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OK, so before I begin I should remind everyone that I am not a parent so what I am about to say might be complete and utter rubbish.
What I am about to say might be even more complete and utter rubbish to what I normally write.
So I was going through some magazines last week when I saw a feature on ‘schools’.
Similar to yesterday’s post, there were page after page of ads that were all pretty much saying the same thing.
1. We are a good school.
2. We get good academic results.
3. Your child will have a bright future attending our school.
And almost all featured photos of happy, smiling kids or imposing architecture like this:
But amongst all the parity, there was one that stood out for me.
OK, so it didn’t bombard you with statements about their academic prowess – which means it was automatically differentiated from the pack – but it did still feature a picture of happy, smiling kids on it.
But all that aside, there was was specific thing that, if I was a parent looking to send my child to an all male, private school, would attract me to them over all the others … which, I should point out, I’m not and never would do.
This was the ad:
Can you see what it is?
I’m pretty sure you can given it’s pretty much the only thing on the ad, it’s the statement:
Where Boys Can Be Boys.
Now while that might mean this school encourages and endorses violence, drunkenness and furious, self-focused, sexual adventures – I doubt it … and I’m not just saying that because the kids in the photo look like a bunch of nerdy little sods.
While I am a massive advocate of education, I am concerned where it’s all heading.
School has a number of roles – and while educating students is obviously one of them – so is encouraging interaction, collaboration, creativity and self-expression.
The problem is, as Sir Ken Robinson talked about in his landmark speech, these values seem to be being pushed further and further aside so schools can focus on academic result achievement because these are what drives profit and Government approval, not happy, balanced, expressive young adults.
As I said at the beginning, I’m not a parent and I am pretty much against private schools … however if I wasn’t and I was looking for a place for my phantom son – let’s call him FreddieBrianJohnRoger Campbell – then Cothill House would be high on my list because my view on education is that it’s role is to produce more than a production line of children all holding the same pieces of academic paper.
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