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The future of education (if any)

For discussions related to education and educational institutions.
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Dave B
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#561 Post by Dave B » October 13th, 2015, 2:42 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

I note that the list of associates includes every major UK relion but Judaism...

(Ok, not Buddhism either, if they might be considered major, but it seems that they only have one primary school.)
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#562 Post by Alan H » October 15th, 2015, 3:53 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#563 Post by Dave B » October 15th, 2015, 4:15 pm

This is another area where I am always torn.

I believe in there being as many places as possible in schools that can offer more than the basic syllabus, especially in terms of building a good attitude towards and skills for education. I am against the "comorehensive" idea where it dulls the bright kids and puts the less bright ones off.

Sorry, but I believe in the best possible education the pupil can handle.

The problem comes when there are not enough places or schollaships for bright kids from financially challenged families. My late sister was a dinner lady in a unit that took disruptive and truanting lids. Rose very quickly learned this was because very bright kids were being forced into comlrehensive schools, without "streaming", which was considered elitist, and they were bored having to keep down to the speed of the slowest.

That is a wate of talent and avwasre of a human resource this country needs. But I also disagree with "hothousibg" kids.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Dave B
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#564 Post by Dave B » October 15th, 2015, 5:49 pm

So can I, but with my opinion of the press I don't bother to pay the fee or bother.

Appreciate it when Alan flags something up for discussion though. If you don't have opinion to espouse you don't have to respond, Nick.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Nick
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#565 Post by Nick » October 15th, 2015, 5:58 pm

Me? Not have an opinion? :wink: I was just busy composing a response. Which I hope Alan might be too (though I doubt it).

Here it is:

So. Suppose I had a son and daughter. Let us also suppose that they are of average intelligence. Let us suppose further that my (sadly, non-existent) wife and I have done a half decent job in raising them. Which gets them into a grammar school. Why should I sacrifice their future for the sake of some crazy measure of "equality"? It is not their job to raise other people's children.

Neither of my parents were privileged. My maternal grandfather left school at the age of 12 and was a butcher all his life. My paternal grandfather died young; there are stories of my father and his brother sharing one pair of long trousers between them. And buying butter on tick. But both sets of parents had ambition for their children.

Even so, as a young kiddie, I was surprised to find that other people had furniture in their front room. We didn't. Couldn't afford it.

Certainly, genuine poverty doesn't actually help children, but the overwhelming determinant of children's success is the attitude of the parents. Just look at the successes of supposedly educationally-disadvantaged immigrants' children. Or the proud tradition of working-class education. Not only an extra dimension for manual labour, but providing an escape for their children.

The state should get its boot off the neck off the aspirant, seek to help their dreams, and provide support for those kids whose parents, for whatever reason, are unable to provide. Which may be, distressing though it may seem, freedom from the dregs. Who need altogether different support.

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Altfish
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#566 Post by Altfish » October 15th, 2015, 6:28 pm

As someone who has vast experience of this may I give my two penneth of wisdom.

I live in Trafford MBC which is one of the few councils in the country that has maintained its grammar school/11+ system.
I went to the grammar school, my daughter went to the grammar school; my wife and son both failed the 11+ and went to the secondary modern alternative.

The grammar schools are great schools, there is not a lot wrong with the non-grammar schools in our area either. My daughter scraped through, she achieved the pass mark and not a mark more - but it was right for her, but a point difference when she was 10-years old and her life would have been totally different. My son failed (and failed is the right word, he still at 30 has a chip on his shoulder) and went to the secondary modern, he's done ok but still goes round thinking he is 'dumb'.

In Trafford we have an industry that is growing exponentially, it is tutoring. This is where the wheels come off the system. Those well off parents pay to tutor the kids that are borderline. They are coached in passing the entrance exams and by adding 10% to their performance many scrape through to the grammar. These kids shouldn't be at the grammar and their coaching has deprived a proportion of less well off kids opportunity to get to the grammar school.

Also the state schools are NOT allowed to coach their kids, but private schools are exempt of this rule. Consequently, once again well off parents have the advantage.

So, the arguments about working class kids gaining through grammar schools are totally b****x, all they do is save middle class and well off parents the fees of having to pay for a private grammar school.

Well run schools with proper grading/streaming are just as good. Grammar schools perform well because they cream off the best, the secondary modern schools are left without the bright kids, kids arriving with 'failure' around their necks. And this happens when they are 10-years old. Both my kids were August children, they are up against kids almost 12-months older.

Sorry, it is a retrograde system built on dogma for a by-gone area.

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Dave B
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#567 Post by Dave B » October 15th, 2015, 6:54 pm

Well, rather see the whole education system brought up to the grammar school standard, but there will never be enough funding.

Every child should be given the chance to make full use of whatever inherent talents they possess. There is always a number who just miss which is a fact of life. In my case my father refused to allow either my sister or myself to go to other than secondary schools and leave as soon as possible. I was stupid enough to join the RAFmwhen I could not get an apprenticeship.

Yup, still got a chip as well, but one that hates the idea of kids not getting at least the chance at an education suitable to their inherent talents.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Altfish
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#568 Post by Altfish » October 15th, 2015, 7:22 pm

One of the biggest problems is that the 'division' is done on 10-year old kids, whereas with good streaming at a mixed ability school late developers can climb the ladder as opposed to hitting a brick wall at a secondary modern.

I should also say that there are kids that get to the grammar school and it is just not right for them and they wither and die there.

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Alan H
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#569 Post by Alan H » October 15th, 2015, 7:52 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

thundril
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#570 Post by thundril » October 15th, 2015, 9:06 pm

I attended 2 1/2 years of Comprehensive school, and 1 year of seminary (in effect a Catholic public school).
The Comp was streamed. Each year was divided into (IIRC) twelve classes, with the top three classes being called, quite blatantly, the 'grammar stream'. I was in the top class of the 'grammar' stream, which largely comprised boys from the 'better' neighbourhoods of Huyton and Prescot, with just a few bright kids from my own area; but I got a chance to socialise with the other lads from my own area at play time and lunch times.


Anyway, I think it's time we re-considered the whole idea of 'school'. For example, what is it supposed to achieve?

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Dave B
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#571 Post by Dave B » October 15th, 2015, 9:30 pm

thundril wrote:Anyway, I think it's time we re-considered the whole idea of 'school'. For example, what is it supposed to achieve?
Good question, better that it equip kids to exist in the modern world rather than simply stuufing them with "knowledge" they may never use.

I am in favour of streaming at every level, give the kids the environment that will nuture tem. But in the 1950s London County Council it was considered somewhat elitist by the majority Labour members.
This trend was facilitated by the introduction of comprehensive secondary education. In those LEAs which went comprehensive - Oxfordshire, Leicestershire, Bristol, London, and the West Riding of Yorkshire were among the first - the abolition of the eleven plus freed the curriculum of the junior schools from the constraints of the eleven plus exam.

It was in these areas, also, that the system of streaming, which reinforced the methodology of class teaching, was most rapidly discarded. The swing from streaming in the junior schools in these and other areas, which started very slowly in the mid 1950s, meeting strong opposition, suddenly took off with extraordinary rapidity in the mid to late 1960s, gaining influential support from the Plowden Report of 1967. (Galton, Simon and Croll 1980:39)
From here.

There was certainly no streaming at my secondary school (1955 - 1959).
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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animist
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#572 Post by animist » October 15th, 2015, 9:33 pm

Altfish wrote:As someone who has vast experience of this may I give my two penneth of wisdom.

I live in Trafford MBC which is one of the few councils in the country that has maintained its grammar school/11+ system.
I went to the grammar school, my daughter went to the grammar school; my wife and son both failed the 11+ and went to the secondary modern alternative.

The grammar schools are great schools, there is not a lot wrong with the non-grammar schools in our area either. My daughter scraped through, she achieved the pass mark and not a mark more - but it was right for her, but a point difference when she was 10-years old and her life would have been totally different. My son failed (and failed is the right word, he still at 30 has a chip on his shoulder) and went to the secondary modern, he's done ok but still goes round thinking he is 'dumb'.

In Trafford we have an industry that is growing exponentially, it is tutoring. This is where the wheels come off the system. Those well off parents pay to tutor the kids that are borderline. They are coached in passing the entrance exams and by adding 10% to their performance many scrape through to the grammar. These kids shouldn't be at the grammar and their coaching has deprived a proportion of less well off kids opportunity to get to the grammar school.

Also the state schools are NOT allowed to coach their kids, but private schools are exempt of this rule. Consequently, once again well off parents have the advantage.

So, the arguments about working class kids gaining through grammar schools are totally b****x, all they do is save middle class and well off parents the fees of having to pay for a private grammar school.

Well run schools with proper grading/streaming are just as good. Grammar schools perform well because they cream off the best, the secondary modern schools are left without the bright kids, kids arriving with 'failure' around their necks. And this happens when they are 10-years old. Both my kids were August children, they are up against kids almost 12-months older.

Sorry, it is a retrograde system built on dogma for a by-gone area.
I agree with most of this. What do you mean when you say that state schools are not allowed to coach their kids?

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Re: The future of education (if any)

#573 Post by animist » October 15th, 2015, 9:38 pm

Nick wrote:Me? Not have an opinion? :wink: I was just busy composing a response. Which I hope Alan might be too (though I doubt it).

Here it is:

So. Suppose I had a son and daughter. Let us also suppose that they are of average intelligence. Let us suppose further that my (sadly, non-existent) wife and I have done a half decent job in raising them. Which gets them into a grammar school. Why should I sacrifice their future for the sake of some crazy measure of "equality"? It is not their job to raise other people's children.

Neither of my parents were privileged. My maternal grandfather left school at the age of 12 and was a butcher all his life. My paternal grandfather died young; there are stories of my father and his brother sharing one pair of long trousers between them. And buying butter on tick. But both sets of parents had ambition for their children.

Even so, as a young kiddie, I was surprised to find that other people had furniture in their front room. We didn't. Couldn't afford it.

Certainly, genuine poverty doesn't actually help children, but the overwhelming determinant of children's success is the attitude of the parents. Just look at the successes of supposedly educationally-disadvantaged immigrants' children. Or the proud tradition of working-class education. Not only an extra dimension for manual labour, but providing an escape for their children.

The state should get its boot off the neck off the aspirant, seek to help their dreams, and provide support for those kids whose parents, for whatever reason, are unable to provide. Which may be, distressing though it may seem, freedom from the dregs. Who need altogether different support.
this is shocking, irrelevant and barely comprehensible (let alone comprehensive :laughter: ). Few kids are "aspirant" even though their parents may be - I was not even really even though I got to grammar school and then Oxford. Educational apartheid at 11 is just wrong, and the way that these new schools are playing the system is wrong too

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Altfish
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#574 Post by Altfish » October 15th, 2015, 11:03 pm

animist wrote: What do you mean when you say that state schools are not allowed to coach their kids?
They are not allowed to practice 'past papers' i.e. get into the routine of doing the exams. Many of the questions are IQ Test type questions, e.g. "Dog is to puppy, cat is to ....". They cannot practice those types of question to prepare them for the entrance exam.


No, there is no doubt that the reintroduction of grammar schools is a middle/upper class favour by the Tories; saves them much money

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Re: The future of education (if any)

#575 Post by Maria Mac » October 16th, 2015, 12:40 am

This thread has now been edited and some posts sent to the dump.

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Re: The future of education (if any)

#576 Post by Alan H » October 16th, 2015, 12:43 am

Athena wrote:This thread has now been edited and some posts sent to the dump.
Thanks!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Re: The future of education (if any)

#577 Post by Alan H » October 16th, 2015, 8:48 pm

There seems, AFAIK, to be several reasons being put forward in favour of grammar schools but the main ones seem to be:

1. they improve the performance of the brightest;

2. they enable social mobility (implicitly that those from working class backgrounds will do better than they would otherwise).

I'm not sure I've heard it being said, but there also has to be the consideration that those who do not attend grammar schools will do no worse that they would otherwise. This would seem to be a concomitant of 1.

It seems clear from the evidence that a significantly far lower proportion of pupils at the existing grammar schools are from poorer backgrounds than other schools in the same area (one sixth, in fact), indicating that there is a selection bias. The evidence also seems to show that those from poorer backgrounds aren't helped by attending grammar school; in fact, they seem to do worse.

Unless there is better, contrary evidence, that seems to put paid to the second reason.

The first reason may well be true, but it's worth looking at why that might be, ignoring for the time being whether there is good evidence they do. I assume most grammar schools are free-standing schools (although the new one is touted as a satellite school of an existing grammar school, on a different site, rather than a completely new one - that may well have something to do with making the first new grammar school more politically palatable). So, what is it that makes a grammar school 'better' in this regard? Better building? Better discipline? Better teachers? Different curriculum? What? Is it one or more of these factors, or is it purely the selection process?

But is the fact that there are no less-able pupils there to hold them back or distract them a factor at all? In some (all?) English comprehensive schools there is streaming isn't there? Doesn't that put the more-able students in the same class away from those that might hold them back? Or is it the fact that they might come into contact with them in the playground and corridors that makes a difference? (That's uncomfortably close to an argument sometimes made about religious schools.)

So, if there is streaming in community (and other) schools, why do we need selective grammar schools that simply segregate students more than they would otherwise?

I started off by assuming that grammar schools improve the attainment of their students over what they would achieve anyway, but does anyone know what the evidence actually says for this?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#578 Post by animist » October 16th, 2015, 9:35 pm

Altfish wrote:
animist wrote: What do you mean when you say that state schools are not allowed to coach their kids?
They are not allowed to practice 'past papers' i.e. get into the routine of doing the exams. Many of the questions are IQ Test type questions, e.g. "Dog is to puppy, cat is to ....". They cannot practice those types of question to prepare them for the entrance exam.
that is idiotic - every examination requires recognition of the character of the questions likely to be asked, and therefore, practising in that exam's tradition

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Altfish
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#579 Post by Altfish » October 17th, 2015, 9:13 am

"New figures from Buckinghamshire – which has a fully selective system, so all state school pupils are entered for an 11-plus exam – reveal that pupils from private schools are two-and-a-half times more likely to pass the 11-plus while the pass rate for children on free school meals is one-eighth of the average."

"In 2014, only 4 per cent of children eligible for free school meals passed the 11-plus compared with an average of 30 per cent. Campaigners found that children in Bucks’ state primaries continued to perform worse than other children. "

"Meanwhile, the pass rate of Bucks’ private pupils increased by 5 per cent. These children were two-and-a-half times more likely to pass the test than a child at a local state primary school."

“The claim that grammar schools will be an engine for social mobility is exposed as fallacious. It is absurd to maintain that they offer a route out of poverty when they routinely fail to offer places to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

“The evidence shows quite clearly that selection serves to reproduce and reinforce existing patterns of disadvantage. It’s like taking every inequality that has emerged in the first 10 years of a child’s life and then saying, ‘Right, let’s institutionalise that through a parallel schooling system.’”


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/educa ... 97401.html

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Re: The future of education (if any)

#580 Post by Dave B » October 17th, 2015, 12:24 pm

I have no great knowledge of this but, bourne out by my own experience, I suppose, given two kids with similar intelligence etc. it seems evident (from what sociology/psychology I have done) the home environment can be a critical factor. This, I assume, is a function of using the "school meals" metric, can one suppose that such kids come from less wealthy and supportive families?

Nothing wrong with the right kind of selectivity - no point in giving a grammar school place to a kid whose only ambition is to look after horses, and has an intelligence level suitable for that job. I can only wish that there were far more places available to bright kids whose families cannot afford all the kit that grammar schools demand.

For my friend's niece's kids that was the real stumbling block, the price of the make and model of the required laptop, plus specific software, would have prevented many kids from taking up a place. That was before uniforms and sports kit were added in.

So, first filter - 11 plus - second filter - affording mandatory kit (even for state funded grammar schools). Guess second is hardest for many.

Yet people with skills and abilities in all fields are the lifeblood of any country with a government with brsins. If you are not counting beans, lending beans, trading beans or holding huge piles of beans this bunch do not seem interested. We are losing the ability to design better beans make the bloody things!

Watch for the new brain drain...
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Nick
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Re: The future of education (if any)

#581 Post by Nick » October 18th, 2015, 12:10 am

or even, bean drain. :wink:

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