chapter  3
17 Pages

Can schools do it all?

This vivid depiction of life in the Bronx given by David Berliner in interview may seem far removed from the lives of children growing up in the United Kingdom but it is, nonetheless, a stark reminder of the futility of the belief that schools can do it all. It was Basil Bernstein who famously wrote, four decades ago that schools ‘cannot compensate for society’ (Bernstein, 1977). They cannot repair the ruins of social policy or environments unfit for children and families and however resilient children may be, resilience is, says Berliner, not an inexhaustible commodity.