EDUCATION - The Social/Academic Axis 1993
The Social/Academic Axis within the education system, if not correctly balanced can cause a fragmentation within the school community which is then carried on into society at large.
When we send our children to school we expect them to receive a good education, but apart from learning the educational curriculum they will also learn behavioural patterns which will influence them for the rest of their lives.
These behavioural patterns will not only be learnt from the other children but from the teachers themselves and during their twelve years of education they will be subjected to a lot of these subliminal influences.
They will learn collective attitudes to authority, peer group competitiveness combined with influences from their teachers transferred without thought or intent.
Erosion of Working Class ValuesMiddle class values dictate that academic excellence is the life goal which children should aim for. This includes concentrating on passing exams with excellent grades to gain access to further education and ultimately University.
The by-product of this is the alienation of working class values and dissuading pupils from wanting basic work skills or visualising a future career in Industry, Engineering or other traditional working class areas.
Is our education system indoctrinating our children with the ideals of excellence and past literary glories instead of teaching them how to develop their own skills?
While it is generally accepted that children's behavioural patterns are moulded in their early pre-school years and are therefore primarily a parental responsibility this does not necessarily mean that it is impossible for schools to provide the solution and thereby save society the cost of social consequences later on.
Schools can no longer afford to turn their backs on the idle or the disenchanted. Children do not ask to be put into school, they are there by law.
Every child who fails in the education system is heading for one of society's problem areas that will eventually cost more money in the future whether it be in social care, state benefits or court cases.
Schools need increased resources so they can find solutions before they develop into forces which could create an even more fragmented society.
The origins of society are in its education system. If the education system is flawed, then society becomes flawed.
If the system is divisive, then society will become polarised and full of conflict.
If we are to get to grips with socially engineering a modern society then we must first find the solution to the problems within our schools by developing a more flexible approach to the individual needs of the pupils.
Handing pupils an academic dream and leaving them ill equipped to handle basic everyday life skills is only fulfilling half an education.
Education should be tailored to the needs of the children, not the children tailored to the requirements of the education system.
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