pwa wrote:But they will have had a good family situation with supportive parents who got their kids to bed at a sensible hour, gave them a decent breakfast and wanted the best for them. Not all families are like that.
I don't think that was the case at all. Certainly some, but no more or less than would have done so anyway. There was almost nothing in the way of coaching by working class parents for the 11+
Some may have read to their children more than others, some may have been more involved, but this is just normal variance. There was no coaching as there is today, because there were enough grammars to make such a thing unnecessary. The thing reohn2 claims to want, enough good schools, there then was for those of the ability to enter them. This is not to say the secondary moderns were bad either, they weren't.
What is bad is throwing everyone in together and pretending that it gets the best out of anyone. This is not to say there aren't very good comprehensives, there are, but typically they will be in wealthier areas where working class children are not to be found, because their parents don't have the money to buy/rent a house in said area. How is selection by postcode better than selection by ability for social mobility of the working class?
Cugel wrote:You do like these huge generalisations, eh? Unfortunately, they tend to undermine any argument you make. One cannot help but think: simplistic ... in the extreme.
Well, that is your stock in trade though, isn't it? Undermining arguments, a la 'it's not true all the time, in every possible circumstance, therefore it has no value'. I think somebody must have told educated people
at some time or other that averages don't exist and you must always pretend as if this is so, if you want to appear educated.
Life experience tells us otherwise, but there you go. If we want to appear educated, then it is necessary to run contrary to reality.
Cugel wrote:I'll just mention that I emerged from extreme poverty via fine opportunities (equalised by that Attlee fellow and similar) combined with a mother happy to play spelling, sentences and sums with her 3-year old, despite working two underpaid and very physical jobs. Of course, my experience may have been unique, with every other grammar school lad rising naturally through innate "talent" with no help other than an expensive teacher at a private school. Ha!
Unique, no! These black and white extremes you are conjuring up, not me. You are constructing strawmen, so that you may take them down - this is not what I'm arguing, and I think you know it.
Unusual, perhaps? You are old enough to grow up in a time where the wasn't the ever present glow of flat screen televisions and this skews things rather in the modern day. I imagine your mother was just doing what her nature compelled her to do for you, she wasn't prepping you especially, but she wanted what she wanted for you and that was to read and such.
Cugel wrote:Has anyone in this thread discussed what education is for? There is no single answer and no single education mode that is "correct" for all. Humans learn all sorts, for all kinds of reasons, via various methods. The question is, what different formal methods and techniques of learning could be (and perhaps ought to be) provided; and to whom? Perhaps you have one of your singular answers, probably involving some hierarchy of worth you happen to favour?
So, we actually agree on something, but you have to dress it up as a Cugel intellectual take down. I mean, really, it all so tiresome.
Have I not already said that children have different abilities and gifts and these would best be taken advantage of by different schools for such. This concept is obviously horrific to you and a number of others, but I don't see why. No one yet has said they believe that a child is a blank slate, most everyone agrees that children will have differing talents (do you?), so why then expect them to achieve their full potential at a one size fits all school.
Cugel wrote:Would you like a go at this question: what is education for.........?
To show people how clever you are by going against what is palpably sensible and presenting that as the educated view? No, no...I jest
I think it has value in and of itself, but you cannot provide the same education, as per the dictates of the god of equality, to a precocious child as to one that is struggling. Now, it may be that one struggling will, with help, surmount his difficulties and show himself to be a very capable, but how likely is it that a child who is borderline illiterate at age 11 is going to do so...not particularly.
Does this mean we throw them away? (I will put this is capitals to help you) NO!
Does it mean that they have no value and cannot do well both by themselves and the society in which they live? NO!
Does it mean we try and educate them in the same way we would a child who is obviously academically forward? NO!
It is on the last point we have a disagreement. Of course, you will give us a long post telling me how I think everything is black and white and I'm some kind of scoundrel for recognising reality for what it is, but I accept reality and don't think nature can be so easily subverted.
As I said before, if we want to appear educated in the modern world, then it is necessary to run contrary to reality.
Maybe it is something to do with Man's egotism, his supposed mastery over nature showing that we have truly arrived as the apex species? She will be bent to our will and not us to hers....I don't know precisely, but it all just seems rather fruitless to me.