Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Expert witness

There's an excellent piece by Anastasia de Waal over on Civitas regarding the rise of the "new experts". De Waal concentrates on these new experts in education - though I think that you could apply the theory in most areas of the establishment - in particular the recent claim by the Institute of Education and Nottingham University that newly qualified teachers outperform their more experienced counterparts.

As de Waal points out, this is largely due to the fact that new teachers are "both more compliant with government tick-box diktat and less jaded by the straitjacketing" that such diktat confers than there older and more experienced colleagues.

De Waal goes on to say ....

Autonomy and innovation have been almost entirely squeezed out of teaching today. The optimum teacher in the current system is a sort of automaton. Heavily dictated by rules disseminated through documentation and highly hierarchical in terms of rule-makers (policy makers) and rule-abiders (teachers), the education system now resonates strongly with social theorist Max Weber’s description of the bureaucracy.

This is one of the biggest problems with education today in my opinion. More and more teachers are coming through the system having been indoctrinated during their education, taught how to indoctrinate at university and are now indoctrinating our children at school. As if that wasn't bad enough, these indoctrinators are now being lauded as the best that education has to offer.

Is there no end to this incessant left wing liberal progressive propaganda?

De Waal touches briefly on one of my pet hates. Social "science". She refers to Max Weber , one of the champions of the quack "science" of sociology. Social scientists claim to be able to make assertions based on qualititative and quantitative evidence, but their findings generally run along the lines of "wood floats, therefore all that floats is wood". The earliest social scientists were the sort of people who used to decide if a woman was a witch by dunking them in the village pond.

Social "science" is junk science.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I forgot Max Weber.

When I was at university he was the non-Marxist alternative to make sure the students had a balanced education. I seem to recall that Hayek got an hour because Margaret Thatcher claimed to be inspired by him.

Stan said...

Hayek got a whole hour? I always thought that Weber was one of the "intellectuals" that Hayek was trying to warn us about.