September 16, 2003
Take your pick: sovietisation or five star hotels

The Sovietisation meme is getting around:

Sports centres don't matter. Teachers do. A school is made or unmade by its teachers, and good teachers value the spirit in which they can teach more than sumptuous facilities. Part of the point of being an independent-minded teacher is that you can follow your own genius, if you have any, instead of being treated, as seems the fate of many teachers in state schools, like a Soviet coal miner whose only goal is to fulfil the latest five-year plan.

That's from a telegraph piece by Andrew Gimson on the independent sector price fixing row. There's more to education, he says, than getting and spending lots of money. Earlier paragraph:

… great schools do not depend only upon money. Many were the creation of one outstanding head teacher, who either set up a new school or else revived an old foundation. These teachers did not succeed because they had pots of money, or because they could accommodate their pupils in buildings that are scarcely distinguishable from a five-star hotel and country club. They usually succeeded in straitened circumstances, in makeshift premises, because parents and pupils realised that they understood something about education. We need many more such men and women today.

James Tooley would agree with that.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 01:12 PM
Category: Economics of educationSovietisation