21 February, 2012

Are all Education faculties insane?

In my academic librarian life I had a great relationship with the head of our Education faculty. He was insane (but in a good way, you know, like I am). But, now that I am actually working towards my own dip ed (actually a graduate diploma of teaching and learning) I am coming to realise that many people working educating our educators are the less happy kind of insane. The, brain damaged from breathing the rarefied air high in my ivory tower, kind of insane.

I mentioned in my last post, that I had a textbook tell me that ALL aboriginal parents wanted their children to learn. ALL? Seriously, you couldn't say ALL about any group of parents. Some parents have been known to chain their kids in basements, some parents have been known to leave their kids in hot cars outside Casinos. It strikes me as a bizarre form of racism (with a heavy helping of white guilt?) to suggest that indigenous Australians are immune from being shitty parents.

The other wonderful quote that really set my head to spinning was on the subject of 'socio-economic differences'. To paraphrase, our textbook explained that; at one time people thought they could judge the outcomes of schools based on their socio-economic mix, but now we no longer blame the victim. Seriously? Lets look at NAPLAN scores (if we may). Now, if we overlay a graph of median income over a graph of school NAPLAN scores, what will we find?
We will find that they are damned close to identical! Why do we need to deny the bleeding obvious? How is acknowledging that the kids of Doctors and Barristers living in Woollahra will perform better by many measures than the kids of truck drivers and factory workers from Elizabeth 'blaming the victim'?
Surely, what it is doing is showing us where additional resources need to be provided? The Gonski Report (put out in the last day or two) certainly seems to think that school funding should be higher in areas of social disadvantage.

Seriously, this seems like political correctness for the sake of political correctness. No one is being protected by this view, so why not admit the truth? And, how is acknowledging facts in any fashion laying blame?

If I was only dealing with ivory tower idiots who have wonderful 'theories' about education, well I would ignore their silly diagrams (which claim to represent education) and just get on with acting like the echo chamber they want to hear, but it is not just that
(as further blog introspection may reveal).