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Unthinkable: Philosopher Rob Grant has written a children’s book with a message for adults

Rob Grant, academic, musician and author of The Philosophy Resistance Squad.

Rob Grant, academic, musician and author of The Philosophy Resistance Squad.

Rob Grant has written a book about a school called The Institute, where students are used as a resource “to be shaped and moulded for profit”. It’s fiction but elements of the story – society’s emphasis on economic success and parental and media obsession with educational rankings – are all too real.

The Institute, or more precisely the Secondary Training Institute for Lifelong Employment (STIFLE), promises “the best education money can buy” as “an exclusive club – a club made up of winners”. Under dastardly headmaster Dr Finnegus Pummelcrush, it runs weekly tests, there is no playing allowed (“serious exercise only”) and students say a daily prayer: “I aspire to surrender my mind, my body and my soul. I surrender them to the almighty, all-knowing system…”

The Irish Times
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