Precepts to use in everyday life

1. Think for yourself, 2. Be yourself, 3. Speak up, 4. Feel free to agree and disagree, 5. Be honest with yourself and others, 6. Be open-minded, 7. Avoid being judgmental and 8. Question everything - even your own thinking.

TOK Essay Titles May 2019

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Human Sciences and Education (Part 2)

'Shut up and put up!' - is this our Brave New World?

Following on from the recent post on educational values, here's an extremely interesting article in the timesonline about about another of our important public domains: health.

It's called, 'Use your initiative? Far too dangerous' and appeared on Thursday 11th February 2010.

The article focuses on the same issue as our post: what happens when Government shapes the values according to which public institutions such as State Education and the NHS should be run?

We argued that the resulting impact is mediocrity in the standards of education; the blind, unswerving adherence to rules and the letter of the law which eschews all creativity and imagination and finally, the promotion into power of people who have no sense of vocation and who simply push through the educational legislation of the Government without questioning what they're doing.

The above article presents a tragic case-study of the consequences when Government values and the target and rule-based systems which are designed to promote them are allowed to function without common sense and some element of questioning and sceptical scrutiny.

It begs a really big question: to what extent should education and health be organised in the same way Government agencies are organised?

And a related big question is this: how far should Government be allowed to dictate the way in which health and education is organised and run?

This is not to advocate the wholesale (or even minimal) privatisation of education and health services. It is to suggest that alleviating these institutions from Government interference might help to promote values that have a less tragic impact on young lives and are longer lasting. But is this a strong enough argument? What further evidence is there that Government-led institutions are really NOT organised with the interests of the public in mind? What significant reasons can we find to argue that these institutions would function better WITHOUT the stamp of Government.

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