A good friend of mine, Maria Egan, has just set up a new education blog. It’s called the Razor Blade in the Candy Floss.
Maria has been an enormous influence on my thinking and writing so I am really pleased she has set up this blog, although it does mean I won’t be able to pass off her ideas as my own any more. I first met Maria when she was a teacher at my school in my final year at 6th form. I actually gave her the nickname ‘Razor Blade in the Candy Floss’ because of the habit she had of saying things that seemed completely innocuous but turned out to contain a bit of a sting in the tail – often a sting you only realised a couple of hours later while you were trying to avoid doing your homework.
Maria is also a bit of a dark horse because it turns out she has been running this blog on her school’s intranet for a while but I never knew about it, even though we have long discussions about education (this may have something to do with the fact that a lot of our discussions degenerate into monologues by me). The most recent post is a review of David Brooks’s A Road to Character. I recommended this book to Maria because I really liked it and thought it was quite insightful. However, as ever, Maria has a way of pointing out some of the flaws in it in a way that makes me feel slightly credulous.
And although I agree with Brooks that the ‘me me me’ culture is deplorable, I think that the underlying premise of the book is a bit pessimistic. Are all the world’s greatest people really dead? Is there an ever dwindling number of people with personality traits we could aspire to emulate? Am I really going to start attending funerals where the nicest thing anyone can think to say about the deceased is that she had a growth mindset? Life is different from before; people are different from before, but I’m not despairing about the current generation or future ones. I couldn’t teach if I were.
So, in short: follow that blog!