Education and Life
Sir Roger’s close confidante writes:
My mother used to ask me if I wouldn’t prefer to work in a bank. In those days it was a safe occupation – safe as a bank, literally. A job for life with almost guaranteed promotion. I don’t think she was joking.
Both her brothers – my uncles – worked in banks and eventually became bank managers.
She married a doctor. His job was secure as long as people got sick or had babies.
Her father was an Anglican minister. He’d always have a job as long as there was a god – or as long as people believed there was.
I think my mother wanted me to be safe. She worried about my creative, artistic, unworldly temperament. If I relied on it, it might not lead to stability and security. The bank was safe if unexciting and the school system was the ideal training for future decades of boredom and repetition.
And that’s how parents tend to think.
First we want our children to be safe.
Second we want them to do well and succeed.
Third we want them to be normal and fit in.
And we want them to find someone nice to settle down with and raise a family (for the most part).
We encourage our children to be reasonable and more or less ordinary; to be realistic. That’s the way it works, that’s the way things are, that’s the recipe for survival and success.
And that’s what schools are exceptional at producing.
Nothing important or worthwhile that has ever been achieved in the world has been achieved by reasonable, realistic, mediocre people. They have been achieved by people prepared to be unreasonable, to see beyond the realistic to the possibilities and to fight to achieve them.
And that’s who our children are before we school them.
Indeed, says Sir Roger, schools are not only exceptional at producing these results. That is their primary function and the original purpose of the compulsory education system in Prussia to which all modern education more or less owes its tradition. Obedient hardworking bureaucrats, obedient unquestioning factory workers. Today’s office slaves.
Bruce Petty once somewhere said (or was it, drew) something close to, “Having reproduced the species, efforts are made to have it employable as cheaply as possible. Through persistence and determination many survive these deformative years and go on to be average.”
Posted: 6 July, 2011 in Australian Values, Culture, History, Life, politics and government, values.
Tags: Australian educational values, Australian Values, bruce petty, bureaucrat, compulsory education, Education, education and life, educational values, government, Jobs, Life, office, office slave, office work, petty, politics, Prussia, values, work