I have been a teacher for 26 years, a Headteacher for 11 years and, at the age of 50, this much I know about my students’ cultural lives (and being the same age as Nigel Farage…)
I discovered yesterday that not one of my Economics A level students listens to PM, the news programme hosted by Eddie Mair on Radio 4. I was using a snippet from last Tuesday’s programme on the threat of deflation; when I suggested that they should listen to PM because it would help them with their studies, they were aghast. “Is it all, just, like, all talking? Is there not even the odd bit of music?” asked Jack. It was a skirmish I was never going to win.
The trouble is, if my students aspire to greatness, occasionally they really should listen to PM. Now, I know that, at 50 years old, I am younger than the average PM listener; I know that I am almost exactly the same age as Nigel Farage (holds his head and weeps openly); I know much about the cultural lives of 18 year olds, as I cohabit with a prime example of one myself, but I just wonder how we can motivate our youngsters to aspire to find out more about how our world works, so they can play a greater role in shaping its future.
Or perhaps they just find out about the world on the latest App…