Everyone’s an educational expert, but it was ever thus

Have you noticed how everybody seems to be an expert on education these days? In fact, you only have to pick up a newspaper more or less any day of the week to find some minor celebrity saying something asinine like “Schools should teach kids how to stay safe online” (Really? What a great idea. How come we  didn’t think of that?!). I don’t take much notice of these people, but it does annoy me when they somehow get on to conference programmes.

Anyone can be an expert on everything! Photo by Alan Cleaver https://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/

That’s why I wrote the article entitled 7 questions to ask about big name speakers at education technology conferences (which was read hundreds of times in the first few days, which prompts me to think I must have touched a nerve). Then Tom Bennett published a great article reviewing Ken Robinson’s book about creative schools, which I regard as being on a par with Dorothy Parker’s famous pronouncement:

This is not a book to be cast aside lightly, but to be thrown across the room with great force.

But trawling through the archives I discovered an article written 20 years ago that reminded me that this was ever thus. Here it is, from the pages of InTegrate, the magazine of the subject association ACITT, written by a columnist going by the name of Sisyphus.


The founder of an internet cafe, which is a cafe where you can compute while you are drinking your coffee, says that the cafe runs sessions for training teachers to use the internet. This is excellent news, because it certainly relieves us professionals of the burden of running INSET.

However, we would not like them to think that we are selfish, and that this is a one way street. Consequently, ACITT is proud to announce its new courses in cafe management. Our special half-day workshop goes into the basics of catering, while our full day course shows you how to set up your own cafe business.

From InTegrate #20, 1995

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