Reflections

Clenton Farquarson: Two Different Things

Clenton Farquarson was born in Birmingham in 1964. He grew up in Birmingham and went to his local mainstream schools.

Here Clenton explores the culture of school and the difference between schooling and education.

  • Clenton Farquarson
  • Clenton Farquarson
  • Clenton Farquarson
http://howwasschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/two-different-things.mp3

Transcript

Education and school are two different things, but a lot of people assume that because you go to a school, you’re being educated. They’re two different things for me. Like I said, it’s looking – you’ve helped me look back at certain journey of, you know, my schooling and I've found that it boils down to the ABC of education, attitude, behaviour and culture. And the culture that I found myself in as a child wasn’t productive.

Now if you look at talent, the word talent is latent and if you look at the definition of latent, that means hidden. And to me, that’s what the education system does to people with labels, regardless if it’s dyslexia or, you know, ADD or a physical disability, whatever label, it’s hidden. But you have to know, get to know people, find out, have conversations to find out their aspirations and hopes and dreams. I don’t think the education system does that well.

But for me, we were seen as the underclass, the underbelly, the moral underclass, because we really had issues with our attitudes, our behaviour and the culture that we created within our group. But what I think needs to be understood is people have to find education as … it’s an emotive, you’ve got to want to be educated and you’ve got to find the spark that you find, you know, lights up the flame inside, that it sparks the flame inside of you. And teachers are there to explore that for me, not just see you as a vessel and think, I want to pour knowledge into you. That isn’t the role of education, it’s about helping you to unpick that, helping you to think and feel and do, you know.

Education isn’t just about – we have this set of history, this is how it goes, you learn all these dates and so on. It’s about questioning and I think we still don’t do that with education as it is, you know. For me, I would class education is like a religion because it affects all of us, you know, we all have to go through it. So education to me is … it’s all of us in it together, that’s education, not just an elite set of principals to help to give other people more advantage. It’s about trying to get everyone, wherever your starting point is, and helping you to get up to your dreams, you hopes, you know, of whatever that might be. That’s where I think is missing and needs filling in, so yeah.