Friday 16 September 2016

I was 'taught' to despise or fear those who fail - education the grammar school way.

Those of us who went to grammar school were taught (even if we didn't necessarily accept it) to fear or despise those who failed. This also had an effect of despising or fearing the part of yourself that failed or might fail. These feelings and thoughts can last for the whole of your life. They are what Raymond Williams called 'structures of feeling' and can be as much part of what we usually call politics or history as The 1832 Reform Bill. 

There were no mechanisms within the system that I went through to pay even token respect to the idea that the human race is made up of people with different kinds of abilities, or even that, every person has a range of abilities and capabilities, or that these can change over time. 

It was all very binary - 
heads people/hands people; 
All very handy for the system. 
Not good for people.