Education

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pete75
Posts: 11646
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Education

Postby pete75 » 4 Sep 2019, 2:20pm

Come on Freddie. You asked me a lot of questions about my circumstances. I asked you some about yours so please answer them.

pwa
Posts: 10070
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Education

Postby pwa » 4 Sep 2019, 2:32pm

Freddie wrote: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?





Why do you want to separate these different strands onto different sites? Surely the logic of your arguments should be leading you to want bigger Comprehensives that are more truly comprehensive in what they offer, allowing kids with an aptitude for construction to go off in that direction and kids who love IT to specialise in that, all on the same site. With the possibility of crossover.

The system that some fondly refer to as the Grammar School System was, for most, the Secondary Modern School System, and it is telling that the only people who argue for it are those who imagine their own offspring would be among the third going to the Grammar School. I do believe in diversity of education, but I want it within one school that is big enough to accommodate all sorts of children.

If you cream off the more academic kids from a population you leave the remaining less academic kids to be educated in sink schools where kids know they are already marked out as low achievers just by being there. But if you see yourself and your family as Grammar School material you may not care about that. It isn't your problem.

Carlton green
Posts: 186
Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Education

Postby Carlton green » 4 Sep 2019, 4:58pm

pwa wrote:
Freddie wrote: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?





Why do you want to separate these different strands onto different sites? Surely the logic of your arguments should be leading you to want bigger Comprehensives that are more truly comprehensive in what they offer, allowing kids with an aptitude for construction to go off in that direction and kids who love IT to specialise in that, all on the same site. With the possibility of crossover.

The system that some fondly refer to as the Grammar School System was, for most, the Secondary Modern School System, and it is telling that the only people who argue for it are those who imagine their own offspring would be among the third going to the Grammar School. I do believe in diversity of education, but I want it within one school that is big enough to accommodate all sorts of children.

If you cream off the more academic kids from a population you leave the remaining less academic kids to be educated in sink schools where kids know they are already marked out as low achievers just by being there. But if you see yourself and your family as Grammar School material you may not care about that. It isn't your problem.


As I understand it Comprehensive Schools are those that have a pupil intake that comprehensively reflects the ability of the children eligible to go to it, there is no ability split. They are not schools that claim to offer an extra wide (or comprehensive) syllabus. Very large schools aren’t necessarily good things, I would suggest somewhere around 600 pupils is enough to support a Secondary School. My own local secondary school was around double that size, but duplicated near all of it’s ability groups.

Creaming off the most academic does have negative effects for those lower down the ability level, they then lack the inspiration and role models that more able children typically provide. Off course the able tend to develop better when surrounded by other high achievers ... no one system is perfect but if schools respond to that issue it is manageable.

pwa
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Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Education

Postby pwa » 4 Sep 2019, 5:07pm

My own comprehensive school in the 1970s had about 1200 pupils and it was fine. It had the full range of abilities and streamed to deal with that. I agree that pupils who struggle with English and Maths ought not to be made to do French if they don't wish to, and should have access to vocational training, but in a big school economies of scale mean the choice of direction can be wider.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 5566
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Education

Postby Tangled Metal » 4 Sep 2019, 6:14pm

I wonder whether the better system would be universal education up to a certain age as a basic grounding. Then different institutions focusing on different areas of expertise. Technical, science, vocational, etc. Basically geared up to provide the type of education wanted by kids / parents and the type needed by the nation according to predicted needs in the future.

Basically I think this would be something like the German system. This doesn't necessarily split off high and low ability as you could train the next car line worker in the same school as those who later become automotive/mechanical engineers designing the cars of the future. Streaming on ability based on area of interest.

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Cugel
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Joined: 13 Nov 2017, 11:14am

Re: Education

Postby Cugel » 4 Sep 2019, 7:48pm

Carlton green wrote:
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?

Would you like a go at this question: what is education for.........?

Cugel


The question wasn’t addressed to me but I do think that the question is a rather important one that is too often over-looked. IMHO the primary purpose of education is to enable someone to: understand where they fit into the society, place and time around them; make reasoned and informed decisions; and to sustain themselves and their family. There are secondary purposes too and for some reason or other they are given equal importance to the primary ones ... life isn’t perfect and people confuse issues.


Education of children through school systems certainly does have (or used to have) the primary purpose of socialising those children. This is partly about the more formal aspects of education (learning a subject and being examined for the knowledge gained) but is mostly about learning how to interact with others in a great variety of ways, with the great variety of different personality types and human behaviours.

I wouldn't say it was about teaching children about "where they fit into society" but more about "where and how they can fit into society". "Where they fit" implies that there is a status quo and hierarchy of society for which various classes of children are properly predestined.

That is what I'll call the Freddy problem: the inclination to define reality as the current status quo, inclusive of all the barriers, limits, cliques, elites and other arrangements that the dominant group wish to ossify in order to maintain their advantage over others. The Freddy approach seems to not only retain but to amplify these arrangements of the status quo, with the already privileged given further privilege in their education. No equality of opportunity, only segregation into fixed social roles in a fixed social hierarchy, enforced by the type of education the various classes are allowed (or not).

Carlton green wrote:[There are, I think, merits to both the Grammar/Secondary Modern and the Comprehensive systems. As children aren’t easily and accurately split into just two groups based on academic ability there will always be mismatches. Because they cater for virtually all abilities and they do not fragment society into the able and others I favour well run Co-Ed Comprehensive Schools (ie. Those Comprehensives that foster aspiration, respect for learning, respect for your fellow pupil, respect for the staff and are appropriately managed for a secure future). Having mentioned ability I do recognise that those at the extremes of each end of the ability range might well need a different setting to thrive best in. Sadly not all schools are well run and I’m certainly not someone who would expect any parent to put principles before saving their child from a failing school.


Agreed - perhaps your paragraph here could be summed up as: equality of opportunity, with multiple and different opportunities presented for children to follow as they can, as they want - not rigid social class stratification or apartheid with little or no chance of escape to something other than a predestined social place.

Carlton green wrote:[Grammar Schools tend not to fail but then they typically have the ablest staff and parents with the best skills and resources to help the school, they also tend to have the nicest children too. My own local Comprehensive once had an enviably good reputation and represented the amongst the best of such schools, poor management changed all that and over the time that my children were there is moved from being quite reasonable to not a place to remain at. The major part of the problem(s) within schools are due to poor management and disruptive children, which system is best is a diversion and Grammars are the pragmatic solution parents use to solving some ‘disruptive pupil / social issues’.


This is a consequence of the Freddy stratification method of providing education of different qualities to different classes. It was the case when I was a grammar school boy lucky enough to somehow get into one rather than the local secondary (that very word's a giveaway) modern. Grammar school pupils were provided with high quality education and lots of opportunity to make the most of it. Secondary modern schools tended to get secondary facilities and their pupils were generally steered (from the age of 11!) to secondary positions (and a lot lower) in a rather hierarchical society.

No doubt Freddy will call this "reality". In fact it was (and is) a particular arrangement made by a social elite to favour their own class and beliefs about which kinds of people are worthy (people like themselves) and which are not. There was an attempt throughout the 50s and 60s to reduce this elitism and many changes in the education system (and elsewhere) did allow some of us plebs to emerge from the mean streets. Many, including me, were able to go to university without being a semi-genius. But there was still a neglect of those "secondaries" in the secondary moderns, many of whom were encouraged to leave all education at 15, later 16, to go into menial and often dead-end jobs.

Carlton green wrote:[People have talked about funding problems for schools but I cannot remember a time when people have not talked about funding problems for schools. What I can tell you is that the schools that I attended as a child were no where near as good as those that my children attended, but of course that could be due to many factors rather than just funding levels.


There's a huge question about the role of The State in education, alongside the question about how any privately-provided education should be regulated. That's really another, albeit connected, issue. One aspect is: should so-called public schools be allowed to operate as hot houses for elites who perpetuate their grasp on political and other large institutional powers in a society via the old boys arrangements first created at these schools? We're currently observing the ill-effects of allowing these sorts of vastly over-privileged educational modes free reign.

It isn't always just about the money, as you say.

And then there's the issue of the businessification of universities, where "education" is no longer any such thing but merely a product (in the form of a certificate) sold at a very high price indeed - and not just the monetary price.

Cugel

Carlton green
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Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Education

Postby Carlton green » 5 Sep 2019, 11:56pm

Cudgel said: “I wouldn't say it was about teaching children about "where they fit into society" but more about "where and how they can fit into society". "Where they fit" implies that there is a status quo and hierarchy of society for which various classes of children are properly predestined. ”

Yes, I think that you’re correct there, an unintended nuance on my part. Perhaps where they are now within society and where they could be later might be better still but the point is too fine for me to want to get embroiled in.

I found these articles on the BBC website interesting and just shook my head at the stupidity and self importance of some school teachers : https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-n ... e-49592200 ; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-s ... e-45420905 .

Sadly such small minded authority figures seem to be able to ride roughshod over parents and ‘common sense’ has long since left the building. I’ve known some wonderful teachers but there are some, rather too many, who have ‘lost the plot’ too. I know that it can be very difficult to maintain order in schools but personally I think that the actions of some teachers approach abuse of authority. The best teachers that I’ve known have engaged the children and never needed to do much beyond explain what was needed, what was expected and why. Treat children with appropriate respect and it’s amazing how well they respond, that’s not simple to do but schools should treat those in their care at least as well as the child’s parents do. That isn’t, IMHO, too an unreasonable an expectation.

pwa
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Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Education

Postby pwa » 6 Sep 2019, 10:52am

Carlton green wrote:Cudgel said: “I wouldn't say it was about teaching children about "where they fit into society" but more about "where and how they can fit into society". "Where they fit" implies that there is a status quo and hierarchy of society for which various classes of children are properly predestined. ”

Yes, I think that you’re correct there, an unintended nuance on my part. Perhaps where they are now within society and where they could be later might be better still but the point is too fine for me to want to get embroiled in.

I found these articles on the BBC website interesting and just shook my head at the stupidity and self importance of some school teachers : https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-n ... e-49592200 ; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-s ... e-45420905 .

Sadly such small minded authority figures seem to be able to ride roughshod over parents and ‘common sense’ has long since left the building. I’ve known some wonderful teachers but there are some, rather too many, who have ‘lost the plot’ too. I know that it can be very difficult to maintain order in schools but personally I think that the actions of some teachers approach abuse of authority. The best teachers that I’ve known have engaged the children and never needed to do much beyond explain what was needed, what was expected and why. Treat children with appropriate respect and it’s amazing how well they respond, that’s not simple to do but schools should treat those in their care at least as well as the child’s parents do. That isn’t, IMHO, too an unreasonable an expectation.

My better half is a very experienced teacher and very recently she had to spend time consoling a newly qualified teacher who had been driven to tears by a couple of extremely abusive teenage boys who had hijacked what had been meant to be a lesson, leaving about 30 other children with no lesson. My wife herself is very good at treating kids with respect. She always starts from that standpoint. But it doesn't work with some kids. Until you stand in front of several classes of 30+ kids each day you have no idea. The respect thing is perfectly correct, but then you have also to work with the small minority of kids who do not respond to that. And those kids, small in number, can wreck lessons for the rest.

This isn't disagreeing with what are saying, and no profession is without its substandard individuals, but I thought this was worth saying for the sake of perspective.

pete75
Posts: 11646
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Education

Postby pete75 » 6 Sep 2019, 11:15am

pwa wrote:
Carlton green wrote:Cudgel said: “I wouldn't say it was about teaching children about "where they fit into society" but more about "where and how they can fit into society". "Where they fit" implies that there is a status quo and hierarchy of society for which various classes of children are properly predestined. ”

Yes, I think that you’re correct there, an unintended nuance on my part. Perhaps where they are now within society and where they could be later might be better still but the point is too fine for me to want to get embroiled in.

I found these articles on the BBC website interesting and just shook my head at the stupidity and self importance of some school teachers : https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-n ... e-49592200 ; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-s ... e-45420905 .

Sadly such small minded authority figures seem to be able to ride roughshod over parents and ‘common sense’ has long since left the building. I’ve known some wonderful teachers but there are some, rather too many, who have ‘lost the plot’ too. I know that it can be very difficult to maintain order in schools but personally I think that the actions of some teachers approach abuse of authority. The best teachers that I’ve known have engaged the children and never needed to do much beyond explain what was needed, what was expected and why. Treat children with appropriate respect and it’s amazing how well they respond, that’s not simple to do but schools should treat those in their care at least as well as the child’s parents do. That isn’t, IMHO, too an unreasonable an expectation.

My better half is a very experienced teacher and very recently she had to spend time consoling a newly qualified teacher who had been driven to tears by a couple of extremely abusive teenage boys who had hijacked what had been meant to be a lesson, leaving about 30 other children with no lesson. My wife herself is very good at treating kids with respect. She always starts from that standpoint. But it doesn't work with some kids. Until you stand in front of several classes of 30+ kids each day you have no idea. The respect thing is perfectly correct, but then you have also to work with the small minority of kids who do not respond to that. And those kids, small in number, can wreck lessons for the rest.

This isn't disagreeing with what are saying, and no profession is without its substandard individuals, but I thought this was worth saying for the sake of perspective.


Some years ago I used to teach computing to YTS trainees. There was one lad like you described. I had a quite word with him in private and that changed his attitude. You just need to know how to deal with people and use a little psychology.

pwa
Posts: 10070
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Education

Postby pwa » 6 Sep 2019, 11:32am

pete75 wrote: There was one lad like you described. I had a quite word with him in private and that changed his attitude. You just need to know how to deal with people and use a little psychology.

Yes, my Missus loves doing that. Having a quiet talk with a disruptive kid, getting some mutual respect going and seeing the improvement. But there are some extreme kids that doesn't work on.

Carlton green
Posts: 186
Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Education

Postby Carlton green » 6 Sep 2019, 1:51pm

pwa wrote:
My better half is a very experienced teacher and very recently she had to spend time consoling a newly qualified teacher who had been driven to tears by a couple of extremely abusive teenage boys who had hijacked what had been meant to be a lesson, leaving about 30 other children with no lesson. My wife herself is very good at treating kids with respect. She always starts from that standpoint. But it doesn't work with some kids. Until you stand in front of several classes of 30+ kids each day you have no idea. The respect thing is perfectly correct, but then you have also to work with the small minority of kids who do not respond to that. And those kids, small in number, can wreck lessons for the rest.

This isn't disagreeing with what are saying, and no profession is without its substandard individuals, but I thought this was worth saying for the sake of perspective.


It’s very valid that you have balanced the perspective, I wouldn’t want to mislead. My comments and the BBC articles where primarily directed towards Head Teachers some of whom I believe have lost the plot or parts of it.

My own children have been in classes that have been wrecked by the disruptive and, to be honest, such behaviour isn’t acceptable to me. I’ve also talked to teachers who have had a class walk all over them - we should be asking both why they would want to as well as how to stop it - and to teachers who rarely, if ever, have difficulties. I have relatives who have or do teach and managing difficult kids is both a skill and something that correct sanctions and organisation within the school sorts out. Sadly a lot of Schools think that they are more able to manage the troubled than is the case ... but that’s just my experience as a parent, a gathering of data from teachers I happen to know and my vision from the school gates.

pete75
Posts: 11646
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Education

Postby pete75 » 6 Sep 2019, 3:06pm

pwa wrote:
pete75 wrote: There was one lad like you described. I had a quite word with him in private and that changed his attitude. You just need to know how to deal with people and use a little psychology.

Yes, my Missus loves doing that. Having a quiet talk with a disruptive kid, getting some mutual respect going and seeing the improvement. But there are some extreme kids that doesn't work on.


Well I managed to convince him it was in his best interests to behave without actually using any physical force.

Perhaps we should follow the French system and have a "surveillant" responsible for discipline rather than teachers. Almost 40 years ago my then girlfriend was a language assistant at a lycée in Poitiers for a year, as part of her degree. The head surveillant was a recently retired Foreign Legion adjudant (Warrant Officer). There was something about the man that said don't mess about with me in very big letters.

Mike Sales
Posts: 3228
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Education

Postby Mike Sales » 6 Sep 2019, 3:12pm

pete75 wrote:
pwa wrote:
pete75 wrote: There was one lad like you described. I had a quite word with him in private and that changed his attitude. You just need to know how to deal with people and use a little psychology.

Yes, my Missus loves doing that. Having a quiet talk with a disruptive kid, getting some mutual respect going and seeing the improvement. But there are some extreme kids that doesn't work on.


Well I managed to convince him it was in his best interests to behave without actually using any physical force.

Perhaps we should follow the French system and have a "surveillant" responsible for discipline rather than teachers. Almost 40 years ago my then girlfriend was a language assistant at a lycée in Poitiers for a year, as part of her degree. The head surveillant was a recently retired Foreign Legion adjudant (Warrant Officer). There was something about the man that said don't mess about with me in very big letters.


Some teachers manage to radiate that impression, but others don't. We can all remember teachers who could not keep order. Can this be taught and learnt, or is it purely a question of personality? It would seem a pity if some otherwise excellent teachers are disbarred by lack of the quality.

reohn2
Posts: 35581
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Education

Postby reohn2 » 6 Sep 2019, 4:32pm

Teaching isn't a job,it's a vocation.
There are those who know their subject inside out but can't teach it for toffee and there are those who know how to teach their subject.
I was a right handful at school,rebelious and michevious,there were certain teachers who couldn't do a thing with me and others I would have gone to the ends of the earth for.
Looking back it was the authoritarians who I couldn't get along with they seemed to enjoy belittling those that didn't toe their narrow remit of acceptance,I know other kids who were fearful of them wereas I challenged their authority,which they didn't like and sometimes lashed out literally.
The teachers who I did get on well with were those who used psychology well and treated me with respect,that respect was returned in bucket loads.
They were the real teachers and the ones I still have fond memories of,and I suspect Mrs PWA would be one of those :wink: .
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I cycle therefore I am.

merseymouth
Posts: 943
Joined: 23 Jan 2011, 11:16am

Re: Education

Postby merseymouth » 6 Sep 2019, 4:41pm

Hi PWA, My SWMBO had 42 years at the chalk-face, all JMI, all ages. Finished her career as a Deputy Head for about 27 years. Didn't want to be a Head, not enough teaching involved, mainly HR & Accountancy.
Each child is a separate challenge, as is every parent. In both groups there can be square pegs in holes that don't fit, so one solution never fits all.
But meeting pupils 40 years later, they now being grandparents brings about a lot more common ground. Sorry miss, I didn't realise how much of a pest I was! miles all around. She wouldn't have missed a day of it all. IGICB MM