Please do post thoughts, comments and questions here as we go along, thanks
I confirm that the phenomena David is describing is current in Australia and is also a theme in the US in a book by David Sandel - The Tyranny of Merit
David G - many people blame the notion of Becker's Human Capital mixed with neo-liberal economic philosophy. Do you have a view?
Will be interesting to see whether the pandemic will accelerate the shift away from Head - eg by changing expectations of GCSEs/A-levels/the HE machine, and because it's shone a spotlight on the many Hand and Heart jobs we depend upon but have not sufficiently valued.
Yes, Sandel says we need to appreciate what we owe others who do Hand and Heart jobs. And he hopes this will lead to a revival of a sense of the common good (and counter populist tendencies).
Charlotte - I haven't read the book yet although I have it -sounds like a good read. I now have David's book to read as well.
I sense there's a bit of a groundswell on this issue - maybe the big impact from COVID?
Craig - I've not read it either. I cheated and attended an online event where he presented his ideas.
David G - you mention writing by Paul Lewis on Technicians - is there a book you are referring to. Same issue here in Australia.
There was a similar groundswell after 9/11 but firefighters still live in Queens and bankers in Manhattan. Lot of it to do with class, social capital and opportunities for higher earnings in professional services ie some of the jobs that will disappear.
You don't tend to notice the absence of Head people immediately, you do the hand and heart people, it's in the nature of their roles (very immediate). Is there a danger the pandemic overstates the problem? I agree it is a problem and rebalancing and valuing/cherishing those roles is necessary
Do you think this "head" focus limits our view and impacts us as a nation as it demonstrates bias towards a particular construct of intelligence which does not encourage creative approaches to development. Should we be increasing recognition of the contribution that neurodiverse individuals can make in innovative approaches to business, the economy etc? Through hand based learning many people achieve at a high level that would not be possible through traditional "head" based approaches to education.
In Aust we have virtually lost all school leavers going into TVET - over 50% go to uni and the rest wonder into work - although that is under threat and it's normally precarious employment
amen - let's rethink skill
The Case for Working with Your Hands (Matthew Crawford) is compelling on why manual skills are far more resilient to outsourcing / offshoring / redundancy than Head skillsets
Claim it David
Yes - bizarrely in a system that prizes Head, we have created many people who struggle to think for themselves!
Agreed Alun - knowledge stripped out of VET in Australia
How do we develop acknowledgement that good with your hands can also = "clever"?
“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” William Bruce Cameron
? for Alun - what are you doing to bring knowledge into the curriculum at FE
this is such a fantastic discussion - and just so so important
Q: what can be done to communicate wider possibilities to parents, not only employers? And early - conversations at Year 9 are already about what GCSEs will lead to the 'right' A Levels and on to University. (As Alun is just touching on now.)
I agree Katie - many parents only aspire to university education for their children - how do we build belief in alternative routes?
Alun - the same here and it's a major issue for us
fantastic - there will be lots of leaders from TAFEs keen to see how you have done it
we have regulation that virtually excludes knowledge
fantastic Alun - agree totally
sorry to have to leave - this has been a fantastic discussion and thanks to all the speakers
David G - we should get the book out into Australian media
Completely agree. Am referencing in my awards ceremony address tomorrow. Very energising discussion
A glib final comment/quote I believe is from St Francis of Assissi: "He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist" ?
Many thanks everyone. Excellent discussion.
Thanks everyone - very interesting!
great discussion thanks all
Really great and thought provoking event - thank you
Yep, thank you all
Really enjoyed this thank you