Education, Edukation, Edukashun
by James Rainsford
Release Date: 30th Mar 2009
Publisher: Olympia Publishers
ISBN: 978 1 9055 1390 1
Average Customer Rating:
(0.0 based on 0 ratings)
Insightful and humorous insider's look at our secondary school education...
Parents usually reside in one of two groupings; those that are perceive their children’s education to be of paramount importance and those that see schooling as approximately a six-hour break from their children’s constant demands for attention, money and food. Recognising this, there are also schools that appear to run along similar themes: those that reward academic achievement and good behaviour versus those that babysit their pupils with thinly veiled disdain and dislike. It is almost certain that the more humour set up of the two would be the latter (in both cases) – and so it is that Dave Falconer, nearing retirement age and having the distinctly unrewarding task of attempting to teach unashamedly academically adverse pupils at the welsh secondary school, Gruffudd ap Cynan.
Education, Edukation, Edukashun follows the shenanigans of the pupils as said school, from the inexplicably bizarre fencing racket that is set up at the school’s Christmas Fayre (a pupil’s parent had been exhaustively pilfering locals garden gnomes), to the more intriguing incident of an abducted duck from a day out at Paradise Park. Told with caustic humour and repelling all sense of sympathy for either the pupils or the staff; Education, Edukation, Edukashun is a comprehensive blend of antipathy and disastrous senior management, as well as an indictment of this country’s Educational system. One could argue that the voice of Dave Falconer is one of a minority; a mere dissident, pouring scorn and criticism on a system that he has somehow fallen foul of – but the fact is that Falconer’s character is one that is admired amongst the staff and pupils alike, one whose authority is acknowledged if not always obeyed and one who clearly cares for those under his pastoral care, even if he rarely shows it.
James Rainsford, himself being a teacher and having endured many years within the Educational system, is clearly no stranger to the absurdities that occur. It is fortuitous perhaps, that despite the obvious bitterness towards poor management and the uselessness of school inspections, Rainsford still manages to write with unequivocal humour and warmth – relishing at times the disparaging truths asserted by pupils over their poorly matched head teacher and senior management team. Education, Edukation, Edukashun serves as a warning and a benchmark. Parents must open their eyes to impact their own opinions towards education will have on their own children’s learning. Those parents who incessantly bemoan their school should take a realistic look at how it is performing given its considerable constraints and the Educational system as a whole needs an overhaul. Maybe we should send a copy to Ed Balls?
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03 March 2010: Sam Shove
This was a funny and entertaining book and a very intriguing and enlightening insight into the inner workings of the comprehensive education system. Rainsford has created believable and recognisable characters in both the teaching staff and the pupils of Gruffud ap Cynan Comp. Being raised in a small Welsh town myself I recognised many of the traits of the staff and pupils alike and some of the incidents in the book seemed eerily familiar and I could certainly image some of my old teachers thinking along the same lines as Dave Falconer. My only problem with this book was the slightly excessive use of commas and exclamations marks but as I tend to read books without paying a huge amount of attention to the grammer (which I'll admit does occasionally cause me some confusion) I didn't find it detracted from the story too much. Overall a thoroughly entertaining and light hearted book that shines a bright spot light on the education system showing all it's faults, flaws and occasional successes through the eyes of a slightly cynical and brilliantly witty teacher. I will definitely be reading this again.
24 November 2009: Belinda Gregory
I have just finished reading Education, Edukation, Edukashun and feel compelled to write a review
Education, Edukation, Edukashun traces the trials and tribulations of the staff and pupils of a Welsh comprehensive school. The narrative follows the daily misfortunes of Dave Falconer, a head of year near to retirement. He describes the polar experiences of students and staff from the apparently insignificant to the life changing with an acerbic wit and critical analysis, making this novel a delightful complex amalgam of human dexterity, determination and failure. His characters are painted as colourful, humorous and often realistically pathetic or incompetent. The difficulties of executing a school event are described with a mix of remarkable comedy, perceptive analysis of human nature and with a rarely found talent of being unpredictable.
Negative at times, yet refreshingly humorous in its self-critical exploration of an out of date system managed by those who are all too frequently, promoted to their own level of incompetence, taught by the clichéd overworked and underpaid and attended by the spectrum of pupils, who range from the delinquent and disaffected to the highly talented and incredibly delightful.
This is a must read for everyone, even if you don’t work in a school you will have been to one - It will take you back to the best time of your life.
07 October 2009: Anonymous
A very funny book- It arrived (by post) and I read it through til late at night- i did laugh out loud a number of times- my favourite character Dr Simon Moore seemed particularly likeable though not a main character he seemed very interesting- the book zips along at a pleasant pace and the characters are well drawn- a very enjoyable read- look out Kingsley Amis!
17 June 2009: Anonymous
A Brilliant Read!
Without doubt, this was one of the most humorous books I've ever read. The characters were a complete joy and the incidents relateted were so interesting that I found it impossible to put down.
I agree totally with the previous reviewer. This is a MUST read book,which will live in the memory forever!
21 May 2009: Anonymous
This book was a complete delight! Everyone MUST have a read - let your minds loose in the world of Abercwmtwerp. Hilarious, and so very true!