Discourse of Elite Schools

Experiment: Finding the message behind the words. My PhD supervisor makes a very funny gesture when describing the word “discourse”. He sort of moves is fingers around like he is able to touch the individual molecules in the air. Discourse is not the same as truth, it is just the different messages around a topic…

Construct Validity – it’s a big deal

Experiment: Figuring out why the statistics don’t seem to tell the whole story. Here are two charts of the same question showing the responses according to political party affiliation. These come from the PDK/Gallup Survey of Education. I’ll admit some confirmation bias that I expected the results to be bad, but I did not guess the difference in responses…

What is the biggest challenge facing education?

Experiment: Find out more This question was posed to me in one of my classes. What is the biggest challenge facing education today? I had five minutes to write and wrote this first paragraph. I believe that the biggest challenge facing education today is income inequality and its effects. The widening gap between the rich…

Should we rank schools?

Experiment: Finding the reality behind an argument A colleague recently shared this article about the disagreements about ranking secondary schools in Finland. The prevailing discourse in the US, the UK, and in many parts of the world is that ranking schools is a way to ensure that all schools are excellent. The idea is that competition would…

Why is business interested in education?

Experiment: Explore causation where there may be none. I keep coming back to a single question; What is the motivation for businesses to become involved in education? If you’re not convinced that education is moving out of the hands of government and into the hands of business, I highly recommend this book. There are two answers that…

Individualism

Experiment: Explaining neoliberalism from the “wild” I received this letter from the Nottingham City Council after applying for school busing for my son. I’ve highlighted the part that struck me. Perhaps there is nothing wrong here, or maybe this is one of those statements that suddenly brings the hidden into the light of day. From a rational…

We are the same

Experiment: Writing philosophically about a tough subject Today was a bad news day. Terrible events took place. People murdered other people based on ideology. I read too many articles today around the subject of the attacks. Philosophers lashing out about how even kind words of world leaders paint a picture of ‘us’ and ‘them’. Some wonder…