Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The United Kingdom, radical?

Radical enough?
And this may be also be coming to a country near you

The Editorial in this week's Economist magazine (12 August) sees it like this:

Radical Britain Britain has embarked on a great gamble. Sooner or later, many other rich-world countries will have to take it too... In the heated debate between Keynesian economists (who worry that a weak world economy needs more government spending) and fiscal hawks (who believe deficits must be tackled now to stave off Grecian disaster), Britain is the prime exhibit for tough love.

Throughout the rich world, government has simply got too big and Mr Cameron’s crew currently have the most promising approach to trimming it. Others—and not just the tottering likes of Greece and Spain—will surely follow. That includes America. At present, unlike in the 1980s, there is no Reaganesque echo from the other side of the Atlantic: despite the Tea Partiers’ zeal, the Republicans seem as clueless as Mr Obama in producing a credible medium-term plan to balance America’s budget. But pretty soon, as in Europe, somebody will have to come up with one—and Britain, for better or worse, is likely to be the place they will come to for ideas.

(The webpage includes the lovely graphic from the front cover of this week's issue)

The Economist backs this appraoch and has high hopes for its outcomes. Well, maybe. There's lot more on this in the same issue (with social enterprise featuring large) to flesh out the argument:

Conductive Education: one radical alternative

One of the problems in introducing Conductive Education to the United Kingdom – and to many other countries – is that it has been just too radical an alternative to existing practices and systems. In response to this, Conductive Education has been forced to trim its sails and make reluctant (and possibly highly damaging) compromises.

Just suppose, though, that the Economist is right, and that the new order in the United Kingdom – economic social, political – does indeed turn out to favour really radical alternatives...

There are only two big questions, if it does:

  • Will such changes be radical enough for Conductive Education to take root and flower – properly, not at half cock?

  • Will existing CE institutions prove capable of demonstrating and articulating really radical alternatives to the present situation, in ways that the new order can recognise and embrace?
If the Economist is right, these questions may not be just for Conductive Education in the UK, but for CE in any country that follows down this road.

1 comment:

  1. Andrew you talk here about conductive education flowering and taking root properly.

    What is, in your opinion, "properly"?

    As it was at PAI, as it is at PAI, as it was at NICE, as it is at NICE, as it is at Tsad Kadima, as I do in my own personal practice in Germany, as in China or a là Makarenko?

    Who decides what is "proper"?

    Can you do a blog telling us what you meant here when you wrote about "properly" taking root?

    If the changes are indeed "radical enough for conductive education to take root and flower - properly" who is going to decide if it is taking root and flowering properly?

    Will this be one specific flower that is considered proper or will it be several different species?

    With CE institutions offering so many different alternatives on a theme already how will the new order know which to embrace if that time ever comes when they need to do so.