Wednesday, January 11, 2012

State of The Nation

Just catching up on issues of The Nation that went neglected at the end of the semester, and this caught my eye - from a November 21, 2011 review of Melissa Benn's School Wars: The Battle for Britain's Education, which seems instructive for us on this side of the pond:

Benn quotes a commentator who observed that, for all the vehemence of disagreements on the matter, "everyone wants the same thing: a good, free, local school for all." But it may be, alas, that not everyone wants that; what many people want is for their children to have more educational advantages than others, and they are prepared to do anything legal to get that. One of the most striking features of middle-class norms of ethical propriety is that a degree of self-interest that would be condemned as unacceptably selfish if attached to one's own wants becomes irreproachably "normal," even altruistic, when attached to the education of one's children.

This leads to people reading Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers as a parenting manual.

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