Culture wars, then and now, ep 3: ‘The role of the state in education’

The debate surrounding Parkfield school in Birmingham and wider discussion on the role of sex and relationship classes within educational programmes, are just the latest incidences of schools becoming a battlefield for the culture wars.

Starting with developments in the 1870s when the state intervention in schooling in England & Wales became more pronounced, James Tooley explores the impact of the ethos of state control over education right up to today’s controversies over Relationship and Sex Education

LECTURER

James Tooley, professor of educational entrepreneurship and policy, University of Buckingham; author, The Beautiful Tree

TALKING POINTS IN THIS PODCAST

* In the 1870s, private non-profit and private for-profit schools made up nearly all the educational establishments, educating 95 per cent of children.
* State intervention in education reflected a desire to push forward a particular set of values, creating an early instance of the education culture wars.
* Schools were used to also keep the working class in their own station as opposed to increasing their social mobility.
* An affordable grassroots private school movement that would create schools of high quality at half the cost of state education is possible.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Beautiful Tree: a personal journey into how the world’s poorest people are educating themselves, James Tooley, Cato Institute, 2013

Education and the State: A Study in Political Economy, Edwin G West, 3rd revised edition, 1994

THE ACADEMY 2019

In the context of today’s instrumental approaches to knowledge, The Academy summer school is a modest attempt to demonstrate the value of scholarship, and of the worth of the university as a place of free enquiry dedicated to the pursuit of truth.

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