On the Reading Reform Foundation website, Geraldine Carter has posted a link to a piece, ‘The Reader Gets Angry: Scenes from a PGCE‘, by Gabriella Gruder-Poni on her experiences as a PGCE student.
The experiences Gabriella recounts are nothing short of a disgrace and, if her testimony is true, the imbeciles dispensing the advice she was being given throughout her PGCE course should be sacked.
This, unfortunately, is nothing new: the proclivity to reduce everything to the lowest common denominator, to regard teachers as facilitators and for them to subscribe to the belief that they have nothing to teach pupils, was already well established by the late eighties/beginning of the nineties.
In a review in the Independent, ‘Scenes from a British war on knowledge’, Boyd Tonkin appears genuinely shocked by what Gabriela has had to put up with. Nevertheless, he still writes:
Now I, like you, have read too many reactionary rants and glib laments over dumbing-down in class. I know the privileged interests such rhetoric often serves.
Sorry pal, but you’re missing the point completely. These are not the ‘reactionary rants’ – what’s reactionary about wanting a better education for your child? – or ‘glib laments’ of ‘privileged interests’; they are howls of rage at what is becoming of a system that used to offer a way out for working class kids whose future would otherwise be down the pit or in the pot bank or steel works. What (Wat!) we need is a parents’ revolt!