Traditional teaching methods are cheaper and more effective than progressive nonsense. So who benefits from the introduction of fad after fad? Box ticking bureaucrats who can wield ever greater power over their hapless victims, the rank and file teachers who use their experience and common sense and resist the latest madness.
Small schools are far more effective than huge ones, and yet we’ve seen ever more monstrously sized warehouses in the last few decades. Who has profited? Empire building managers, who can survey an ever larger realm under their power. Meanwhile, rank and file teachers and pupils suffer from the deteriorating behaviour which follows from increased anonymity.
There’s no scientific proof that handing out expensive, distracting technology to pupils helps them to learn, and centuries of experience to support the use of paper and ink, mind and voice. So who benefits from expensive initiatives which inflict this equipment on already overstimulated kids? The bureaucrats and managers who polish their CVs and get that promotion to the next grade in the civil service, as they tick the innovation box on their leadership competencies grid. Just using tried and trusted methods will never earn them that career boost.
And who benefits from ever increasing education spending to pay for whatever snake oil the pseudoscientists invent, or the technology companies produce? The bureaucrats who rule over an ever larger portfolio. They have no incentive to be efficient. After all, if they don’t spend their budget, it’ll be cut next year. But if they justify ever larger budgets, the prestige of their department grows and grows.
It’s commonplace to knock politicians, but I tend to admire their courage and determination, even when I disagree with their policies. It’s not an easy life, and it’s very insecure. We should also remember that politicians from Callaghan through Baker, Blunkett and Gove have been struggling to disperse the fog of progressive madness. Until Gove’s arrival, their intentions were subverted because they made the mistake of trusting the experts.
It’s not the politicians, but the comfortable office holders in the universities, government departments, local authorities, teaching unions and school management teams who have built their empires at the expense of state school pupils. Ever since the disaster of the Plowden report, we’ve seen a pernicious symbiotic relationship between fad-crazed intellectuals and ambitious bureaucrats, which has ruined countless lives. Just think how many comfortable and prestigious ivory towers would begin to totter if we saw a large scale triumph of cheap and effective traditional methods. It’s no wonder the knives came out for Gove.