agenda, anxiety, AST, Big Picture, bureaucracy, career, compromise, creativity, dialectic, education, management, managerialism, organic education, performance management, politics, professionalism, resource, responsibility, results-led education, truth, value-led education, values
After years of struggle, isolation, stonewalling (Hadrian-walling!), silence, evasion a teacher might, quite out of the blue, be offered a role or responsibility so that their work might be developed and disseminated for the benefit of educational- (for the Benefit of All!) provision. At last, recognition! But then, minutes later you are being led to your desk in a temporarily-divided corridor room (in which you will have to battle for desk space by pulling back the desk through the temporary wall), there where you will practise your advanced skill (by bottling it up into a tube and sending it through the tube system), your very own prison cell …
Recognition (in the system which has systematically repulsed work which is not constructed, developed or packaged in the pre-scribed manner) is the opportunity to be exploited. Responsibility is the means through which you will be exploited (given with laurel and epaulets into your own hands). Opportunity is the (‘very interesting’) work of making your skill ‘fit’ into the Big Picture. Experience is the history of compromise through which values and ideals will be lost into the Big Picture.
Success in the Big Picture Bureaucracy entails that truth is an agenda over which you have no control, principle is declarative, creativity is a formula, debate is a compromise, influence is an exercise of power, delivery is an over-riding Tough Decision, professionalism is the exercise of abstraction. A skill (in teaching, say) is developed (despite Continuing Professional Development) through a dialectic between the Provision (the Teacher) and the Receptor (the pupil). This dialectic yields truth which is explorative within the service (not pre-defined or even pre-determined), a principle which is exercised freshly, uniquely and adjusted-ly each time, creativity which comes from the minute detail of the dialectic, debate which is the (means of the) dialectic, influence which is an agreement, delivery which is the nurture to see the dialectic through, and professionalism which is effective (dialectical) giving.
The compromise is not evil, but it is misguided, borne out of an impatience with the progress of organic education, wanting to direct and control the progress of an education which has become ‘intensive’ as a result. Why was there an impatience? Because education came to the attention of politicians (themselves caught in their own compromise borne of neo-conservative power-control-agenda in the face of emergent globalisation) and the regulation of education became a propaganda (both ‘outside’ and ‘in’ the service) through which to justify Global Truth as Control…
Therefore I offer my work – itself borne despite recognition, support, investment, enthusiasm from the School – not to the school but wide open to the world of anyone who might culture it. I will publish it (with a view to balance the paucity of alternative-values educational publication compared to the whole wash of government-published material), I will not make money or career out of it (in order to avoid the Compromise), I will offer it anonymously (as long as I can, in order to avoid becoming a Voice which must be accountable to an agenda item and not the dialectic). I will cast it as a seed. Let it stick in the dirt. Let it grow. Organically. If it will.
compromise wormhole: just what
managerialism wormhole: nightmare
professionalism wormhole: there was a call and far from no response
resource wormhole: the ghost with open wound
results-led education wormhole: ‘once upon a quarter century …’
value-led education wormhole: through a cracked glass greenly
values wormhole: the path / no echo