Reverse Ageism In Education

Does adultism exist in education? Are younger members of staff discriminated against because of their age? Are the centralizing tendencies of the current regime about distrust of the recent influx of younger teachers? Do you have to dress and speak like a Baby Boomer to get on in life?

Old and Evil

Clearly recent innovations in educational theory and practice haven’t been taken on board and instead of empowering both student and teacher, the National Curriculum, testing and Inspection Regime have led to the reverse happening. Staff spend a disproportionate amount of time completing paperwork. Paperwork which has been created for ‘Quality’ purposes but which in fact serves to keep an eye on what staff are doing. But is this as much about age as anything else? Should low pay, reduced holiday entitlement, extra teaching hours and other encumbrances be seen as attempts by older, more established senior(!) managers and middle-aged civil servants to maintain their comfortable lives? Isn’t it a form of eugenics to favour one group over another? Do the older generation not appreciate that they are virtually killing off an entire generation, a generation who include their own sons and daughters? While the age gap grows between those who decide and those who obey, won’t this discrimination become more acute and the working lives of the young even more difficult?

Colleagues in the US have been more active in trying to combat such prejudice. Perhaps its time for the UK to challenge the gerontocracy.

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