29 March 2011

Adult abdication

Dear God. Read this Bitchy Boys story about how the Children's Commissar Commissioner for England thinks pupils should help choose teachers - and weep. Or vomit.

Longrider does a sufficient number on her imbecility.
Dr Atkinson said: "Young people are a school’s customers, and they see lots of different teaching styles over the course of a school career".

No, the parents are the school’s customers. And it is reasonable of them to expect the school to use competent adults when applying the recruitment and selection process for teaching staff. The idea that children are competent to know what is in their best interests is infantile in the extreme.
When adults abdicate, children are cut adrift. Some children step up to fill the void for their siblings in the domestic sphere, but they are exceptional and pay a high personal price. The vast majority are deprived of any kind of proper upbringing, and their only hope for some structure is at school.

In his brilliant 1993 book The Moral Sense, the American political thinker James Q. Wilson observes that young people in all cultures and every age need to test the limits of acceptable behaviour, and need those limits to be affirmed:
Testing limits is a way of asserting selfhood. Maintaining limits is a way of asserting community. If the limits are asserted weakly, uncertainly, or apologetically, their effects must surely be weaker than if they are asserted boldly, confidently, and persuasively.
How many more lives are to be blighted by the "progressive" concept that children are little adults born with a sense of what those limits are before some sense of shame at the toxic consequences creeps into the consciousness of the trendies?


  1. From the bottom of that BBC story:

    'Heather Shore, a teacher at the Compass learning centre for children at risk of exclusion in Weymouth, Dorset, said a panel of students had interviewed applicants as part of a recent recruitment process.

    '"We found that what they had to say was really useful, and actually mirrored quite closely the thoughts of the panel of adults who also interviewed," she added.'

    Says more about that adults than the children.

  2. "Children at risk of exclusion" - a.k.a. incipient juvenile delinquents. How they must be laughing.

  3. Describing child opinions as "users' voices" strikes a rather odd note. Are children the 'users' of education as if it were a minor technology or bathroom pharmaceutical? And as regards putting hyperactive or mischievous children in the judgment seat over the prospective hires of their keepers?? What misplaced idealism must govern the minds of such ministries of disorder?

    This whole nonsense seems to put the hiring of teachers into more of the perspective of a popularity contest or a talent show than a serious estimate of effective class presence and management.