Whatever motivates young people to do well is complicated and wonderful
12 November, 2020
• RECENTLY I have been travelling by taxis – not black cab or Uber – just my local London cars.
As an ex-sociology lecturer I am always interested in people’s lives. My taxi drivers tend to be from different countries: Turkey, Bangladesh, Algeria, Somalia, Pakistan and other African and Asian countries.
One thing they have in common is a respect for education (and doctors). Because I have taught in Camden, Haringey and Walthamstow, I usually ask about their children’s schools.
Their daughters and sons are usually university students – London-based, or Birmingham, Luton, East Anglia, Middlesex, and usually studying business, engineering, economics or medical sciences.
Some drivers have been university-educated or have been restaurant or business owners who now find taxi driving more profitable and conducive to child care.
I have taught a variety of successful students including actors, actresses, footballers, doctors, physios, accountants – not boring ones – many from immigrant families, some who arrived not speaking English.
Whatever motivates young people to do well is complicated and wonderful.
I am always banging on about education offering all the answers and now, with the world upside down, education, is, more than ever, what makes us all global successful humans.