The Expectations Have It
A great deal is expected of education. For individuals, it is to ensure that they realise their full potential, in the process ameliorating the effects of social disadvantage. For nations, it is to raise their levels of ‘human and social capital’ to build successful knowledge economies.
Expectations are powerful, but they can be limiting as well as liberating.
I first saw this in the 1950s as a student in a differentiated secondary school system. The schools were comprehensive but contained separate academic, industrial, commercial and home economics streams that prepared students for quite different futures, including different points of departure from formal education. Many of those consigned to nonacademic futures, however, subsequently completed higher education qualifications.
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