Update 28th July 2009:
This piece had a lot of visitors yesterday (but not a single comment ;-)) most of whom were from the UK. A couple of visitors from [W:Google] itself passed through – probably in response to this link.
Of course Google searches are dynamic things and this page itself is now appearing in the .com listing. So for the record here is a picture of the original listings.
Now that the dust has started to settle on the initial indignant ranting of the home educators it may be safe to pop above the parapet and float a few random thoughts….
The response to the Badman report should be on two discrete fronts, the civil liberties issues and the education issues, with each branch being argued separately.
One needs to acknowledge the limited world view of the professional educators. They went to school. They went to university. They went back to school. Any ideas that are outside this scenario can be difficult for them to grasp. Showing workings and adding labels to an illustrative diagram often helps.
The Badman report is a huge leap backwards to where we were decades ago so perhaps we should retrace our steps a few decades and find some other educational path to follow; one that does not lead to the odious home education model that is so common today.
Perhaps a starting point might be the description of various forms of education defined by Combs with Prosser and Ahmed in 1973 which included:
Informal education: the truly lifelong process whereby every individual acquires attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from daily experience and the educative influences and resources in his or her environment – from family and neighbours, from work and play, from the market place, the library and the mass media.
Which itself followed on from a 1972 [W:UNESCO] report called “Learning To Be” which raised the notion that…
education should enable each person to be able to solve his own problems, make his own decisions and shoulder his own responsibilities.
An alternative approach would be a significantly increased top-down role for government in the education system, local authorities running every school to meet centrally-set targets and regulations. I reject this approach. It would stifle innovation, deny teachers and school leaders the freedom they need to drive change. It would cut parents out of any role in improving education standards.