6.10.2009

'Orwellian language' in schools turns pupils into 'customers'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1191689/Hey-curriculum-delivery-person-leave-kids-How-Orwellian-Whitehall-speak-turning-pupils-customers.html
http://img.slate.com/media/1/123125/123051/2207791/2212801/090327_$BOX_meatGrinderTN.jpg
Schools using the 'Orwellian language of performance management' are undermining teenagers' education by turning them into 'customers' rather than students, a landmark report says today.
Teachers who are forced to use phrases such as 'performance indicator' and 'curriculum delivery' lack enthusiam for the job, the six-year investigation found.
The Oxford-based Nuffield Review, the most comprehensive study of secondary education in 50 years, said that 'the words we use shape our thinking'.
It notes: 'As the language of performance and management has advanced, so we have proportionately lost a language of education which recognises the intrinsic value of pursuing certain sorts of question ... of seeking understanding [and] of exploring through literature and the arts what it means to be human.'
Teachers are inundated with the language of measurable 'inputs' and 'outputs', 'performance indicators' and 'audits', 'targets', 'customers', 'deliverers', 'efficiency gains' and 'bottom lines', the report continues.
In a damning indictment, the report said that a culture of hitting targets, where 'cuts in resources are euphemistically called 'efficiency gains', has led to 'the consumer or client' replacing 'the learner'.
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