Jiva Technology

The BIG ISSUE on education

I’m a regular reader of the Big Issue. There’s obviously the part about ‘a hand up, not a hand out’, but it’s also about the journalism. They naturally seem to have a different angle on a story; perhaps its down to journalistic freedom or maybe they just start from a different place. The late August issue was about education and there’s a fabulous section where famous people talk about what school meant to them and the impact it had on their lives. Most were moderate or even low achievers at school, but it didn’t stop them from going on to achieve great things in business, entertainment or culture. A feedback loop like this is strangely absent from school life.

Most of the time we hear about school life from one of three places: teachers, family or the star pupil who comes back to tell you how great they are. Pretty much everyone has a memory of a family member telling them what it was like ‘in their day’, usually at exactly the point when you least want the advice. Cue rolling of the eyes. Teachers don’t count because they’re, well teachers. And star former pupils should discount themselves immediately on the basis that they are the outliers. The ‘lessons you can learn from my personal brilliance’ speech doesn’t go down well whether you’re 16 or 60. Which is where the Big Issue comes in. Just hearing an actress you might have have heard of tell you that she had to be good at acting because she was so poor at everything else can be a boost. Desperation is an awfully strong motivator.

Perhaps the Big Issue should expand their story. A website of people telling their stories about school and what it meant to them is a nice idea. A place to look and compare and make you realise that if you’re a stunning success in year 12, it doesn’t mean you’ll be a star in life, or where everything looks bleak and surely my life is over. Maybe its something we should start doing here at Tutorhub. Now there’s a thought.


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