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#31 Aquarelle

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 08:40

QUOTE
QUOTE(Mad Tom @ Jan 3 2010, 03:58 AM) View Post


And isn't the true purpose of state schooling to equip the majority of people to do a menial job and become docile consumers. Where does this myth about schools being there to help every child develop to their full potential come from? Because it just ain't true, despite the best efforts of many dedicated teachers.


Oh Tom! Oh Tom! How right you are - and how worng!

I am not suggesting that state education is merely a way of stopping child prostitution and child labour - but look at what happens in countries where there is little or no state education. And then there is this thing about "Assume a virture if you have it not." At least while the slogan is there some people will try to live up to it. And if you have to end up doing a job which has no real satisfaction then perhpas something you learnt in school may take you along another path to some sort of fulfillment outside the job. And as for being docile consumers - well I agree and I disagree. Docile no, but consumers we must be. If money doesn't circulate no one will eat.

Perhaps I should run off and hide before Tom shoots me down!!!

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#32 Guest: Mad Tom_*

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 11:24

QUOTE(Aquarelle @ Jan 3 2010, 10:40 AM) View Post

Perhaps I should run off and hide before Tom shoots me down!!!

Wouldn't dream of it. You are an ally. smile.gif

It is not that State education is bound to be a bad thing. It is the state's job to make provision for education by providing buildings, materials, and other resources, training and paying teachers, and by funding independent exam boards and other forms of accreditation. Because otherwise only the rich could afford it.

Where it goes wrong is where the state gets too involved in what is taught, how it is taught, and how it is assessed - or when education gets too single-mindedly focussed on preparation for work (the 'needs' of business) both of which have happened in the UK over the last 30 years.

Society also needs its internal dissenters and its dreamers
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#33 anacrusis

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 12:07

QUOTE(Mad Tom @ Jan 3 2010, 11:24 AM) View Post

QUOTE(Aquarelle @ Jan 3 2010, 10:40 AM) View Post

Perhaps I should run off and hide before Tom shoots me down!!!

Society also needs its internal dissenters and its dreamers

Oh, my goodness yes.
Trouble is, those are the ones who don't fit into the education system at all - some will quietly coast through, doing their own thing despite the system, others will make a huge fuss and noise about everything and become deeply unpopular, and others drop out, "failures" as far as the system is concerned sad.gif.
Then again, the system which teaches our teachers doesn't encourage the inspirational and those willing to think out of the box either sad.gif sad.gif.
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#34 Cyrilla

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 14:22

QUOTE(Mad Tom @ Jan 3 2010, 11:24 AM) View Post

Society also needs its internal dissenters and its dreamers.


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QUOTE(anacrusis @ Jan 3 2010, 12:07 PM) View Post

Trouble is, those are the ones who don't fit into the education system at all - some will quietly coast through, doing their own thing despite the system, others will make a huge fuss and noise about everything and become deeply unpopular, and others drop out, "failures" as far as the system is concerned sad.gif.
Then again, the system which teaches our teachers doesn't encourage the inspirational and those willing to think out of the box either sad.gif sad.gif.


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#35 Aquarelle

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 16:41

QUOTE
QUOTE(Mad Tom @ Jan 3 2010, 12:24 PM) View Post



Where it goes wrong is where the state gets too involved in what is taught, how it is taught, and how it is assessed - or when education gets too single-mindedly focussed on preparation for work (the 'needs' of business) both of which have happened in the UK over the last 30 years.

Society also needs its internal dissenters and its dreamers


Thanks Tom for not shooting me!! And how right you are in what you say about the state getting too involved in content. I'm off to see "The White ribbon" tonight - don't know much about the film except that according to something someone said on television it's about education in Germany just before the war - which is what decided me to go and have a look.
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#36 Arundodonuts

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 21:39

QUOTE(Aquarelle @ Jan 3 2010, 04:41 PM) View Post

I'm off to see "The White ribbon" tonight - don't know much about the film except that according to something someone said on television it's about education in Germany just before the war - which is what decided me to go and have a look.

Ooh, do tell when you've seen it. My mum and uncle were at school in Germany at that time and were always quite insistent that it was scholarships introduced at that time which gave them a decent education previously denied the working classes.

QUOTE(Halka @ Jan 3 2010, 12:28 AM) View Post

Meanwhile, my father was deputy head at the local ex-grammar school. There was no "instant lowering of standards" there when it turned comprehensive. Why on earth should there have been?

There shouldn't have been. But I can only comment on my experience.
QUOTE

This is just the kind of comment which would have dismayed and upset my father when he was teaching. I went there myself for the sixth form, and left with 5 excellent A levels and 2 S levels, as were. It is true that the grammar school, as was, was obliged to take children from a more working class area, which in turn dismayed the local snobs

Now that's interesting, in that it's precisely because of the existence of grammar schools that I, a working class boy from a Yorkshire pit village, and many of my peers, were able to access a high standard of education (note this was while it was a grammar - class wasn't one of the entry criteria).
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#37 BerkshireMum

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:11

QUOTE(pushpull @ Jan 3 2010, 10:39 PM) View Post

Now that's interesting, in that it's precisely because of the existence of grammar schools that I, a working class boy from a Yorkshire pit village, and many of my peers, were able to access a high standard of education (note this was while it was a grammar - class wasn't one of the entry criteria).

Oooh - which was your school? I went to Wath, which turned comprehensive the year I started there. Not that I was truly working class, as because of getting into grammar school my parents had been able to become teachers - their fathers were a miner and a bus driver.

My brother, who's 9 years my senior, has often said something very similar to you; and also that had it not been for State Scholarships working class students would never have been able to go to university. The wheel appears to be turning full circle now, as if tuition fees are raised to £10,000 pa working class kids will be back in the position of being unable to afford university. (Yes, I know there will be grants for the poorest, but under the present system many working class families earn too much to benefit to any significant extent - it's mostly for one parent families.)
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#38 Arundodonuts

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:46

QUOTE(BerkshireMum @ Jan 4 2010, 08:11 AM) View Post

Oooh - which was your school? I went to Wath, which turned comprehensive the year I started there. Not that I was truly working class, as because of getting into grammar school my parents had been able to become teachers - their fathers were a miner and a bus driver.

I was on the Yorkshire/Notts border, so although the tax man was a tyke from Doncaster, the education service was Notts. North Border. So I went to the Winifred Portland in Worksop. I think it was bulldozed some years ago.
QUOTE

My brother, who's 9 years my senior, has often said something very similar to you; and also that had it not been for State Scholarships working class students would never have been able to go to university. The wheel appears to be turning full circle now, as if tuition fees are raised to £10,000 pa working class kids will be back in the position of being unable to afford university. (Yes, I know there will be grants for the poorest, but under the present system many working class families earn too much to benefit to any significant extent - it's mostly for one parent families.)

Don't get me started on student loans. I received an almost full grant and wouldn't have been able to go on to further education without it. Of course it wasn't possible to get a student loan in those days. However, I'm sure it simply isn't part of the psysche of many working class people to go massively into debt to be a student and that must be having an impact.

If a country wants educated people, it should pay to educate them. From general taxation. We pay plenty back later on.

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#39 Guest: Celeste_*

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:14

QUOTE(notmusimum @ Dec 31 2009, 09:09 PM) View Post
Don't get me wrong I do believe everyone should reach their full potential but that means EVERYONE.
Full potential? Arguably, there is no such thing. A person's potential is not 'fixed' - one could continue to improve and improve and improve. I think this is one problem faced by schools... Yes, you *can* push pupils, but just how hard can you push them in the available time? If you've got someone studying GCSE Physics who is a bit shaky when it comes to Maths, it's going to take them longer to pick up some concepts than someone who is a whizz at Maths. So, should the less-able pupil be left to 'get on with it' while the able pupil gets a lot of attention from the teacher and is pushed harder - even though they'd probably get a top grade anyway? I mean, streaming is probably the answer here, but that means more teachers, more space, more resources... more money.


QUOTE(pushpull @ Jan 2 2010, 04:14 PM) View Post
I'm of the 11 plus and grammar school generation and I don't think the current system would have given me the same opportunities I had then. My school went comprehensive just as I entered the 6th form and the instant lowering of standards was obvious to all. Luckily the 6th form wasn't affected at that time.
Sorry, this is a bit off-topic. The introduction of the comprehensive system was supposed to create equality of opportunity... The grammar school system arguably did not. After all, how many 11 year olds are likely to have performed to the best of their ability in that one test? 11 is very young to be deciding someone's future for them, and at that young and impressionable age, to be told that you've 'failed' to get into the grammar school (which, unfortunately, would probably have been seen as the only 'decent' option) could be quite crushing, I think. Soapbox, sorry!

It's interesting that you saw a marked difference, pushpull. Do you think that things would be in a better state if the comprehensive system had not been introduced?

(Sorry, I'm reading Educational Studies at university... ph34r.gif)
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#40 ChrisC

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:28

QUOTE(Celeste @ Jan 4 2010, 11:14 AM) View Post



It's interesting that you saw a marked difference, pushpull. Do you think that things would be in a better state if the comprehensive system had not been introduced?

(Sorry, I'm reading Educational Studies at university... ph34r.gif)

I think some things would be better, for example the proportion of state school pupils going to certain universities would be higher, and social mobility would not have stalled. The problem was not the grammar schools, but the rest of the system. There should have been more flexibility to transfer to selective education after 11, and there should have been more investment in the non-grammar part of the system. I also think that the massive expansion of universities was a bad idea, leading to graduates being saddled with massive debts and devaluation of the degree as a qualification.

Chris
(another ex-grammar school pupil)
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#41 Guest: Celeste_*

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:31

QUOTE(ChrisC @ Jan 4 2010, 11:28 AM) View Post
I also think that the massive expansion of universities was a bad idea, leading to graduates being saddled with massive debts and devaluation of the degree as a qualification.
I agree... I mean, the government now want 50% of all school leavers to go to university. 50%?!?! And now there are talks about making degree courses only 2 years long. I was talking to someone who works quite high-up for a company in Germany and they now won't accept even graduates who have a First in their degree.
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#42 Arundodonuts

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 12:03

QUOTE(ChrisC @ Jan 4 2010, 11:28 AM) View Post

QUOTE(Celeste @ Jan 4 2010, 11:14 AM) View Post



It's interesting that you saw a marked difference, pushpull. Do you think that things would be in a better state if the comprehensive system had not been introduced?

(Sorry, I'm reading Educational Studies at university... ph34r.gif)

I think some things would be better, for example the proportion of state school pupils going to certain universities would be higher, and social mobility would not have stalled. The problem was not the grammar schools, but the rest of the system. There should have been more flexibility to transfer to selective education after 11, and there should have been more investment in the non-grammar part of the system. I also think that the massive expansion of universities was a bad idea, leading to graduates being saddled with massive debts and devaluation of the degree as a qualification.

Chris
(another ex-grammar school pupil)

Chris beat me to it Celeste. I agree with him. I don't think the Grammar School system was perfect, but as Chris suggests, I do think it helped social mobility. Yes, I agree there should have been more flexibility to transfer (though some did exist - my sister transferred from Secondary Modern to Grammar in her 2nd year).
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#43 Babybird2

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 12:05

That "50% of school leavers should go to uni" thing really gets to me ph34r.gif
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#44 Arundodonuts

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 12:11

QUOTE(Celeste @ Jan 4 2010, 11:14 AM) View Post

QUOTE(notmusimum @ Dec 31 2009, 09:09 PM) View Post
Don't get me wrong I do believe everyone should reach their full potential but that means EVERYONE.
Full potential? Arguably, there is no such thing. A person's potential is not 'fixed' - one could continue to improve and improve and improve. I think this is one problem faced by schools... Yes, you *can* push pupils, but just how hard can you push them in the available time? If you've got someone studying GCSE Physics who is a bit shaky when it comes to Maths, it's going to take them longer to pick up some concepts than someone who is a whizz at Maths. So, should the less-able pupil be left to 'get on with it' while the able pupil gets a lot of attention from the teacher and is pushed harder - even though they'd probably get a top grade anyway? I mean, streaming is probably the answer here, but that means more teachers, more space, more resources... more money.

Yes I agree. But then spending more money means higher taxation and that scares off the voters (so no chance of any change this year then?). Also, given the differing learning rates of different pupils, it's possibly slightly absurd that everyone is expected to reach the same sort of standard at particular times in their education. Would it be too complex to allow pupils to accelerate some subjects they are good at and extend the time taken on the shaky ones?

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#45 Maizie

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 12:14

QUOTE(Babybird2 @ Jan 4 2010, 12:05 PM) View Post
That "50% of schoo leavers should go to uni" thing really gets to me ph34r.gif
Me too! I've got absolutely no problem with people who are capable of university going to university (and the taxes I pay being used to fund it), but could someone please tell me exactly what all of these graduates are supposed to do when they are finished? We hear every year of the number of graduates who aren't getting jobs, or who aren't getting 'graduate jobs'...well, if 50% of people have degress, then an awful lot wider range of jobs are going to be jobs-for-graduates even if it's not a 'graduate job'!

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