Introduction

  • Alan Walker
Part of the National Children’s Bureau series book series

Abstract

I think if you can’t read and write they should ask you questions, because I am quite bright if they ask me questions, but I am just a dead loss when it comes to putting it down on paper. They should have more practical stuff instead of all this paper work.

This quotation, a clear cry from the heart, exposes one of the fundamental weaknesses of modern industrial societies. Educational systems, with the apparent aim of equal opportunity, become geared to providing for the most able, who through examination results and qualifications gain entry to employment or higher education: what Titmuss called ‘the spread of credentialism’.1 This inevitably creates a pool of educational ‘failures’. Although special educational provision may be made for the least able, ‘success’ in employment rests primarily on paper qualifications. The labour market and educational systems have come to reflect each other in a hierarchical way, the latter being organised to supply the former. Paradoxically the spread of universal education may have created as many barriers as it destroyed. The market value of education overshadows its other values. Entrance to employment above the unskilled level becomes more and more difficult as professional and other bureaucratic groupings demand more and more educational qualifications.

Keywords

Income Posit Blindness 

Notes and References

  1. 1.
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Copyright information

© National Children’s Bureau 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SheffieldUK

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