Education is characterised by marked and damaging schisms among its specialties, especially between classroom practitioners and academic members of the profession. While many or most commentators accept this rift as arising from real and significant differences between the groups, this article argues that the schism can be seen as the consequence of the reduced status of education as an institution. Mary Douglas's cultural theory is utilised to explore ways in which low status pushes any institution, education included, towards the world-view of a cult or sect. The origins of aspects of contemporary educational thought that attract considerable criticism from 'outside' are traced to thought styles that are typical of a cult. The suggestion is made that continuing criticism that further erodes education's status will not lead to desired change but instead entrench practitioners' stance of resistance to demands that originate from outside the profession.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/catherine_scott/9/