‘Education isn’t something for when they’re old and grey and sitting by the fire. It’s for now’ (Irwin to Hector)
Irwin is the antithesis to Hector’s style of teaching. (‘We’re making your deathbeds here, boys.’ pg30). He is all about teaching to impress the examiner- that’s what he believes education is about.
‘It est commotionné peut-etre?’ (Irwin)
Represents his style of teaching in a form of foreshadowing- it’s all about impressing with the unusual. The impression he makes sets up his character for the rest of the play.
‘It’s sheer competence is staggering. Interest nil.’ (Irwin about Dakin’s essay)
Shows how Irwin’s style of teaching is all about impressing the examiner. This style of learning (the one that gears towards the exams) does not show intelligence but instead is based off how you were taught- your technique.
‘groomed like thoroughbreds for this one particular race’ (Irwin on students who are from private schools)
The exams don;t necessarily show intelligence but technique- Is it fair that if you haven’t been taught this way then you don’t gain a place at Oxbridge?
‘This is history, distance yourself’ (Irwin)
Again, shows how Irwin is the opposite to Hector’s human side of teaching. In effect, his methods (not only with exams but also in his television persona and his political career) are about distancing and, in effect not really telling the whole truth.
‘Hector was a good man, but I do not think that there is time for his teaching anymore’ (Irwin about Hector)
The future of those in education belongs to those like himself. The fact that Irwin survives the motorcycle accident and Hector does not, is perhaps symbolic of the fact that Hector’s style of teaching is dying in place of Irwin’s more exam driven style of teaching.
‘Truth is no more of issue in an examination that thirst at a wine tasting or fashion at a strip tease’ (Irwin about truth)
Again, shows how- to Irwin- truth is not wholly important to the exam, he believes that it doesn’t necessarily mater. is this symbolic of him becoming a politician?