Next Meetup

Webinar - Meritocracy Exposed: The New Elite of Our Modern Age.
Join us in this webinar with Terry Loane where we explore the belief that we should encourage and reward merit in society as that will empower all and create equality of opportunity. A meritocratic society is in the reach of us all. You can register for this webinar at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ds7WQHrhQZmWFLSG2ep_XQ and once registered you will be sent your login details. In this webinar Terry Loane will question these assumptions and lead us in a discussion around meritocracy (i.e. Ability +Effort = Merit) and explain why he thinks it is a flawed formula that is dangerous in the 21st century. The famous economist Thomas Piketty has argued that - “Modern meritocratic society… is much harder on the losers, because it seeks to justify domination on the ground of justice, virtue, and merit.” When Michael Young coined the word ‘meritocracy’ in 1958 as the title of his satirical book The Rise of the Meritocracy he intended the word to have a derogatory meaning; he intended his book as a warning. Yet the idea of meritocracy and the simplistic formula that underpins it: “Ability + Effort = Merit” seem to have been accepted more or less uncritically by politicians and others for the last thirty years or so. Michael Young in his classic book "The Rise Of The Meritocracy" saw the dangers of a this creating a new and entrenched elite that reduces both opportunity and social mobility and in the reaction to this he foresaw the populist revolt that we are experiencing now. This webinar will seek to explore and challenge three myths based around meritocracy and the idea that “Ability + Effort = Merit”: • The first is that human ability is a fixed attribute of each individual and can be measured scientifically (by IQ testing); • The second is that lack of success is a result of lack of effort, that those who fail to work hard enough deserve what is coming to them. • The third assumption is that the advancement of those who succeed “comes from their own merits, [so] they can feel they deserve whatever they can get… they can be insufferably smug.” Terry Loane has had a wide-ranging 45-year career as an educator. He has worked with learners at every level from pre-school children to postgraduate higher education students. He spent a number of years as Head of Adult Education in a London Borough, but tiptoed out of this job in 2002 as he felt increasingly strangled by the ever-tightening noose of the government-imposed compliance culture. Thereafter he worked as a freelance specialist in the use of technology to enhance learning. More recently his main interest has been in how technological and social changes require us to challenge our assumptions about how educational institutions exert control on learning and learners. His early career was in music education (and he can still occasionally be heard playing the piano at various down-at-heel venues).

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