Date: Jan 7th, 2019
Motion: THB that the education system needs an overhaul
Role: PM (gov.)
Dear Ladies & Gentlemen,
Assemblage and Chair,
as the very first speaker of the discussion, I think we have truly failed the youth of the nation.
The reason is that teachers are supposed to teach our young to be the best versions of themselves, but instead it’s a crooked game between the adult parties with vested interests in the education factory. I will elaborate on what I mean. My partner, in turn, may talk more about the real scope of the upheaval at hand.
Internal Disparity in Teacher’s Theories
The teaching of teachers is arbitrary. If someone wants to be, for instance, a language teacher (in Finland), (s)he will have to learn the entire history of the language (s)he is willing to teach plus 10,000+ pages of literature out of the canon of the said language and its extended cultural sphere (what, in terms of English, would not only be British but also Irish, North American, Caribbean and Australian literature, across the continents and centuries). Thereafter, the auscultee is required to learn about pedagogy and didactics by the essayfuls and examfuls. What follows is the auscultation (or teacher training in a real school).
External Disparity in Teacher’s Practice
When the person in question is finally behind the desk in his or her teacher’s chair, (s)he will be able to apply about 5 % of what (s)he has been taught, for the rest is determined in the classroom by means of learning disabilities, disruptions of discipline, the National Curriculum and the supply of coursebooks. Another dimension will be added by special-need students, children to immigrants and refugees in the classroom and the general expansion of class sizes.
The dénouement is that what seems to matter is that not anyone can make the grade for a teacher rather than that children, pupils and students could get the best tuition available, enabling thus oneselves to develop into the best possible versions of themselves. Rather, it’s the teach who needs to run a formidable obstacle course in order to become the best possible version of himself or herself. And what for? The public sector provides a long but narrow livelihood for its civil servants and officials, who cannot be fired for any petty reasons or difficulties in budgeting. People who get tenure are so lucky in the eyes of the authorities that that man-made Fortune needs to be guarded from all and sundry gold-diggers.
Way Into the Future
The system, as it stands, is inappropriate and slightly ridiculous. It would need to be changed in two ways, at both ends of its existence.
First of all, tenure should not need to mean unfireability. There are plenty of examples of teachers who exploit their job security to their own advantage. Drinking, smoking, wasting time, by whatever means. As a) the job market has changed a lot in recent years, b) there is a plentiful reserve of unemployed people and c) the requirements change with the advancement of technology, the conclusion is this: teachers should enjoy only the same kind of job security as people do in the private sector and elsewhere where people work.
Secondly, the things teachers are taught in teacher training should correspond to the things they are supposed to teach to children. We all know kids cannot learn Shakespeare, be it from a book, a teacher or a theatre troupé, so teachers should not need to learn that either. The teachers need to know more than their protégées, of course, but only so much. If the information or knowledge is entirely redundant, it should not hold a place in the curriculum.
With these words, I’d like to move the podium over to the next speaker, and may the debate continue.
Kesto: x min yy sek
Arvio: Puheen ansioita on linkitys seuraavaan puhujaan; väljällä tavalla, jossa jätetään auki se, mitä sieltä varsinaisesti tulee. Puheessa on myös pääministerille sopivaa painokkuutta ja arkailemattomuutta käydä suoraan asiaan sen vaatimalla arvokkuudella ja aggressiivisuudella. Kuin Juha Sipilä ilman sönkkäämistä ja sofistikoituneisuuden puutetta!
Puheen paheita on ranskalaisten lainasanojen hieman liian runsas käyttö ja lievä liioittelu yläkanttiin eri asioissa.
Aiempi osittain samanaiheinen puhe