Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Question of Emancipation from Education

There's a fascinating story in the Guardian this morning. A statistical breakdown of university applications by regions of the country shows a statistically large drop in middle-class kids choosing to go to university: see http://gu.com/p/3bm8t/tw. I do not find this surprising. I think it is important to reflect on what it tells us about the re-alignment of  education and economy.

I have argued that education, money and technology are similar in their function with regard to the capability and flexibility of individuals: see http://dailyimprovisation.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/psychotherapy-education-and-free.html, http://dailyimprovisation.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/capability-and-cultivation.html. Ultimately, capability is a measure of the adaptability of individuals to changing environments. Money affords flexibility in a rich variety of ways - particularly if it is used well; education, skills and qualifications similarly affords adaptation; technology too affords new capabilities (but see yesterday's post - http://dailyimprovisation.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/some-worries-about-increasing.html). In all cases however, the emotional management of the individual is the primary bedrock upon which any new capability is grounded. The well-balanced individual will deal with the circumstances life throws at them with the resources they have available, and they will have the confidence that they will be able to do it.

I agree with John Bowlby that attachments within the family are the principle source of the emergence of psychological balance (see http://dailyimprovisation.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/listening-to-economy-brief-paper-for.html). I have argued that this theory has implications for our understanding of education, economy and technology. The Guardian article, I believe, bears out the essential truth of Bowlby's message. The middle-class kids who shun university are more likely to come from stable attachment situations than many of the poorer kids whose applications are holding up. In essence, loving families together are helping the middle-classes to free themselves from education and free themselves from outrageous debt.

If this trend continues, then who will be left in education? Answer: those who do not have the psychological resources to free themselves from it. Worse, in being unable to free themselves from education, they are deprived of financial resources too which will further impact on their capability.

This is an explosive combination and the manifest injustice of it will become apparent at some point.

In order to face up to the problem, we need to understand where we are in the history of education. Technology is providing new means of capability, but possibly only to those who have the emotional disposition to benefit from it. Education has become an industry which is increasingly indiscriminately sucking up resources in order to keep itself going. In the process, social division based on familial background is likely to be amplified. Increasingly, education is becoming parasitical on society.

Forms of oppression in history have largely been coordinated by governments. We have never considered that education and its institutions might be a form of oppression (despite this being the experience for many students for a long time). This is a different kind of oppression from that practiced by governments. The question is whether we can free ourselves from it without feeding it in the process!

1 comment:

jummy dpon said...

Get education till death.N10-005 Because education is key of success