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Professional Life and Work

Professional Knowledge, Professional Lives: studies in education and change

Educational Research as a Public Intellectual

Raymond Williams spent much of his life railing against the conservative bias of the academy which he judged to be a central explanation of what he called 'English backwardness'.  'He makes the acid point that those who could be called intellectuals in other countries are in Britain mostly brought up in a system of private education designed for a class which includes the leading politicians, civil servants, company directors and lawyers' (Williams, 1983).

Williams' diagnosis of late 1980s Britain is a depressing one:

At every level, including our own, this is a seriously undereducated society.  The problems it faces are intractable with the kind of information and argument now publicly available.  There is no obvious way of measuring this most serious of deficits.  Some indications occur in the condition of our newspapers after a hundred years of general literacy, and in the character of parliamentary and electoral debates.  The way is open for weak minds to renounce, in some despair, the whole project of public education (Williams, 1989, p. 21).

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Professional Knowledge, Professional Lives
  • Date of publication: 01/09/2003
  • Number of pages (as Word doc): 160
  • Publisher: Open University Press
  • Co-author: NAN
  • Subject:
    Professional Life and Work
  • Available in:
    English
  • Appears in:
    Professional Knowledge, Professional Lives: studies in education and change
  • Paperback
  • Price of book: £23.99
  • ISBN: 9780335204113
  • Purchase this book:
    Open University Press
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