Servile rubber stamps

by Paul Maharg on 22/03/2005

Dewey didn’t agree with the concept of ‘teacher-proofing’ the curriculum.  In fact it is one of his enduring legacies that he constantly emphasises the development of teacher originality, and the importance of curriculum design in encouraging ground-up innovation within a curriculum.  It’s a struggle we’re still engaged in.   In an early version of Ronald Barnett’s protests against the New Managerialism, declared:

In the name of scientific administration and close supervision, the initiative and freedom of the actual teacher are more and more curtailed.  By means of achievement and mental tests carried on from the central office, of a steadily issuing stream of dictated typewritten communications, of minute and explicit syllabi of instruction, the teacher is reduced to a living phonograph.  In the name of centralization of responsibility and of efficiency and even science, everything possible is done to make the teacher into a servile rubber stamp. 

John Dewey, ‘What is the Matter with Teaching?’, in John Dewey: The Later Works, 1925-1953, volume 2: 1925-1927, ed by Jo Ann Boydston, Carbondale & Edwardsville, Southern Illinois University Press, 116-123; 122-3.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 inhiNaiva July 31, 2007 at 17:30 – great site !
Thank you, I will add it to my bookmarks
best regards


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