Is knowledge under attack?
The idea of all children having an ‘entitlement to shared, public and universal ‘knowledge’ has been attacked by some because of its association with elitism and its supposed view of children as ‘empty’ vessels. Yet, ironically, many of the critics of elitism have themselves benefited from the very same knowledge they criticise….. No wonder those critics have been themselves attacked by those such as the Education Minister, Michael Gove, for having ‘low expectations’ of disadvantaged children. However, others complain that Gove’s view of knowledge is itself so fixed that success appears close to uncritical compliance to tradition. Instead, they claim that learning and skills should drive the kind of knowledge that we get - or construct.
Is knowledge under attack today, and, if so, how? What becomes of teaching and learning if knowledge does not really matter? And does it really matter as long as ‘the people’ get to choose what they want to learn about in a tolerant learning culture? Can the two sides of the ‘knowledge divide’ meet in the middle - or will one of them win the argument and put knowledge back in its rightful place, wherever that may be?
Our speaker is Professor Michael Young, who will be exploring the ways and means in which knowledge is under attack today.