On Friday teachers did a 'read-in' inside the lobby of the UK department of education. The catalyst was the decree by education secretary Michael Gove, that children in England should no longer have US literature on their syllabus, even though works like 'To Kill a Mockingbird', 'Of Mice and Men' and 'the Crucible' have enriched children's lives in the UK for many years.

According to one source this is because Mr Gove 'really dislikes' Of Mice and Men. The absurd spectacle of a man who has never taught in his life provoking the education and literary world with his ill-informed edicts, is typical of the situation facing educationists globally.

Neither the curriculum nor education methodology are any more in the hands of teachers or education scholars, leave alone the communities they serve or the students. The OECD has managed to host two 'international summits on the teaching profession' without including a single teacher. Instead the gatherings were made up of global corporations, foundations, NGOs and financial institutions promoting a globalised version of education which largely ignores cultural and linguistic difference, leave alone the struggle for a better world.

The yearning towards social justice demonstrated by writers like Harper Lee, John Steinbeck and Arthur Miller is shared by teachers and communities globally. In their different languages and cultural heritages other great writers have articulated the same desire. Clearly neo-liberal politicians like Michael Gove will not have listened to the teachers reading great literature outside his office. However the spirit which impelled those teachers must be replicated globally if we are to wrest back education from those for whom the shouts of city traders will always drown out the song of a mockingbird.