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Some thoughts on the implications of technological change, and high levels of unemployment, on schools

“Mankind is in the middle of a revolution which has every prospect of making a more significant impact on our way of life than did the Industrial Revolution….. The end of the twentieth century is the mind stretching age of technological change; the ingenuity of mankind seems able to open doors that we hardly knew […]

Thesis 83 – Schools for Sale

Wanted… Sponsors for City Academies, a new form of state secondary school independent of local authority control.  A bargain too good to miss!  Two million pounds sponsorship will release a twenty-five million pound government grant.  Sponsors of three academies will be offered a fourth free-of-charge.1   To hear this in 2005 sounds bizarre.  And it […]

Thesis 79 – Driven to Confusion

If Man can’t live by bread alone, how should he live?  Huh… a difficult question, better ask a university!  “Sorry, that’s an imprecise question; do you want the Department of International Affairs, or Sociology, Biology, Economics, Anthropology, Pedagogy, or perhaps Theology?”  “Not really; I just want a summary of their conclusions”.  A long pause… “We […]

Thesis 78 – You Only Live Once

In a boom economy the temptation to immerse yourself in the opportunity of making it big time is irresistible.  What this means for the rest of our lives, the part that depends on firm personal relationships, continuity and stability, becomes acutely problematic1.   Increasingly the English seem to be living within a paradox.  While many […]

Thesis 77 – Global Market Places

Go-go capitalism operates as an ever-quickening treadmill.  None of our ancestors lived in such a complicated civilisation.  There are no precedents to guide us, no wisdom that wasn’t made for a simpler age.  We have changed our environment more quickly than we know how to change ourselves.   In times gone by self-sustaining communities with […]

Thesis 72 – Lost Dreams

The more parents urge schools to concentrate on the development of their children’s academic ability, the more schools concentrate on intellectual skills and examinations at the expense of other valuable activities.  When society itself is so deeply divided on issues of right and wrong it is virtually impossible to provide pupils with an effective moral […]

Thesis 71 – Fool’s Gold

“No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he had only had good intentions.  He had money as well (and) pennies don’t fall from Heaven, they have to be earned on earth.  (Let’s get this clear)… there is no such thing as Society; there are only individual men and women, and there are families”1.   […]

Thesis 70 – Muddled Thinking

“As you leave school I have one piece of advice to give you.  Develop at least two hobbies that have absolutely nothing to do with your career.  Work hard at your career, but stick even more closely to your hobbies — foster them, love them, and allow yourself to be intrigued by them.  Your greatest […]

Thesis 64 – Choirboys to Teddyboys

The “Janet and John”1 nuclear family of the post-war years was quickly overtaken by those who were born in the Great War2, schooled during the slump, conscripted in the Second World War, and rationed for years afterwards.  They would not willingly forego the security and comforts now within their grasp, in the hope of some […]

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