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Quick fixes can result in a sterile school environment

The uncritical adoption of ‘successful’ schools’ policies may lead to a situation in which children are controlled rather than taught to self-regulate, writes Jarlath O'Brien

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In Professor Gert Biesta’s paper, Why “What Works” Still Won’t Work: from evidence-based education to value-based education (2010), he critically examines the practice, whether deliberate or subconscious, of complexity reduction in education.

Of course, schools are full of attempts at reducing complexity: they couldn’t function effectively otherwise. We organise children into classes; we have discrete subjects and curricula; we insist, mostly, on uniforms. But do we take it too far sometimes? I think so, and I’ll come back to that in a moment.

Biesta cites Bruno Latour’s The Pasteurization of ...

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