this sense, Education Make You Fick, Innit?

Ainley and Allen argue that to understand how this occurred and what can be done about it, the system has to be understood as a whole. What is happening in schools makes sense only in relation to similar systems of and control in FE and HE where privatisation in particular is in many ways more advanced. They detail successive perversions of the comprehensive ideal for schools to the latest ‘personalisation’ agenda that stretches across the new raised leaving age of 18, showing how competition and control combine to set institutions and individuals against one another in a market for inflated qualifications. They reject the relentless testing and selection of students in prolonged training that still does not guarantee employment.

From their experience of teaching and researching in schools, FE and HE, the authors call for democratic control to reverse privatisation and maintain free provision so as to remain true to the Enlightenment ideal of understanding society in order to change it.

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ISBN 1872767672

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