Guy Fawkes and our education system

guy fawkes.jpg

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

(For the full lyrics see Guy Fawkes Night)

It’s Guy Fawkes day – yay! (not!) But it’s got me thinking – what are the parallels between Guy Fawkes Day and our education system? None you say – well think in this…

  • Both have their origins centuries ago, with the real reasons for their beginnings and relevance to our modern day able to be articulated by but a few in our society.
  • Both have since been shrouded with traditions and customary practices that further distance us from these origins.
  • Difficulties have been experienced along the way in both cases as some of these customs and traditions confront changes in societal thinking and behaviour, resulting in cosmetic ‘tweaking’ of the conditions under which these customs and traditions may be observed and practised.
  • In both cases we observe strong public reaction at any suggestion of significant change to these customs and traditions (despite there being repeated cases of events that threaten the safety and well-being of citizens)
  • In both cases examples can be found of safe, well managed and enjoyable practices, which are frequently used to defend the continuation of the customs and traditions at a system wide level.

Worth pondering? Those are simply my reflections on this Guy Fawkes day, when I prepare (again) to lock pets inside, try to explain to my kids why it is that this is all going on, and prepare for tomorrow morning when I have to clear my yard of all the rockets and used fireworks wrappers whose guidance systems have led them directly into my vegetable patch.

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