Book Review: Wasted, Why Education Isn't Educating, Frank Furedi

If you like Andrew Old's blog Scenes From The Battleground, then you might like this book. Written in 2009 under the reign of Tony Blair and his motto of, 'education, education, education', it seeks to show how education has been warped by a series of politicians with their own agendas into something that is wholly ineffective. It's certainly a piece of writing that could be picked up and carried on seamlessly to take us to the present day, when these issues still haven't been addressed.

He makes several excellent and valid points that I completely agree with. Most notably, is that teachers are charged with the task of fixing all of societies ills, and he argues that schools are not the place in which to do that. True. He also talks at length about how teachers are no longer viewed as authority figures because of the obsession with students leading the learning, and how this has lowered standards. Also true. I found a lot in here to hook my own beliefs about education onto, and a lot that can be said to still be true 3 years later.

However, unlike Andrew's blog, he fails repeatedly to give us a lot of evidence to back up his claims. His arguments are tacit and subjective, despite being highly persuasive and probably true, and read more like a politician's debate rather than a scholarly report.

He is also very repetitive, making the same point throughout the book, in rather the same way that I do on this blog. I've got to admit: I didn't actually read the whole book, and I still understood his point completely.

If you want something that is going to provoke you into thinking for yourself about education then this is the one. But if you want real arguments and evidence, go visit Scenes From The Battleground. And if you want someone who can't change the record, then stay here.


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