I woke up yesterday to the news from the USA feeling angry! Why I was angry I am still not sure. It seems irrational to feel like this about something for which I had no say. So why anger? I have spent my working life of over 40 years in education, firstly as a Primary school teacher, then headteacher in three different schools and finally as a Local Authority adviser to schools. For the most part, I was teaching in areas which could be defined as deprived in one sense or another. The children were hungry and deprived both physically and culturally. I struggled from my middle class standpoint to understand what their lives were like and how alien the world of schooling was to them. Even the silence of the classroom was a strange phenomenon coming from a home where life was conducted at several decibels above that of a train station at rush hour. With my dedicated colleagues, we tried to show these children that learning coukd be fun, exciting and also self enhancing. The satisfaction of completing a piece if work above initial expectations felt good for both pupil and teacher. We tried and often failed as we watched those lives descend into crime or failure at times and rarely to see success. We tried desperately to bend the system to meet their needs. I have seen that system narrow further and further to one where education has been replaced with training for skills which are no longer relevant in our world. As someone said on the radio this morning, Our leaders are using the politics of the 19th century, the technology of the 20th century to solve the issues of the 21st century. Just as in education we are teaching the skills which were relevant to the 19th century to teach the children, many of whom will live into the 22nd century!
so why anger? Well today the day after the day after, I feel that my career of trying to dispel ‘ignorance’ has been a waste if time as we now live in a world where that ‘ignorance’ is valued above education. This suits the leadership elite, who want to keep the masses ‘ignorant’. Despite the empty promise of social mobility, the leaders do not want mass education, as it would challenge their position as leaders. So they keep the world of ‘education’ for the elite and offer a watered down increasingly irrelelevant training regime to the masses. God forbid they should ever really be “educated” enough to understand how duped they are.
So I am angry that people like Trump are able to win votes on lies and false promises which they have no intention of delivering….the poor will be poorer and the rich elite will be safer and richer in a world which keeps them in power.
One other thing, as Trump steps into the White House today to shake the hands of a man he does not have the right to even kiss his shoe, will Michelle Obama absent herself? I hope so. No one should greet him as an equal. He is the worst of humanity and should be treated as such….sorry but anger still rules this morning!