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BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?

Eric the Viking 22 Sep 09 - 06:14 PM
meself 22 Sep 09 - 10:47 AM
Acorn4 22 Sep 09 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Chris Murray 18 May 09 - 02:30 PM
Ruth Archer 18 May 09 - 08:56 AM
Bert 18 May 09 - 07:56 AM
Bert 18 May 09 - 07:55 AM
Bert 18 May 09 - 07:53 AM
Bert 18 May 09 - 07:47 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 18 May 09 - 07:08 AM
VirginiaTam 17 May 09 - 11:13 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 17 May 09 - 09:27 AM
Acorn4 17 May 09 - 09:04 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 17 May 09 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,HiLo 16 May 09 - 10:05 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 15 May 09 - 04:36 PM
paula t 15 May 09 - 04:29 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 15 May 09 - 04:21 PM
paula t 15 May 09 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,Chris Murray 15 May 09 - 04:16 PM
paula t 15 May 09 - 04:12 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 15 May 09 - 03:42 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 15 May 09 - 03:38 PM
paula t 15 May 09 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Chris Murray 15 May 09 - 03:27 PM
Frozen Gin (inactive) 15 May 09 - 02:47 PM
Acorn4 15 May 09 - 01:56 PM
Acorn4 15 May 09 - 12:16 PM
Mr Happy 15 May 09 - 11:17 AM
Frozen Gin (inactive) 15 May 09 - 11:15 AM
Acorn4 15 May 09 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Chris Murray 15 May 09 - 08:55 AM
GUEST,HiLo 15 May 09 - 07:12 AM
Ringer 15 May 09 - 07:02 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 14 May 09 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,mg 14 May 09 - 03:25 PM
Ringer 14 May 09 - 01:19 PM
VirginiaTam 13 May 09 - 10:18 AM
meself 13 May 09 - 10:03 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 13 May 09 - 09:47 AM
VirginiaTam 13 May 09 - 09:45 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 13 May 09 - 09:19 AM
paula t 13 May 09 - 07:20 AM
VirginiaTam 13 May 09 - 05:04 AM
Frozen Gin (inactive) 12 May 09 - 11:06 AM
HuwG 12 May 09 - 09:40 AM
vectis 12 May 09 - 04:52 AM
VirginiaTam 11 May 09 - 03:59 PM
GUEST,mg 11 May 09 - 03:23 PM
paula t 11 May 09 - 02:19 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 06:14 PM

Up here on Orkney there are several schools in some areas (only small...50-80 pupils typically) that share a head teacher. Seems to work OK, but they get twice or three times as many inspections!! It's the first time I've ever felt sympathy for a HT.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: meself
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 10:47 AM

Nope - too many paper-pushers whose justification for their inflated salaries is the endless creation of "initiatives" ....


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Acorn4
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 08:34 AM

The day after I heard that Ed Balls (for those in the US that is the real name of our Education Secretary!) is thinking of making cuts in head teachers and making them work across several schools,The magazine for the General Teaching Council (produced by the government largely to show how wonderful things are in education) popped through my letter box.

There's an article about someone who has set himself up as a "laughter facilitator" to reintroduce the humour which has gone out of many schools because of the pressure of government targets, etc (one of the first things to go when you're under stress is your sense of humour).

How about, to save money a moratorium on government initiatives for five years - in that case the much desired laughter might creep its way back in naturally.

But it won't happen, will it?


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 18 May 09 - 02:30 PM

Thanks Ruth. I really appreciated that. I'm tired of teachers being blamed for so many of society's wrongs.

I work in a failing comprehensive school. Despite this, I have never met such a totally dedicated set of people as our teaching staff. In what other job would anyone work for 8 hours then, after a day of abuse and threats, come home and work for another 4 hours? This is to help the pupils. Why else are we there? It's not for the money. The holidays are nice but we spend a lot of the holidays working - and, yes, I go to some festivals - but I know lots of non-teachers who go to more than I do.

It's really important to us that every child should achieve something at school, whether it be GCSEs or more practical skills like art. I know we fail some pupils and no-one is more upset than we are when this happens. I know people like to accuse us of not caring, being bullies, but we're not. Some are, but they rarely stay. Everyone's got their own 'teachers are bullies, they failed my child' story and, yes, we fail some - but that makes us try even harder to get it right the next times.

I obviously can't talk about individual pupils on this thread, which puts me at a disadvantage, obviously, but I do know pupils with severe learning difficulties who have done well at school and have been helped and guided by caring, talented teachers.

Yes, I will be retiring soon - but I have given local children 35 years - and thousands of them appreciate what we've done for them and how hard we work. I haven't given up on the pupils as I expect to carry on working at the school for a few hours a week, again for the benefit of the school and the pupils.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 18 May 09 - 08:56 AM

"Is it wise for very talented children to be able to study well-ahead with much older students..?

Of course, what is not wise is to hold them back to the level of those less talented.

And why is it that is some subjects, sports for example, it is OK to push them to do their best but in most other subjects it seems to be accepted to discourage them and bore them to tears."

It's an interesting one, this. There aren't any easy solutions to the dilemma of what to do with gifted and talented kids, who are not really being done a particular service in the current secondary school system (primary was great, by the way). They get put on a Gifted and Talented list, and...yes, well, that's about it.

My daughter spent her first year at secondary school at a comp where she was bringing home less challenging homework than she'd had in year 6 of primary school. This despite the fact that she'd tested within the top 2% of the national average in English. But there was no streaming in English until GCSE level. It was very frustrating.

Where I live now, there is the old-fashioned grammar system, and while the system as a whole may be imperfect, I have to say my daughter is doing really well. She's in her first year of GCSEs at a single-sex grammar, and is doing 13 of them in total. I have to say, despite the school being very academically ambitious, she doesn't feel particularly pressured and enjoys a very healthy social life both in school and out. She has a really nice group of friends and all are happy, well-adjusted girls who are getting great results, but also go to gigs, shopping on a Saturday, have sleepovers at each others' houses, etc; so I'm afraid I don't ascribe to the notion that exams and an academically rigourous environment are damaging to children. In fact, one good thing about the grammar is that being a "swot" isn't something to be ashamed of - they are all clever girls, but are encouraged to achieve well and take pride in their achievements.

Exams may have an adverse affect on some kids, but not all. In fact, it seems to me that the majority of kids are perfectly fine in the schools environment as it stands, and while there is a minority for whom school is a place of anxiety and undue stress, changes ought to be made for those particular kids, but not to the system as a whole.


I'd also like to voice my support for teachers. They are heroes.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Bert
Date: 18 May 09 - 07:56 AM

...Should there be schools where all ages learn alongside one another?

Should there be schools that teach children/young people how to grow food, how to raise crops, how to build houses, how to survive in the wilderness...

YES, YES, YES.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Bert
Date: 18 May 09 - 07:55 AM

...Let go of examinations, remove them entirely...

Hey, they were the best part of school I used to love them, always did much better than class work. They were the only bloody challenge we ever got in school.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Bert
Date: 18 May 09 - 07:53 AM

...Teach them maths, maths they will use in their lives...

Wouldn't it be better to teach math and ALL subjects like you suggest for reading. ...give them an absolute LOVE of the subject...


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Bert
Date: 18 May 09 - 07:47 AM

Is it wise for very talented children to be able to study well-ahead with much older students..?

Of course, what is not wise is to hold them back to the level of those less talented.

And why is it that is some subjects, sports for example, it is OK to push them to do their best but in most other subjects it seems to be accepted to discourage them and bore them to tears.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 18 May 09 - 07:08 AM

Is it wise for very talented children to be able to study well-ahead with much older students..?


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 17 May 09 - 11:13 AM

That bit about testing causing mental illness put me in mind to seeing 7 and 8 year olds, lumbering daily under the weight of backpack loaded with books. And pediatrician and chiropractors issuing reports on small children with back injuries.

Says something when the homework literally weighs more than the student.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 May 09 - 09:27 AM

Thanks, Acorn.

Yup, de-schooling.

It isn't until you've come OUT of it, that you realise how deeply embedded it is into our souls.

Strange, huh?

But clever.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Acorn4
Date: 17 May 09 - 09:04 AM

Lizzie - I think someone called Illyich wrote in the seventies along the same lines as this -may have spelt the name wrong there, but his thinking was very inn vogue at the time -called De-Schooling Society" as I remember.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 17 May 09 - 08:44 AM

Imagine a life without schools.

What do you think would happen?

How have we all come to believe that we cannot possibly live life without them?

Should there be schools where all ages learn alongside one another?

Should there be schools that teach children/young people how to grow food, how to raise crops, how to build houses, how to survive in the wilderness.

Why have we not moved on from the Victorian Era?

Yes, teach them to read, give them an absolute LOVE of reading, because that is the one tool, next to enthusiasm, that enables them to find out about everything else. Teach them maths, maths they will use in their lives, not scientific maths. That's for folks who want to specialise in it.

Should they have lessons in kindness, compassion and self-respect?

Why can't we move forward? Why can't we 'let go' of all that has gone before? So much of it has made, and is still making, so many of our young people desperately unhappy.

A wise, natural, inspirational teacher said to me fairly recently that 'education is what happens *after* you've left school'. The time has come to ensure it happens IN school, so that young people are fully equipped for life.

Let go of examinations, remove them entirely. Keep them for those who wish to study further, when they've left school.

Just *teach*.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 16 May 09 - 10:05 AM

No, I am not a teacher. However, I do have great respect for the teaching profession and for those who are dedicated to it. Teacher and school bashing have become all to common and only detract from the real problems.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 May 09 - 04:36 PM

"I don't think anyone has any right to make hurtful and untrue comments about someone who they know nothing about."

Neither do I, Chris.

I hope you enjoy your freedom.

School is also wearing our children down. Something which should never be overlooked. It is as bad for them as it is for the teachers. The worst bit though, is that children feel doubly let down, not only by the school system, but because they are sent into it by the people in their lives who are supposed to love them the most, and so often, parents don't want to hear, don't want to know what's happening, perhaps because they can't cope.

Just the other day, a chap rang me about his son, 5 years old and already being bullied. He'd been given my number by someone else who home educates, and we got talking. This poor man is a nervous wreck already. His son started just last September, and has become a changed child, unhappy, tearful, not wanting to learn or create anymore. He is a deeply creative and sensitive child..

The parents are already being 'tracked down' by the Education system,despite it being only weeks that their child has been out. He's in fear of what 'they' will do, say, think...

He rang again today, as he's had another letter from the education dept...and his voice was shaking. I felt so sorry for him, and so angry too, because he now faces years of being checked on, of only ever being told that what he's doing is 'satisfactory' because that's the highest level you can attain as a home educator. He'll have no money given to him, no resources, no books...and unless he's very lucky, not much encouragement either.

I was blessed with our EWO, he is one in a million, and he made my children feel the same way. Paula, he was a teacher, like you, but had to give that up to look after his disabled wife, paralysed from the waist down after a car accident. She too was a teacher once. Neither of them will ever go back to teaching, and they despair for their grandchildren. Richard does what he does to help people like me and my children. He's inspirational! He makes my children feel so special, and even now, long after Nonny has come out of the system, she always makes sure she's there each year when Richard comes to see Josh. They make him cakes and chatter on to him like he's an old friend..and he is. He's a natural teacher, one who loves children, one who loves 'people'.   

We'd have been lost without him.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: paula t
Date: 15 May 09 - 04:29 PM

Thank you, Lizzie.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 May 09 - 04:21 PM

I don't blame you for wanting your life back, paula, not in the slightest..

The children want their lives back too. The trouble is, they're coming into this world without really knowing the freedom of childhood anymore.

I was so lucky to grow up when I did, we all were.

I have the utmost respect for you good teachers, and I've heard the same story from my Education Welfare Officer, or rather, my son's...that the good teachers are leaving in droves. I can't and don't blame them.

I just wish the unions were run by far stronger people though, who'd unite them and put an end to all of this, once and for all.

My son came out when he was 7, so he has far fewer dark days than my daughter has. She was 15 when I found her curled up in the foetal position, unable to talk, unable to think...and a rage ran through me that has never subsided, and I hope it never does.

I wish you all the very best in your new career....and if it's any encouragement, the headmaster who so damaged Nonny, when she was just 7 years old, giving her a horror of exams, after he put the most immense amount of pressure on her class during the first ever SATS tests, became an OFSTED inspector. For years the parents had tried to remove him..and he was loathed by the good teachers, they all left....unable to put up with him any longer.

You will still inspire children during those hours you work, paula...and have the freedom to have a life too.

Good luck. :0) xx


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: paula t
Date: 15 May 09 - 04:18 PM

Good luck, Chris. It's a difficult decision to make.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 15 May 09 - 04:16 PM

I don't think anyone has any right to make hurtful and untrue comments about someone who they know nothing about.

I, too, am hoping to retire from teaching - it's just about worn me down. So - I'll have all the time in the world to go to festivals - but no money to buy the tickets.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: paula t
Date: 15 May 09 - 04:12 PM

Lizzie,
It sounds as though your daughter had a terrible time. Having been bullied by a teacher at Grammar school in the early 70s ,I know what this is like. It scarred me forever.I will never forgive that person, but thankfully I was never bullied by any other teachers ,so I don't blame them all.

I went into teaching because I felt I had something to give. I love the teaching part of the job - no matter who is in my classroom, or what special needs they might have. I differentiate the work in at least 4 ways every lesson ( and write it into my plans) so that everyone can contribute and learn. This is something that is a part of every teacher's planning process, not just mine.

However, I am tired - physically and mentally. I am tired of the endless criticism in the media,and the sweeping demoralising statements . I am tired of the goalposts being moved.I am tired of the new initiatives imposed by people who have no idea about teaching. I am tired of having to be polite ("Professional")when others are allowed to say what they like.

I have now made the very difficult decision that I no longer want class responsibility.I will teach a few hours a week and do supply work.I was wavering, until I went into school for a staff meeting and was presented with a new set of criteria for ofsted inspections. Apparently we are now to be inspected on all sorts of issues, such as the way we help to improve facilities for the local community etc. etc.......Just as we had got to grips with a new and extremely time consuming method of assessment and were feeling "on top of things"(For teachers among you, those lovely APP forms). need

This has been a very emotional decision to make because as I said earlier, I love teaching and went into it because I wanted to help - but I want my life back!


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 May 09 - 03:42 PM

"I posted a comment on here a few hours ago. I said that I'm a teacher and that someone on this thread had made some very nasty and upsetting accusations about me some time ago.

My comments have been removed. So much for the truth and free speech. This person hates having her comments removed."


Your comment should have stayed. You have every right to say whatever you think. Just as I do.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 May 09 - 03:38 PM

"However, upon reading again, especially the posts of Lizzie Cornish ,I am appalled at the ignorance some people have regarding education and the assumption they make that their experience is a universal one. I don't think that the problem with education is that there are "too many clever people" within it, but that there are too many ignorant people commenting on it."

I don't give a flying ***k what you think about me.

My daughter nearly gave up on life because of school. So do NOT give me any of that shite.

I have sat and listened to Education Welfare Officers pouring out their hearts to me over what is going so wrong within the crazy Corporate System, what is happening to the children, the stress around everyone. Education is now about money and big business. It's about jobs for the boys (and girls) and money, money, money.

Have you ever asked yourself if any politicians have shares in educational 'resources'?

Do you remember the days when you'd walk into WH Smith and there was NO wall to wall display of 'How to get your child through SATS,GCSEs, A LEVELS'..?

Do you recall the time when A levels were just ONE exam?

Do you remember when you didn't feel you HAD to go to University?

Do you remember when University was free?

Do you remember the days when stress wasn't poured down on our kids that they MUST pass exams or else they'd fail, all their life long???

Do you remember when kids didn't juge each other on how many exams they had?

Do you recall the days when primary school was about playing and learning and learning and playing and there were no tests, save for the crazy 11+?   

Do you remember the days when playgroups were called PLAYgroups, and not 'Pre-School Learning Alliances'???? Oh for Gawd's Sake!!

Do you remember the times when school was a far smaller part of our lives?

Do you remember the days when you could get a job without 16 A Levels 4 University Degrees and 37 NVQs?

And just to remind you......

Have you EVER asked yourself how many politicians have shares in the Corporate Education System?

What we are doing to our children, as a nation, will one day be looked back on in absolute horror! That goes for most countries in the Western World, but especially the UK and the USA, where the Corporate National Curriculum has kicked in a businss that feeds on stressing our children often to the point of suicide!

NEVER have we lived in a time of such switched off, turned off kids, stressed out, unhappy children and young people, and yes, of course I am generalising there, because there will ALWAYS be some vibrant, highly intelligent, fun loving, happy kids...but for the most part, kids don't want to know. They get into secondary school and it all starts going horribly wrong.

By the time they've 'done' Uni, got the £15,000 debt (???) to prove it and a low paid 'ordinary' job, they're washed out, **cked off and angry!

Idiotic teachers who choose to judge the kids on their exam results, rather than their souls are as much to blame as the Corporate System that's driving it all, along with politicians who become more and more controlling because...WE LET THEM!

Teachers who continue to put the stress on the kids, rather than stand up and say "NO! ENOUGH!" ...or walk away in disgust, have no respect from me! Teachers have IMMENSE power and they are NOT using that power to protect their children!   The children are their LIVES! Or they should be, if they are REAL teachers! They should be standing together to fight off these monsters who are doing what they're doing, and bringing the parents on board too! ALL they have to do is say "NO! WE ARE NOT DOING THIS ANY LONGER!"

Our schools are turning out consumers..just as John Taylor Gatto and Patch Adams will tell you, but they see the whole picture..the full story..the truth, whilst others choose to sit on their complacent backsides and drift along in their steady jobs, not uttering a word.....not even uttering words when the teachers THEMSELVES start to say that something is going horribly wrong with our kids and that many of them are now showing signs of mental disorders and deep stress..as they did at the teacher's conference in Torquay last year, where it was also mentioned that over 800 kids a year..hello? EIGHT HUNDRED youngsters a year are committing suicide!!

Taken from The Independent


"The excessive testing regime in schools is making children mentally ill, a teachers' leader warned yesterday as she condemned the Government's hands-on approach to primary education.

Pupils were branded "failures" even before they moved up to secondary school, said Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. "Children suffer stress and anxiety as the test looms and the rise in children's mental health problems cannot be divorced from their status as the most tested in the world," she added. "The tests label young people as failures, and this leads to one of the lowest rates for staying on post-16 of any industrialised country.

"We also know the tests are not reliable – over 25 per cent of children will be given the wrong level. The whole edifice on which the test regime has been built has crumbled. They are not accurate. They are not valid."

But plans to replace Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) with a new system for 11- and 14-year-olds could make matters worse, Dr Bousted told the ATL's annual conference in Torquay. She called on ministers to answer concerns about the proposed new exams, which pupils will take when they are ready, instead of at fixed ages. What was needed, she argued, was a move away from rote learning and constant testing to more challenging lessons which developed children's thinking skills. She said: "Our national curriculum should be far more focused on the development of life skills and ways of working than whether or not we teach the Battle of Hastings.

"We have got to move beyond 'Should we or should we not teach Shakespeare'. Our world isn't going to collapse if they don't know 'To be or not to be'.

Mary Bousted, the General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, on the overtesting of primary school children

Dr Bousted's comments came at the climax of a week in which ATL delegates voiced growing concern about the fragile mental state of the country's seven million children, caused by the twin pressures of family breakdown and the school curriculum.

Following a series of reports suggesting disturbing levels of anxiety and unhappiness among pupils, ATL members used their annual forum to demand urgent action and a change of emphasis from the Government. They voiced alarm at the rising youth suicide rate – each year, up to 800 people aged 15 to 24 take their own lives – and called for a royal commission to investigate why so many pupils were unhappy.

Alison Sherratt, a teacher at Riddlesden St Mary's Church of England School in Keighley, West Yorkshire, said students often blamed their anxieties on stress caused by the curriculum. "I think this testing culture breaks down to this. They think 'I won't be able to achieve this so I won't bother'," she added.

John Harkin, from Oakgrove College, Londonderry, spoke of the loneliness of pupils who hid away in their bedrooms rather than communicate their worries to their families. "With the television in the bedroom comes isolation and loss of contact with the community," he said.

The ATL – traditionally the most moderate of the three main teaching unions – wants the Government to relax its "three Ts" (tests, targets and league tables) regime. Under the existing system, children are first assessed at four or five to determine what they can do when they start at school. They then have to take SATs at ages seven, 11 and 14, GCSEs at 16, AS-levels at 17 and A-levels at 18.

Teachers should be given greater control over what is in the school syllabus, the ATL believes, so that pupils are stimulated by lessons rather than turned off by simply being taught how to pass the next set of tests.

Phil Jacques, a science teacher from Shaftesbury in Dorset, left the Schools minister, Jim Knight, in no doubt about the union's mood as he thanked Mr Knight for addressing its conference. Such speeches are often bland but Mr Jacques spoke of the "ridiculous over-testing of English schoolchildren" and the "dismal, tedious and over-subscriptive" national curriculum.

Mr Knight responded by saying the Government was giving teachers more freedom and trust with the introduction of a new secondary curriculum from September. "



It took me TWO YEARS to get my daughter 'back'....two years to convince her that she had talent, two years to convince her that her art 'teacher' (spit!) was the biggest numbskull going, and when she told my daughter that her artwork was 'crap' and that was the word she used...she didn't know what the ***k she was talking about. Even to this day, she has no confidence in her paintings, even though people stand with their mouths open when they see them..because 'You're work is CRAP!" echoes around her mind and probably always do.

So don't tell me I'm ignorant about schools, or what's happening, but rather, look to yourself!   I am not interested in people who have closed minds, who won't look because they do not want to see. I know that there is a huge change in how kids are these days, and they start their lives off with nothing but stress. I've watched the system become ever more controlling, from birth to adulthood, and it's become that way because of prats like you, who choose to turn away!


Many kids love school. Many teachers are wonderful, some, a few, are WAYYYY beyond wonderful, being the natural teachers, whose souls reach out to the children.   

Many kids are struggling terribly. They are deeply, desperately unhappy and feel they have no-one to turn to because so many adults have been indoctrinated by school themselves that they cannot see a life without it....The kids don't know where to go..and when they are told, by stupid people that 'these are the best days of your life' they actually think, "Well, sod this then, I'm outta here" and that's when they end their lives.

How bloody sad and outrageous is that!!!?????

This was started by one womam. That woman saved my child's life, because it was her organisation I turned to, it was she herself who spoke to me, wrapped me up and carried me along for a while, supported me, when I had nowhere else to turn to, because believe me, when you home educate, the system throws you out with **nothing**.

Education Otherwise

And don't get me started on crap parents, who, because they feel guilty about NOT being in their parents lives, too busy living their own, are helping to drive the insanity of reports and exams, purely so they can boast how well Little Johnny is doing to everyone else, making themselves feel better for not being in Little Johnny's life...because hey, they're ensuring that he gets everything he'll ever need! That being...18 A Levels, 10 University degrees and 102 NVQs, but hardly any TIME or LOVE.

Thank oo..

:0)

Next!


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: paula t
Date: 15 May 09 - 03:28 PM

I remember being at school discos when on "teaching practise" in the early '80s. This was a huge hit then, and the children sang "that line" to us with great gusto!Great fun!


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 15 May 09 - 03:27 PM

I posted a comment on here a few hours ago. I said that I'm a teacher and that someone on this thread had made some very nasty and upsetting accusations about me some time ago.

My comments have been removed. So much for the truth and free speech. This person hates having her comments removed.
    On your request, your post was undeleted, but it was on the borderline. If you wish to post, chose a name and use it every time you post. And Guests are expected to be on particularly good behavior when they're visiting us - don't go picking fights about ancient history.
    Thank you.
    -Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Frozen Gin (inactive)
Date: 15 May 09 - 02:47 PM

Nothing wrong with Pink Flyd actually, I freely admit to being a fan of their earlier stuff, mind you I'm old enough to have heard it first time around...

and... You ARE a teacher GUEST,HiLo? Just for clarification purposes, you understand.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Acorn4
Date: 15 May 09 - 01:56 PM

...I'll post it as you mentioned it -not supposed to be taken entirely seriously of course, but just to play the devil's advocate to the Pink Floyd effort:-

Kick in the Proverbials

We don't need no education,
We don't need no self control
There's really nothing you can teach us,
Cos we already know it all.

Hey, kids,
Leave those teachers alone
Leave those teachers alone
All in all it's just another
Kick in the b***s

Forms, initiatives and targets,
Inspectors never satisfied,
Monitored, assessed, evaluated,
Graded, jaded, crucified

Hey, kids,
Leave those teachers alone

We're all headed for the burnout,
Hollow eyed, no life no fun,
No sense of humour allowed in the staffroom,
Po faced daleks everyone

Hey, kids,
Leave those teachers alone..

You can speak but we won't listen,
Fart and belch and answer back,
Attention span of a daddy longlegs,
Just give us Nintendo and American clack.

Hey, kids,
Leave those teachers alone

You can't confiscate our mobiles,
We got our rights, you can't do nowt,
Tell us off and we will sue you,
Or get our dads to sort you out.

Hey, kids,
Leave those teachers alone





Although in the case of my wife's school it was Mums rather than Dads.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Acorn4
Date: 15 May 09 - 12:16 PM

There's a song in there, Mr H!


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 15 May 09 - 11:17 AM

'..........hey, kids, leave that teacher alone'!!


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Frozen Gin (inactive)
Date: 15 May 09 - 11:15 AM

I agree with Acorn. People are just too damned fond of getting personal on these threads, they thrive on attacking others rather than indulge in civilised discussion. Those who are indulging in this nonsense quit it right now and get back in your prams.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Acorn4
Date: 15 May 09 - 09:36 AM

Teachers sometimes have to develop a bit of a trench warfare mentality. The soldiers in the Great War cracked jokes because of what they were up against, and for many teachers making irreverent comments is part of a "safety valve".

Most of them say in the profession because they want to make a difference to people's lives, in spite of all the crap that's thrown at them.

Having started the thread off, there's some great discussion on here but can we PLEASE, PLEASE not get personal!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 15 May 09 - 08:55 AM

Lizzie is totally blinkered when it come to teachers. I am a teacher. According to Lizzie I only teach so that I can have a nice long holiday in the summer and go to festivals. She has posted this fact on a message board.

She's never met me, she doesn't know where I teach or what I teach or what kind of children I teach, but she knows that.

I really don't know why she is allowed to post hurtful messages like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 15 May 09 - 07:12 AM

I read through these posts a number of times and originally I decided I would not respond as much of what is posted here reeks of stereotypes and misinformation. However, upon reading again, especially the posts of Lizzie Cornish ,I am appalled at the ignorance some people have regarding education and the assumption they make that their experience is a universal one. I don't think that the problem with education is that there are "too many clever people" within it, but that there are too many ignorant people commenting on it.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Ringer
Date: 15 May 09 - 07:02 AM

To answer my own question, "Evidently I can." So I'll re-post my response to Lizzie Cornish 1, even though it's a little out of date now and I know I was wrong in some of my suppositions. It refers to previous posts which have apparently been deleted: hers as well as mine-posted-as-guest.

-------------

I'm awed by the strength of your argument, Lizzie Cornish 1 (your post 10 May 09 - 03:14 PM). That "...by rearranging these words in the correct order.. 'arse up your stick head your ignorant don't why you'" is, I admit, completely unanswerable, and I can now see the error of my previous ways of thought. I do hope that sarcasm is not lost on you.

I, by the way, am the guest poster to whom you replied; do I gather that the postings of anonymous guests are deleted after a while, for I can't see my original any more?

Are you a teacher, Lizzie Cornish 1? I would hazard a guess that if you are, you have only recently qualified. And I'd also guess that you have no children of your own. I could be wrong, of course, for, regrettably, [patronise] the almost endearing naïvety that you display is not always sloughed off by the slings and arrows of experience [/patronise]. Which just goes to show that there's difference among educational theorists. If I can acknowledge that, why are you unable to see that children differ, too, which was the simple point of my original post?

"teaching a child to want to learn all their lives, is no way about banging facts into their heads, that's what we've been doing since Victorian times and earlier." But then I never said it was, for I could not be so ungrammatical I don't think that the purpose of education is "teaching a child to want to learn all their lives." For some kids, that may be the best way of "educating" them, but for others that way just won't work, which is why "banging facts into thick heads" is sometimes required to dispel ignorance.

And it seems to me (from the results that I see around me) that current educational attainments have little to boast of, whereas those from Victorian times to (say) forty years ago when the rot really started to set in, can hold their heards up.

I think that a dose of Calvinistic realism would benefit not only education but society generally.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 May 09 - 05:16 PM

From Don:

"...You really don't have much of a clue about schools do you Lizzie?"

Ooh no...not a thing, Don. Two kids driven to the point of almost no return, Education Welfare Officers who tell me how the whole system is breaking down, friends whose kids can't cope....etc..etc..etc....

"As for your other comments about "You don't have to be there" and "Nobody makes you take exams", well, the ignorance displayed is astounding."

Ah well, you know me, thick as pig shit, eh?

"Thank your lucky stars that there are still some dedicated educators who are prepared to slog their way though the crap to educate the children of ungenerous, ungrateful people like you."

Luckily, I got my children OUT of the crap and let them educate themselves...and guess what, they love to learn! Amazing, huh?

I could write a book about your highly insulting comments, but you know what, this page speaks far louder than ANY words I could put on here, Don..

My Daughter


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 14 May 09 - 03:25 PM

If you want to vastly improve education, you need to get over the idea that one curriculum/style fits all children, with IQs in one class from 70 to 170, with math skills, say in 4th grade, from can't count to could do college algebra.

You have to get over the paranoia about "tracking" and do some honest to God tracking, or sorting, or call it some better name, but sooner or later you will have to do it..not for all students all day, but for at least some students some of the day.

You have to get realistic about special needs children too and have special teachers and situations for some, and not hold back others for the sake of some who are not just behind, but basically will never ever catch up because they don't have the specific academic potential, although they of course have potential that should be maximized. But a special education for one child, in a hopeless situation (there will be people speaking up that no child is hopeless, but academically, there are some who are), can use up a budget that could have trained 50 in business education or something, who could then work and support the severely impaired ones (I am not talking about mild deficits here, like many with Down Syndrome..but the terribly brain damaged etc.)

You have to not just educate students, but train them, both behaviorally and occupatonally. THis is almost totally left out of any discussion of anything.

You can not confuse occupational education with special education and constrain occupational educators with so many special needs that they can not train the easily trainable. You need occupational education for every student for many reasons I won't get into here, including those going to Harvard etc. Every student graduating from high school should have at least the beginnings of a trade or occupation that will actually pay them. Every student dropping out of school should at least have had some basic job skills and job practices so they could do some cooking, janitorial type jobs.

We can do this or other countries can do this and keep sucking up our jobs. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Ringer
Date: 14 May 09 - 01:19 PM

Now I've reset my cookie, can I leave messages which aren't deleted?


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 13 May 09 - 10:18 AM

I don't believe children are evil either.

Children are terrified by lack of limits and more terrified of their own inability to self-control. I have a brother and 2 female cousins with bipolar disorder. Their outbursts mild in childhood, grew increasingly worse with age. Now approaching middle age, they are calming down again.

And I don't believe it is all down to upbringing. We are each generation exposed to more toxins in food and environment. Carpets and MDF are full of formaldehide, for example and it is everywhere. What are these poisons doing to small deveolping brains.

I learned after observation that I could not let my kids have anything with red food color or nutrasweet. It was like rocket fuel.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: meself
Date: 13 May 09 - 10:03 AM

I taught for about twenty-five years, in communities fraught with social dysfunction. I saw and experienced many disturbing things - but never encountered a child who was "plain evil" (even in lower case). I did, however, see many children who needed much more help than they were getting.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 13 May 09 - 09:47 AM

""Sounds like that child has emotional disability. I was a teacher's aid and had just such a boy (10 year old) in my care for the last 2 months of his primary school education. He actually was lovely, capable, clever and funny and compliant in a one to one setting.""


I don't doubt that for one minute Tam, and I DO recognise that the majority of naughty kids are either just mischievous, or emotionally or psychologically troubled.

"Reggie" was neither.

He was devious, manipulative, dishonest, arrogant, and violent.

He beat up other kids to make THEM confess to his misdemeanours.
He not only refused to learn. He refused to let others learn.
He disrupted all the classes he attended, and, when spoken to about his behaviour, picked up the nearest solid object and threw it.
He had to be placed under constant watch to prevent him leaving school and disappearing.
He was barred from all local shops, after a series of incidents in which he climbed out of his bedroom window and went on a shoplifting spree.
He WAS eventually excluded, and went on to be excluded from several secondary schools, in quick succession.

He was, during his primary school years, subjected to every form of assessment available. Behavioural and clinical psychologists, and psychiatrists, agreed that he had NO discernable mental, emotional or psychological problem.

He just enjoyed being bad. As for "seeing the child's pain", I'm afraid it was the adults trying to deal with him who were feeling pain.

I never said that type was common, but they DO exist, and HE certainly was one.
Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 13 May 09 - 09:45 AM

Yes that is what the whole school thought of the boy I had charge of.

Extreme out of control violent behaviour. He threw a cafeteria 4 seater bench at the principal in front of the whole school when he was 7.

He did not have the ability to control the anger or outbursts.   He was diagnosed with extreme emotional disability and mild hyperactivity (for which he was put on ritalin). His educability and intelligence was high, but the ritalin knocked him out. I spent mornings trying to keep him awake. I noticed that his anger became more strident and his self control weaker as he fought to stay awake through the drug.

Even though he had an IEP, there was no one to one help for him until the last two months of his primary education. And that only to ensure the principal could "wash his hands of him". What he needed all along was congnitive behaviour therapy in the classroom and input from social services to his family from the time he started showing difficulty in school.

I know that ritalin can have an adverse effect on children. My son with mild ADD & hyperactivity was put on very low dose Ritalin. It was like I suddenly had a changling. He would attack his baby sister (hands on her throat) and willfully destroy things (tried to burn the house down twice).

I didn't know who he was. No more my sweet, generous, curious little boy. I had to take him off the meds and home school him for the rest of his 2nd grade year. I suspect his behaviour stemmed from the school he was in in San Antonio. It was quite poor, violent. The teachers roamed the halls between classes with whistles and paddles. He told me about knife wielding big kids. The following year back in Virginia he was fine.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 13 May 09 - 09:19 AM

""....WAS Reggie really 'bone idle and thick' or *was* he one of the thousands of kids out there who struggle every single day in a situation which is completely alien to them, terrifying the shite out of them and where not one single person seems able to comprehend them or realise that kids like Reggie so often just need one to one teaching, in a quiet environment, where they're not surrounded by hundreds, or thousands of faces, people..that scare them shitless?""


The Reggie in question, at the age of ten, was caught red handed, on a bridge over a 60mph bypass, with a pile of half housebricks, after bouncing one off the roof of a car (thank God it WAS the roof, and not the windscreen).

At the police station his mother tried to say he'd been at home all day, and he called her a stupid bitch, and attacked her with fists, teeth, and boots. It took three policemen to pull him off.

This same little angel, twice hit a teacher in the face with a chair, when instructed to sit down on said chair. On each occasion he was excluded, and, on each occasion immediately re-instated by the LEA.

Does that sound like the poor little victim of society YOU describe? Some kids ARE just PLAIN EVIL.

--------------------------------------------------------------------


""Slightly different though, Paula. First you've *chosen* to be there and can leave at any moment. Second, you're not *made* to take exams, learn things against your will..and, you're not spoken down to, or bullied, because if you were, someone would be taken to task over it and severely reprimanded, or possibly even lose their job over it. You're protected in school ***because you are an adult*** and therefore you have a whole range of paths you can go down if other if needed.""


You really don't have much of a clue about schools do you Lizzie? I've actually seen what people like Paula have to put up with, knowing all the while that there is just NO point in following the procedures you mention, because they WON'T get the backup they need.

Anti bullying protocols for adults in the workplace are ineffective, and actually damaging to the career of anybody who invokes them.

You try getting a promotion, or another job, once you are marked down as a troublemaker. Stay where you are, and there are a hundred and one ways in which your working life can be made an absolute hell.

I've been a victim of this, and I DO know what I'm talking about. I believe our friend Richard Bridge might remember me asking his advice on the subject.

As for your other comments about "You don't have to be there" and "Nobody makes you take exams", well, the ignorance displayed is astounding.

Thank your lucky stars that there are still some dedicated educators who are prepared to slog their way though the crap to educate the children of ungenerous, ungrateful people like you. As to the exams, you are right that people take exams voluntarily to improve their efficiency, but if you think they are never MADE to take exams, perhaps you would tell me what YOU think an Ofsted appraisal is?

I have more respect for teachers than for any other profssionals on this planet, because the end product of their labours is the FUTURE of said planet, and their job would be INFINITELY easier if some complaisant parents were to do THEIR job just half as well.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: paula t
Date: 13 May 09 - 07:20 AM

Virginia Tam,
I also believe that the positive approach works.
We have a "Golden book" at our school. Any child doing something like trying really hard at something they find difficult, being caring etc has their name and the reason put into the book.The names are read out in our "sharing assembly" at the end of the week.The children can nominate each other - and do so regularly when they notice something kind or helpful.
The children come out to the front of the hall and are given a round of applause. This appears to mean more to them than earning merit certificates.The older children are particularly good at recognising the progress of the little ones in terms of caring and sharing.A little boy who has behavioural problems was nominated this week by a year 6 boy - because he had noticed him playing really nicely and sharing his toy. This was something which had previously been very difficult for this particular child.
I believe that on the whole, children value this feeling of belonging , knowing everyone and being valued for who they are.
Unfortunately this type of progress is not really recognised or valued by the powers that be, because it can't be measured and reported on.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 13 May 09 - 05:04 AM

Discipline among students between 7 and 11 was quite doable for me.

I had some pretty big hurdles to get over. The 5th grade class (10-11 year olds) was a social dynamic mess. Like a bunch of brothers and sisters all jockeying for attention. It was a small scool so they had spent entire career with little or no new blood mixed in.

As a student teacher I had to get control over the situation or my degree would fall through my fingers. I instuted a Warm Fuzzy system, by which students earned points daily for showing appropriate behaviour in the classroom. I kept a jart of cotton balls on my desk. During lessons, as I witnessed a students atending to work, engagin in Q&A, etc. I would drop a cotton ball on their desk. They would then return it to the jar and put a tick bgy their name on the chart I created to tally the points.   The key was to get them all wanting to earn points and encouraging and helping each other do it, because if the class had earned enough points at the end of the week, then there would be a Warm Fuzzy party in the last 20 minutes of Friday. Warm Fuzzy party was large and samml marshmallows, and coloured granulated sugar and wooden toothpicks. Students could make a Warm Fuzzy structure with the ingredients.

It worked. I had the kids which typically teased and pushed the normally out of control kids over the edge, suddenly sitting down and helping them do assignments. Coming up to me and pointing out that such and such was doing his work instead of drawing cartoons, etc. The tattling on one another became positive instead of negative as they looked for the good and reported on it.

There just needs to be incentive to pull together for a common reward, that everyone wants to take part in. Of course there were backsliding moments. You cannot get past medical and emotional conditions or life time habits in a short space. But it was on the whole very successful. Surprised the regular teacher and the principal.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: Frozen Gin (inactive)
Date: 12 May 09 - 11:06 AM

Thank you vectis, finally someone, posting. who's actually making sense, and offering alternatives, instead of the hysterical and rather knee-jerk out pourings that have, so far, come down the pipe.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: HuwG
Date: 12 May 09 - 09:40 AM

Not being any sort of teacher (although I have been told I do well when giving any sort of presentation or briefing) I can only describe my own experiences.

I entered a grammar school in 1969. The school had been founded almost exactly fifty years earlier, and several of the staff had been some of the early pupils. We pupils suspected that they had entered the teaching profession to "dodge the column" i.e. avoid call-up during World War II, and I don't think we were far wrong. They formed a clique within the staff room which discouraged innovation or even discussion.

Some subjects were appallingly taught. One particular geography teacher was almost certainly senile, and would waffle through a lesson about the terminal moraine (a glacial feature) which ran to the south of the town centre. The school actually stood on said terminal moraine. He never once suggested going outside, or even looking out of the window, to demonstrate.

In those days, subjects (especially the fundamentals, or three Rs) too much resembled drill. Another teacher insisted that the English class repeat a grammatical exercise until every one of the class had got the somewhat archaic punctuation exactly right. Since he never provided help or hints, it took the class some time, during which we could have been doing something useful, rather than punishment drill. That said, I sometimes wonder whether fundamentals are taught at all to some people. Working in the IT industry, I far too often have to deal with Tech. Support queries from recent graduates which read, "im opening the app and im like wtf!!!!" This is expressive and concise. It is also completely uninformative cliched non-language.

When I was taking my Chemistry A Level (1976-78), my father (who had graduated in chemical engineering shortly after the war*) commented that the subject required far less knowledge to be committed to memory than in his days. For example, he and his fellow Chem. Eng. students needed to rattle off the coefficient of linear thermal expansion of brass at a moment's notice. My class knew about the principles, of course, but had nothing like such details at our fingertips.

None of my nieces and nephews have taken scientific subjects at school, but even the arts subjects they took seem to be a little shallow (to my prejudiced, Gradgrind-like eyes). That said, the eldest girl has a 2:1 in some sort of -ology, and the boy has a degree in photographic sciences, gained through dedicated practical work, and knowledge of advances in science which I struggle to keep up with.

*An anecdote from my dad, which might explain the decline of Britain's manufacturing industries. Many of his fellow students had recently been "demobbed" from the Armed Forces. As they went into one of their final examinations, one of these students who possessed a magnificent RAF handlebar moustache asked another, "I say, old man! What exactly is dy/dx?" He still graduated, whether he was joking or allowances were made for the interruption to his schooling.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: vectis
Date: 12 May 09 - 04:52 AM

There is always an alternative to education in schools and that is "education otherwise". This means that no child HAS to be educated in a school; parents are legally entitled to teach them at home or somewhere else. The only legal requirement is that they do get taught by some means or other. They don't HAVE to comply with the dreaded National Curriculum, they are allowed to explore their own interests and learn through them.

I have taught some very vulnerable and damaged children through the years and the vast majority have the same problem THEIR PARENTS/PRIMARY CAREGIVER. Living in chaotic households riddled with inconsistent practices really screws kids up.

Some sort of national agreement and standards of teaching were desparately needed when the dreaded overkill of a full National Curriculum was introduced because a few teachers were not doing the job of educating the children in their charge and those children would never recover from careless or non existent teaching of "the basics".

The present system of ever larger educational factories makes me shudder and am very relieved that I no longer have to work in them. Most children respond best in smaller environments where they are well known and can feel safe. The trouble is that they can be costly and the present (any party) government just won't (or can't) find the money. Maybe UK should declare itself neutral, get rid of nuclear weapons, emply a smaller standing army for home defence only, stop making megabucks out of their expenses and put the money into schools and the health service instead.
Ahh! Bring on Eutopia...


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 May 09 - 03:59 PM

I was only bullied twice, (in jr high school in the early 1970's) by two different older girls. And given I was something of a shy kid in those years, it was quite amazing that I faced them down and gave one such a smack in the gob that I was never bothered again.

Well maybe it wasn't. Because I was more afraid of my dad and of telling him that I was being bullied. I remembered my Dad taking my older brother to the house of a boy that was bullying him and making them fight it out.

Pretty horrible to see the big brother you idolised coming home bruised and bloodied and crying. But I guess that is the way things were done back then.

What's more scary is that parents haven't moved on much collectively from that mind set.

The Columbine disaster was born out of bullying and from what I understand it is right back to the way it was.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 11 May 09 - 03:23 PM

Amen on bullying. I saw so much in Seattle schools, granted decades ago, and an absolute unwillingness on the part of teachers and administrators to even admit it was their responsibility to do something about it. They wouldn't even call the police in situations that would have been clear assaults out in public.

Other issues: there used to be..maybe still are..about 6 to 8 groupings of occupational interests...conventional (routine, clerical etc. work), intellectual, social, creative, entrepenurial and "realistic." Most teachers were found to be intellectual/social, if I am remembering correctly, and most students were "realistic." That means they are drawn to occupations, or studies, that would use hands on, actually doing things, spatial things..engineers, truck drivers, mechanics etc.,, and nurses surprisingly, were drawn from this group (everything I say is pretty old research by now and might not be current). So from the getgo you had teachers teaching the majority of the group in ways that made sense to the teachers, and the minority of students who matched them, but were highly unoptimal for the "realistic" majority of students. Not only was there this disconnect, I can say from watching in person that there was a disrespect for this type of learning, for people in these professions, for the students themselves. Maybe only in Seattle, but for sure there. So you really need to teach these kids in their preferred learning style, and you need to have preferrably a majority of teachers who are this way themselves, which you don't, and until you even the playing field here, you are going to always have trouble.

Some quick fixes: lots of outdoor education, home economics, hands0on learning, occupational education starting in kindergarten..building and designing in three dimensions.

Some students do fine with 30 to a teacher...they tend to be compliant girls with the same learning style as the teacher. They would probably do fine with 40 to a teacher. For some classes, arrange it like this and have some classes part of the day 10 to a teacher.

If you are in a district so idiotic as to have abandoned recess, pretty much abandon hope. Fight if you have the strength, but they are too dumb to do much there I have to say.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Education:Too Many Clever People?
From: paula t
Date: 11 May 09 - 02:19 PM

Only just got back to this thread, so sorry for not replying, Lizzie. You raise some interesting issues. I also believe that children should have some say in their education.We are trialling a cross curricular approach to learning this year. We quite often introduce a new topic by first of all asking what they already know. We then come up with their list of what else THEY would like to find out.They are usually very keen to do this and come up with some great ideas! This is then incorporated into our learning.What we can't do is merely let children decide completely what they would like to learn - which seems to be what you are suggesting. I can think of a number of things I would have decided not to learn about if I'd been given the choice at school!I didn't have the knowledge or experience to know what was "worth learning " until I had been taught a little about it.I then opted out of certain subjects at O' level.

You talked about the very real problem of bullying and the need for children to feel safe. You said," Oh yes, every school has it's 'anti-bullying' policy, but it means f*** all when you actually try to put it into practice, because very few teachers or headteachers actually care that much. (sits back and waits for cries of "That is SO untrue, Lizzie!").....sigh, if ONLY it were..."

I'm sorry , Lizzie, but I have to take serious issue with this viewpoint.The majority of teachers and headteachers DO care a great deal. I have worked in a number of schools- both Primary and Secondary- and have seen the lengths that staff go to to try and resolve such issues.We hit a brick wall sometimes, for many reasons. One of the most disturbing reasons is when we can't get parents to accept that their own child needs support. I feel like strangling with my bare hands, the father who replies that a bullied child should hit the bully back, or repeats the ridiculous phrase,"Sticks and stones...".Some parents can't get their head around the idea that their child should not have to fight anyone!Sometimes the bullying stops at school and then carries on outside school.Sometimes the bully is so effective that the victim is too afraid to tell.
I've just finished a whole term's work about bullying in assembly. We talked about what bullying actually is, the forms it takes, why people bully others, what do do if you are being bullied, and what to do if you suspect someone else is being bullied.We asked ourselves if we had ever bullied anyone(psychologically or physically).We also sent a letter to parents with a copy of our anti- bullying policy , which includes a brief explanation of what we mean by the term "bullying". This was because we have found that many parents use the term to mean any time their child falls out with someone at breaktime or is not given all their own way by their friends.The children have come up with their own phrases about it , such as:
"Remember the word, "TELL"
"Tell, tell and tell again"(Meaning that children should keep telling until it is sorted out. They can ask a friend to help them to do this if they are too "shy".)

Our children know that they can remain anonymous if they report bullying.We encourage them to care about each other and to watch for signs that someone is not happy. They are very good at this, because children are much more perceptive than they are given credit for.

We are not perfect, and we certainly don't believe that this has eradicated bullying, but we are really working hard to prevent it and make children feel safe and cared for by the whole school community.To be told that "very few" of us actually care is demoralising. It is so easy to tar everyone with the same brush. Of course I have met the uncaring , insensitive teachers who don't even seem to like children - but thankfully they seem to be in much "shorter supply" nowadays.In every occupation you'll meet the ones who take the money and do as little as possible.I don't know anyone at my school who has this appalling attitude.

You said,"If a child feels nurtured, supported, appreciated, respected, un-stressed and SAFE, then magic happens.."

I couldn't agree more!


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Mudcat time: 28 January 11:59 PM EST

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