The Illusion of Education
Today, we see more young people going into university than ever before. We also see that a degree is now required for a job that two decades ago could have been gained with a school certificate. We also see graduates doing menial jobs because they can’t get a job with the degree they have earned. We hear of professors who complain of the poor basic grammar of their students, and we witness other students leaving school who are illiterate and with too poor an understanding of the world they are about to enter. Parents find it hard to trust schools, although few complain in case their children suffer for it by vindicate teachers. Despite hordes of teachers leaving their profession as they do today, America loses some 200,000 teachers every year, governments struggle to create images that schools are successful, and employ a huge propaganda machine to convince the public of the efficiency of the educational system. What has really gone wrong?
Here is the forerunner to “The Illusion of School” it discusses similar aspects without the guidance and tips, and more focuses on the development of our technology and why education needs to redesign itself.
What the experts say:
“The books of Roy Andersen are very important books that should be read by every parent and educator in the world. They represent a real breakthrough in our understanding of what intelligence is and how it develops, and the importance of changing the ways students are both parented and educated. Roy is doing for learning the work that is as significant as was that done in the past by such figures as John Dewey. These are must-reads for both parents and educators alike.”
Prof / Dean Emeritus David Martin Ph.D Gallaudet University Washington, D.C. USA
“I am enjoying the books of Roy Andersen immensely. It has been taking me longer to read than I had imagined because the of the weight/importance of his thoughts. I can see how thorough and current his research is, and I expect that the works in their entirety will draw together many threads and weave them into a rich texture of powerfully stated knowledge. I have not had to put this much time into reflection and soul searching since I read Janov’s ‘The Primal Scream” and “The Feeling Child” way back in the 70s.”
Leigh Ann Collinge Educator. Australia
“I could not imagine the existence of such a completely different perspective for education, and the way it could be offered to new generations. The book kept my attention from the first to the very last page. Highly recommended not only for teachers, but essential for all parents.”
Elias Aloupoyiannis. Attorney at Law. Ministry of Administrative Reform. Athen. Greece
(1) “… In essence this is the basic principle of mediation and for future references, and there will be many in our books, we should hold in mind this simple illustration of the Zone of Proximal Development.
Mediation, we are to discuss, is where the more experienced guide the less experienced from what they know to what they do not know. Yet, it is important to realise that mediation, as any form of teaching or guidance, is only given value through a clear understanding of what “The Art of Sensitivity in Awareness” means.
More simply in this example of the zone of proximal development, it would not be to think of a particular zone but to consider a number of levels within each zone. Thus, if in each zone the teacher discusses with the student what they think they know and having improved this for them, what they expect to encounter as they further develop, they will cause them to be more sensitive in their handling of information. With this higher awareness, the student will be more able to predict what is expected of them and so be less likely to import ideas which are not relevant, which they do when they don’t understand what they are doing. It is by the constant dialogue of how the student understands their past understanding, how they see the way information is presented at this moment and how they could predict what may happen next, is the means by which the teacher would significantly develop their ability and with this the confidence that arms them to explore and self-correct as they develop this.
However, the problem is that Vygotsky’s idea, just as those of every other educationalist before and after him, seek how to improve the learning for the individual student. But students do not learn individually. They learn amongst a mass of confused personalities who strive with different interests to be in the class or try to avoid being in it, often guided by a teacher who is pressurized simply to give information, mark the responses they get and move to the next lesson, with a few moments here and there for the most problematic in the class.
It was through this understanding, I realized the importance of the attitude of the teacher and how this directs the attitude of the students, and from which I put forward a philosophy in teaching and learning encapsulated by the term ‘The Andersen Attitude Method of Teaching.”
All the above aspects we have just mentioned are ones we shall come back to in time. However, in the development of education Vygotsky’s philosophy was not known outside of Russia until the 1960s, and although there were many educationalists in the West who had similar ideas to his, they were seldom given the means to make practical use of them in the classroom.
So, in all of nearly two centuries, there has been great changes in the school experience for the child. Plastic chairs and communal tables have replaced wooden pews and benches, by which the environment became more homely, which seemingly encourages children to interact more with it. The language of education in textbooks and examinations that once clearly defined the opportunities or limitations to each child, as they were familiar to this, changed to present greater and fairer parity to all. With an ever increasing realization of the true role of the environment, information became more colorful, imaginative, and more information manageable, which did improve the opportunity of each child to do better.
However, as we have just shown, the deeper changes that would have released the child from the mechanism of a stratified future remain a controlled process, for the need of and the machinery which desired discrimination has not altered. It has merely changed its appearance to survive. The grade the child gains is still set about the conditioned average and still regarded as a mixture of their motivation and inherited quality, with the competence of the teacher and so education little brought into the equation. In all this, the teacher has long been phased into the background, and so deprived of the opportunity to interact and improve each child’s progression of their understanding; without which the child struggles to survive among 30 or so other children blinkered by their personal understanding of why, how, when, and what they should do as assessment of their competence is ever more refined.
With these words, we are brought up to date in our understanding of how education has evolved from what it began as to what it is at this moment. From this point, we move to consider how education could develop in the future. This is a future that suggests radical changes in the whole concept of the design of education, and yet there is too little awareness to this by educationalists….”
(2) “… Certainly job purposes will change throughout the development of AI and far more people will be employed in health and social work, as they must in security organizations both public and private as the need for these will develop. This, however, would not bring balance to the situation, and such high levels of long-term unemployment would place such stress on social organizations that we would be wise to consider the consequences of this now. Unless our work-social system changes from one driven to promote self-interest to one of a collective concern to protect and support the livelihood and psychological needs of all, the danger of such high unemployment could manifest itself in two ways.
First. The frustrations and anger these citizens of society will experience through loss of purpose and so identity, will create a resentment towards their society as it gradually fails to provide support for them. The various inner city riots that occurred in many Western countries towards the end of the last century, and in particular that which flared up in England in 2011, clearly reveal how easily law and order can breakdown when citizens are so dissatisfied with their government.
In consequence to this, as each populated area will seek to balance order against loss of employment, internal security forces will be caused to devise means of controlling and restricting public behavior. The invention of drones for military purposes and their miniaturized versions, which are beginning to be used by police over public areas in America, indicate how this is developing. The warning in this is that when the opportunity of financial support either earned or state aided falls beyond a level that is no longer acceptable to an influential element of a population, the operational effectiveness of their society to be democratic will come into question. How each country deals with this problem when it arises will largely reflect their dependency upon a labour intensive workforce, and their political ability to reduce the differences between those who have and those who have not.
Secondly, as these books will show, the guiding force of intelligence is not determined by genetic variation. It is determined through the socio-environmental factors by which an individual learns to respond to the world about them, through the levels of sensitivity in awareness they are guided in to use. As nanotechnology can now be shown to bring with it a high level of economic deprivation, a clear division in intellectual ability and social self-responsibility will begin to develop through this. As we indicated in our previous chapter, it is possible that over generations the very divergent stresses and particular abilities which citizens now acquire through their work and social activities will forge two distinct groups of intelligence.
The old idea that innate ability increases and decreases from a centralized average within a population, as we now portray through the bell curve, may give way to the formation of two new socially engineered averages.
Should this occur, one group would be comparatively high with its members required for the maintenance of the work-society, while the other, formed from a much lower ability, may only be imagined to be a liability to the former. This issue is discussed in more detail in our book “Are We Educating Our Children for a Working World that Will Not Want Them?”……”
Available in Paperback and Hardback