Elitism Works

An excellent column here.

Elitism clearly works well in sport. Find the potential stars, hothouse them to the maximum of their innate talents and see what happens.

So why in buggery do we have an education system that does exactly the opposite?

8 thoughts on “Elitism Works”

  1. It’s (relatively) easy to both measure and achieve 16 golds, in comparison to measuring and achieving an increase in the standard of sports achievement in every child across the country.

    Re education generally, we need an increase in standards across all participants in the education system, not just in the elite. This is hard to measure, hard to achieve, but a very worthy objective.

    I accept that one size fits all has failed us, but elitism as the sole mechanism to achieve nationwide improvement? Not sure?

  2. Excellent idea if we design our education system in order to stand a chance of 1 in 200 people winning the World Suduko Championship.

  3. Because it’s not fair that some succeed while others don’t (please read the word “fair” in a juvenile whiney voice).

  4. “So why in buggery do we have an education system that does exactly the opposite?”

    We do, that’s why we have 3 of the world’s top 10 universities. It’s the bit below the Olympic level (Sunday league football versus couch potato, I suppose) where we fall down.

  5. I have a slight caveat. Life is not a set competition with people racing towards a set finishing line, as in rowing, cycling, etc. Rather, as the late Robert Nozick, the libertarian thinker pointed out, it is people exchanging things with others to get what they want. Now if life were like an Olympic race, it means that any form of advantage one athlete has over the other, such as wearing lighter shoes, or getting a slight head start, or taking steroids, counts as cheating. Yet when egalitarians attack things like private schools, they are employing the “race-track” analogy of running towards a set finishing line. But the anology is wrong.

    Competition is great and must be encouraged, and much of the article you linked to makes sense. But let’s be careful here. Not everyone comes “first” strictly on merit. Some live a full life doing less effort than others. This may be “unfair”, but it is only “unfair” if you regard life as a closed race officiated by those judge how we make use of our talents. Such a society would be intolerable and totalitarian.

  6. “JohnB” “We do, that’s why we have 3 of the world’s top 10 universities.”

    Purely as an accident of history. Can’t you imagine the screams of horror and outrage from the “equality industry” if you attempted to create such elite educational establishments during the last 20 -30 years?

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