Wasted: Why Education Isn't Educating by Frank Furedi

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Wasted: Why Education Isn't Educating by Frank Furedi

Category: Politics and Society
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: Interesting content, persuasive arguments, but clumsy prose makes this analysis of the education system, society and their failings a difficult book to read. Good to get the cogs in the brain ticking over, however.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 256 Date: September 2009
Publisher: Continuum
ISBN: 978-1847064165

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The paradox of education today is that the more society invests in and expects of education, the less schools and universities demand of students.

It seems the more problems the school-aged generation pose to society, the more responsibility schools have to take, teaching not simply English and Maths, but Personal Thinking and Learning Skills, Happiness Classes, and Emotional Education. The duty to raise a child well is taken out of the apparently 'incompetent' hands of parents, and given over to the education system, where values can be regulated and controlled.

Which all sounds very Big Brother, but it's true. Policies are imposed on the education system all the time that guide the curriculum, and dictate what needs to be taught to pupils. The constant reformation of the curriculum, the strategies, and the expectations of education, suggests that no one really knows exactly how to use it to its best potential, or perhaps, at least, that most would agree that what it is achieving now is not enough.

Wasted is an in-depth exploration of what Furedi considers to be the root source of the 'problems' education is attempting to remedy, and what exactly we should be getting out of schooling. It's well researched, well structured in its arguments, but not the easiest book to read.

Anyone who has ever done a course relating to education has probably read a few journal articles in their time. While credit can be accorded to the content, few of the authors are writers, and that is my big issue with books like this. Wasted very much strikes me as an academic, writing for academics. It will make you think, but interesting content and persuasive arguments are buried in clumsy prose that turns away the average reader.

While that may not be a problem, as the average reader probably doesn't really want to read a book about the flaws in the education system, it does irritate me that arguments regarding education have such a tendency to be somewhat tricky to decipher. Education is something we all have to go through, should we not all be able to access and have input into what it entails?

My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like Politics of Fear: Beyond Left and Right, in which Frank Furedi explores modern politics.

Buy Wasted: Why Education Isn't Educating by Frank Furedi at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wasted: Why Education Isn't Educating by Frank Furedi at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Wasted: Why Education Isn't Educating by Frank Furedi at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wasted: Why Education Isn't Educating by Frank Furedi at Amazon.com.


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