In a speech today about education reform, Prime Minister Julia Gillard made the following comment: “Funding should recognise that children are individuals, not standardised widgets.” I don’t want to belittle or side-track the debate over how schools get financed, but that comment displays a slight ignorance of how the word ‘widget’ is mostly used these days.
Picture by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
As any Android user can tell you, it’s the ability to choose the widgets you need and customise them that makes them so useful. Widgets are definitely not one-size-fits-all and unshifting. I totally agree that our education system shouldn’t aim that way.
What I think the PM wanted to say was that education shouldn’t be like the iTunes App Store: subject to arbitrary boundaries set by a single unaccountable body. Your thoughts?