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Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Exciting New Ideas and things... (I think)
After following Archduke's link and reading the article twice, I have to confess that I cannot understand any of it. Sorry
You must remember this Frank; we used to call it topic teaching.
"Qualities such as social and cultural flexibility, self reliance, a strong positive sense of self and an ability to tolerate difference, the capacity to cope with change, a feeling for justice and fairness are all put forward as essential for young adults of the future."
They have always been desirable if not essential, and the duty of the adequate parent to inculcate in the child so that s/he can best benefit from the only type of mass state system that is affordable and remotely achievable: the one (or at most three) size fits all. Children have to adapt to the system, not the other way round.
I've been teaching for 13 years and have recently had my thesis on education passed for an MA - so I hope you understand that this is a carefully considered, informed opinion.
Mick Waters' column is utter bollocks.
I think I can smell another educational dogs breakfast being cooked up.
Meaningless educational drivel from a man who just wants to put even more pressure on teachers and ruin more kids lives with constant change just for the hell of it. Time to hire the skips again and throw away all those not so old schemes and lesson plans. The publishers must be delighted.
I notice the word 'diversity' turns up in this miserable tract.This word is like a virus that infects every aspect of public life,and is surely indicative that whoever utters it has spoken without bothering to put their brain in gear.'Diversity good,non diversity bad'.
Words words and more words, but how does it translate into action? Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword hadn't met this bloke.
I think the gist of it is that, since having a below-average educational system is humiliating, we will now advance at a single bound to having the world's best educational system. Implementation details will be handled by the little people, but if need by Gordon Brown is willing to hand over still further huge heaps of your cash and mine.
Anonymous the M.A. candidate said it best, this is "utter bollocks".
Sadly, it's utter bollocks that will simply accelerate the headlong slide into complete collapse that state education in this country is already engaged upon.
This vacuous, inane drivel is spouted in endless amounts by ideologically driven, self serving placemen/women (that's "education experts to most of us) who wouldn't last 30 seconds with a class of 32 (yep, 32!) Y9 bottom feeders. That would be bad enough, but then lying, hypocritical scumbags (that's "politicians" to most of us) who haven't got a clue what education is for or how it should work ram it down our throats accompanied by half the Amazon rainforest in extra paper.
That would be bad enough, but then spineless, fawning, careerist nonentities (that's SMT to most of us) give us inset where they repeat the utter bollocks as though it were Holy writ and tell us our jobs, wages and pensions depend on us being able to "demonstrate" that we are "implementing" or "delivering" said bollocks.
That would be bad enough, but then the fat arsed, lazy, complacent, establishment toadying cowards (that's the teaching unions and professional associations to most of us) "engage in dialogue" (i.e. cravenly accept without exception) with the government over said bollocks.
That would be bad enough, but then large numbers of gullible, self deluding, wooly headed nincompoops (that's teachers to most of us) swallow said bollocks without comment, except to gush about "honouring diversity" or some other such meaningless garbage.
As for thosr of us who disagree with this chain of events, we are, usually, sidelined, sacked, demoted or written off as reactionary fossils.
Have I left anything out?
Excellent response, other anonymous person, but I would point out one thing - where you say the politicians don't know what education is for or how it should work - I think they know perfectly well that this will have no positive effect on the educational standards achieved by the masses, while appearing to aim for an improvement. And that's exactly what they (the ruling elite) want. There are people at all levels who swallow this nonsense, not realising that the aim of every piece of state education policy since the Thatcher era is to minimise the chance of the masses posing a credible threat to the elite.
I think "wooly headed" was a bit strong.
I despair of this once great country. These idiots have been in charge for 30+ years now and during that time the educational standards of most children have plummeted. Ask any employer - try to find a confident, articulate, well-rounded kid with real potential these days... good luck, it will take a while. When I started employing 16-year-olds in 1985, one in five in our local town (Tamworth, Staffs) met those criteria and it used to break my heart to have to turn some of them away - not least because I knew they could have been good for the business. Now we don't get any. Last year we took on 11 school leavers; they've all since moved on (seven just quit, the other four were fired for being utterly useless and taking the piss, basically. Kids today: they can't look you in the eye, they can't speak beyond a few grunts, every attempted sentence begins with 'like' and ends with 'yeah?', most cannot spell at all, many can't read or write to the standard of my six year old grandson (who is being educated in France), they cannot and will not accept any discipline or instruction, the list goes on.
I am 60 this year and have employed over 300 people in Tamworth since 1985; business is still good but it has become an almighty emotional and mental battle to keep going and i've had enough, so we're shutting the company down in the summer and my wife and I are moving to France.
I literally weep for England.
PS Frank, I bought your book after seeing it recommended in the back of PC Copperfield's (bought for me by my daughter, who's a police officer for her sins). Well done - it's a great read.
"I would encourage teachers, parents, pupils and anyone with an interest in education to let us know their views and help us to shape the future of learning."
And your e-mail address is?
And your website forum is located at?
You can write to us at?
What a wonderful idea! Why stop at the curriculum?
Supply just one size of school uniform, including shoes. Make it of Lycra so it's flexible. Change it every week.
No, really, it makes as much sense doesn't it?
It's all very well moaning, people, but what's to be done? I suspect that it might involve machine-guns.
I'm a student teacher and have spent nearly 2 years trawling through this kind of stuff. So reassuring to see that nobody understands what it means, not just me.
This was a great new passage with which to play Buzzword Bingo.
Our educational system would be immeasurably better if it just taught children to read, write and count and forget this other crap.
Why dont we bombard Mick with these comments - after all, he did ask for them!
So if education is so important, why is Mick Waters leaving the writing of 'key' articles to the Public Relations people?
This isn't policy: it's a 500 hundred word puff piece written on the back of some half-arsed briefing by someone who doesn't really understand what they're talking about.
Shame on you, Mr Waters.
i must have read that article about 5 or 6 times now and i still dont have a clue what he's on about.
And i'm a university educated computer programmer.
You teachers have to put up with thus guff? God save us.
Give the bloke a break,it must have been quite a job to make sure that every politically correct box had been ticked and that no animal, vegetable or mineral had been unintentionally excluded.
pcha pcha pcha pcha, can't hear you, speak louder. Is it just me or has political correctness gone mad? I agree with the poster who said that we should be allowed to teach the children reading, writing and maths. Anything else could come later when these basic skills are in place.
Last anonymous poster, I started Primary in 1960 and all we did was reading, writing and arithmetic, all day for a long day for seven years, leavened only with occasional Art, P.T., Catechism, communal hymn-singing ("aerates the body and raises the spirits") and Nature Study.
A wonderful article.
You have to admire his ability to talk for hours without repetition, hesitation let alone without saying anything.
Sorry, I tried to read it and gave up. I couldn't make head nor tail of it. I'm just glad my kids are all through our shambles of an education system. I think it would qualify for Pseuds Corner in Private Eye though or even Indecipherable Lyrics round in Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
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