Education has betrayed its promises to deliver upward social mobility and a brighter future.
Young people study harder but learn less, running up a down-escalator of devalued qualifications to become overqualified but underemployed, unable to move forward with their lives.
From primary to post-graduate schools – funny phonics through endless testing to phoney apprenticeships and the world’s most costly university fees – Patrick Ainley explains how English education is now driven by the economy and politics, ‘dumbing down’ rather than ‘wising up’.
Addressed to teachers and students at all levels of learning, it concludes by suggesting how schools, colleges and universities can begin to contribute towards a more meaningful and productive society.
Professor of Education at the University of Greenwich and Visiting Fellow at New College, Oxford, Patrick Ainley has taught in schools, colleges and universities, writing on youth and education including From School to YTS (1988) and Lost Generation? (2010).
"Human capital theory is dead. From those tests for four-year-olds to the clutch of GCSEs, A-levels and degrees, will there be a job at the end and what sort of job in this global economy? This book shows clearly what is really happening and offers some very real solutions." Sally Tomlinson, Professor Emeritus, Goldsmiths, University of London
"achieves the difficult balance between serving as an introductory text and doing justice to a range of arguments" - Marx & Philosophy Review of Books
"Betraying a Generation provides a particularly lucid and authoritative critique of contemporary trends in education and society more broadly - and the far-reaching consequences of such changes for young people in particular." Robin Simmons, Post-16 Educator
"Betraying a generation is thorough and comprehensive and will help readers understand key debates about the changing nature of education and work, as well as associated questions about social class, inequality and the economy more generally." British Journal of Educational Studies
"[Ainley's] book is invaluable for those that would oppose the use of education to further fracture society." Critical Professional Learning
"The 'betrayal' lies in the lack of understanding. This book remedies this!" Nina Payne, Youth and Community Work graduate
"This book decisively debunks the conventional wisdom of neoliberalism and 'human capital' theory and as such is an essential read." Peter Latham, Morning Star
"Ever thought school was stupid, college a treadmill, and universities neglected your interest? Have you been propelled towards jobs that either didn’t exist or that you wish didn’t? If you need to know what is really going on in the education and labour markets, I recommend this book." Danny Dorling, Professor of Geography, University of Oxford
"A brilliant book – forensic analysis supported by research and evidence to reveal powerfully the present state of education. The book is lucidly written, a scintillating success." Stewart Ranson, Professor Emeritus, University of Warwick