In the Guardian this morning there is an article about Mike Waters. It is a resoundingly fine article about a fine and impressively influential person. Worryingly it almost reads like an obituary. But it is the quote at the end that gets to my heart.
Mike says that he is cautiously pessimistic about the future:
All the portents are that ministers want to emphasise what they call knowledge. By knowledge, they tend to mean facts. And facts are important: children love general knowledge and it builds articulacy, which gets you places. But it’s not everything. We have to look at making children well disposed to learning.
We need to see where learning takes place and how and make it exciting and ‘happening’. We live in a society that almost ‘worships’ those who ‘know’ … from The Weakest Link, through Mastermind and out to University Challenge … not forgetting all of those games sold over Christmas and the enormous pull of the Pub Quiz. It is almost that knowledge is power. Knowing is an easy thing to give away but we must not confuse it with learning … that is very different.
Education is about learning first and foremost but it is fun to ‘know’.