George Monbiot wrote an article in the Guardian about how our schools teach our students to be redundant. It is a wonder of writing in that he leaves out no cliche about how schools are broken (e.g,”why is collaboration on an exam considered cheating?”) as well as the usual mischaracterizations of traditional education (e.g., “factory model schools”, “teaching students to be robots” etc).
In the ensuing criticism of the article on Twitter (and there was much), there was also the usual “And he hasn’t taught a day in his life.” I once leveled that at someone spouting some similar nonsense and was rewarded with a rather hostile response back stating that the person did not have to be a teacher to be allowed to criticize.
And that’s true. Years before I became a teacher I wrote many articles criticizing how math was being taught. And there are many parents upset at how their children are being taught math–rightly so.
There are plenty of things wrong with what the author has to say about education in the article so that one does not have to rely on his not being a teacher in order to question his credibility. The reference to the Prussian model of education as the source of the factory model, for example. And there are others that many people have written about so I won’t waste any more of your time.
Oh, I guess it wouldn’t have hurt for him to be a teacher in the case of his question about “Why is collaboration on an exam considered cheating?” but I’ll let it pass.