The Education Industry

The Education Industry

The Education Industry

The Education Industry

Synopsis

In one sense, education was always a service industry. This book examines the quality as well as the quantity of contemporary education as it answers the following questions: Are we getting value for money? What makes a good teacher? What sort of education do we want? In the UK in the twentieth century education grew while national income did not. Britain devoted more of its resources to education than any other European nation and yet the UK had the largest proportion of children leaving school at 15 and spent more on each university place than the USA. The author argues that far too little attention was paid to cost-effectiveness analysis and planning. He examines Swedish and American examples and concludes that we must seek and employ the common features of modern management - network analysis, operational research and organizational theory. He also argues that traditional education has to come to terms with the mounting pressures of new curricula and new media.

Excerpt

The study of education draws upon an ever-widening range of disciplines. In writing The Education Industry the author has ventured into fields in which he can claim no special competence and wishes to acknowledge the assistance, guidance and criticism he received from many quarters. He is particularly grateful for permission to use extracts from unpublished papers by the following: R. A. Becher and J. F. Duke (National Council for Educational Technology), Brian Lewis (Centre for Research into Instructional Technology, Cambridge), Professor G. M. Jenkins (University of Lancaster), Dr W. D. Firman (University of the State of New York, State Education Department, Albany, N.Y.) and Eskil Björklund (Assistant Director, Research and Planning Bureau, National Board of Education, Stockholm). The latter very kindly checked the chapter on ‘A Systems Approach to Educational Reform: the Swedish Example’ and suggested minor corrections, while Professor Harry Passow (Department of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University) answered queries arising from his evaluative study of current curriculum developments in Sweden.

Acknowledgements are also due to C. E. Cumming (Scottish Education Costs Project, Department of Education, Glasgow University) for material included in the chapter entitled ‘The Improvident Society’, to Dr J. Duthie (Department of Education, Stirling University) for advice on problems of job-evaluation in the classroom, to Professor Mark Blaug (Institute of Education, London University) for answering queries concerning unit costs in higher education in the UK, and to Professor W. J. M. Mackenzie (Department of Management and Government, Glasgow University) for reading and commenting upon the chapter on ‘Notes and Queries on General Systems Theory’.

W. Kenneth Richmond Glasgow, December 1968 . . .

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