(George Elder Davie, died 20/03/07)

Philosophy? - you mean, for everyone?
But we disposed of that years ago in favour of sociology.

Democracy? - yes, we already give all pupils the same curriculum,
though there will always be necessary hierarchies.

Intellect? - we prefer to ensure that all teachers are trained
in the best techniques, so how much they actually know is irrelevant.

A Scottish education? - Ah, there our students are well prepared
for the culture of Scotland - MacJobs and debt management.

The Democratic Intellect? Still seems like a good idea to me.
Worth trying some day.

The book, The Democratic Intellect, is essential reading for anyone seeking to make educational policy for Scotland


Here I sit, the amiable alien,
teleported in from elsewhere,
come to 'inspect' Miss S.,
the student, quivering with nerves
and worksheets. I make
mysterious notes, smile at
appropriate points, bend a quizzical gaze
upon undisconcerted boys
and bold-eyed girls.

When the time is right, I rise
and 'circulate' around the
randomly-assembled groups
feigning discussion of a
non-significant question.
The whispers follow me around:
'He's awfy tall';
'There's flooers on his shirt';
'Does he fancy her?'

Yet could these victims of a
post-permissive age but see behind
the rimless glasses and the smiling
eyes, soft suede loafers,
the jacket and the strides,
to glimpse the crumpled suit,
the polished shoes, that long
black gown with rips and chalkdust,
the hard suspicious weight
in either dangling sleeve
of red-edged hymnbook,
coiling leather tawse,
waiting to rear and loose
the whirlwind of a guid
Scots education
on their soft, indulged, unstretched
and unsuspecting noddles.

It is very salutary to look back and contemplate one's previous incarnations in the educational sphere.



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