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Fragments II: micro stories about the learning business

The World's First Supermarket of Schools

Good morning and welcome to MarketEd, the world's first one-stop shopping outlet for you and your child's future.

Today, in aisles 53-57, you will find our latest international school collection, which boasts more than nine thousand varieties, including our latest for-profit models and schools with accelerated university pathways. The inclusive school range has also now been expanded and can be coupled with psychological testing services in aisles 51 and 52.

On special today, the AltSchool in aisle 58 is offering a personalised learning warranty. But if it is traditional rigour that you are looking for, there are plenty of schools in aisle 57 that can be bundled with plug-n-play tutor services in aisles 60-62.

Religious affiliated schools are over in aisles 3 and 7, next to home school resources and uniforms.

MarketEd - where you can buy your child a good living and a good life.*

*Please note that financial conditions may apply. See terms and conditions.

A photograph of a young child in a shopping cart in a supermarket

Thankfully, this story isn't true. Or is it?

As I sat reading Ken Robinson's latest book this week, You, Your Child and School: Navigate Your Way to the Best Education, I could not help but reflect on how difficult it is for parents to make good choices along the endless aisles of educational consumerism.

One of the problems that parents are facing, I suggest, is the same another consumer dilemma that has plagued parents for the past fifty years: fat vs. sugar.

As parents, we used to think that we were doing the right thing if we kept an eye out for products labelled "low-fat" in our local supermarkets. Today, however, it appears that sugar is the real enemy of adolescent health.

As parents, we also used to think that we were doing the right thing if we regularly fed our children a constant diet of "benchmark, practice, field and diagnostic examinations" (Robinson, 16).

It turns out, however, that testing might end up being the real enemy of adolescent learning.

So no wonder our parents are fundamentally confused shoppers.


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