“One of the interesting things about the examination of history is the mine of material that is unpublished, avoided, reinterpreted, and ignored by historians and writers who interpret our past. The Jonathan Rose book ” The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes“. is a study of the intellectual activities of the people at the bottom of the education chain whose struggles and achievements in shaping our history far outnumbers those of the ruling educated elite. Who more than usual suppressed education for the working classes. Unless of course it could be tailored to suit their purposes, which is why we have schools.
In his study, Rose, compiles the memoirs of those who educated themselves against all the odds that were stacked against them, poverty, class, lack of access and the scorn and prejudice of even their fellow workers and intellectual betters.
The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes
Education today is still being tailored to suit the purposes of the ruling elite. The very language used in the struggle for “people centred” education has been commandeered. Empowerment, vision, self help, self development is now the rhetoric used to encourage working class people into Further education. More than usually the dead-end education of training for jobs that don’t exist.
School was invented when more was needed of the slave other than brute strength, to operate the machines, to write in the ledgers and run the masters bureaucracy. Formal education for many is moving in the direction of containment and social control, disconnected from peoples reality, political reality, economics and the principals of democratic accountability. (While we may find a “course” that nods in the direction of these things, financial restraints, government funding, will ensure the circle of debate stays narrow enough to avoid exposing the roots of what really goes on in these areas.)
The above mentioned book is an excellent resource on the reasons why we should educate ourselves and re-establish what is meant by empowerment, vision, self help, self development and all the other meaningful language that has been sullied by over use in business orientated education.