Oh, FFS…


“Our goal should now be that we are the generation that had made it possible for children not only to start education at three but to continue in education or training until 18.”

Gordon, stop saying “Education” when you mean “School”. Which of course, implies “Our increasingly poor, inadequate and irrelevant school systems which consistently leaves vast swathes of young adults funcitonally illiterate, innumerate and unable to express themselves in socially constructive ways.”

But wait, It gets better:

“This is about all our futures. Our ambition for education: to raise the floor and to remove the ceiling, a higher floor for all to build from, with no ceiling on talent, no limit to potential, no cap on aspiration.”

Okay, early entry there for “worst political metaphor of 2007”. No ceiling, a higher floor… I’m sure that was the Spanish holiday resort I was booked into last year.


5 thoughts on “Oh, FFS…

  1. When I was 15 I stopped caring about school. The currriculum wasn’t challenging enough for me. I was finding the work way too easy and started not putting any effort into it. My parents had the option to have me put forward a year when I was in Primary 4, but chose not to because they wanted to keep me near my friends*. I then gave up in school and spent pretty much the last 3 years of school just bumming around. This gave me ample opportunity to play RPGs and computer games as well get involved in the drama club and read books. I wonder to this day if my parents realized that I’d walk to a local park and read for most of the day rather than go into school. My school record wasn’t terribly good… The major issue with “education” is that it’s not; just exactly what you say. It’s not catered specifically to the individual in most cases, but rather to the lowest denominator with a low-end cap to ensure that it’s not too low. This stops those with talent and abilty from really progressing, because the curriculum and teaching style isn’t fluid enough to cope with multiple intelligences (as put forward by Howard Gardner, and which I’ve read a lot on and concur that this, at least in my case, is valid). The sad part is that at one point I wanted to be a teacher, specifically an English teacher, but my experience of school and teaching really turned me off. I’m not sure how education pass rates are over in the UK right now, but I can be they’re not great. We’re trying to get our kids to stay in the same school here when we move, but it’s going to be difficult. The school system here is very progressive and focuses heavily on individual child abilities, and the local school system is awesome. We’ll get good teachers no matter what school in the system we have to go to when we get moved into our own place in 6 months, but the current school has great teachers and the kids are happy there. * Considering how much bullying I went through with these so-called friends over the next 6 years or so, it would have been a good idea for me to be moved forward. it would have spared them a few bloody noses when I eventually would retaliate and kick seven shades of crud out of them. Pacifism and tanking physically only goes so far in the real world. As Kenny Rogers said “Sometimes you’ve got to fight…”

    1. Remember this: “happy kids” beats everything else. If only because miserable kids learn nothing, miserable kids associate learning with misery.

      1. Exactly! That’s why we try and let the kids be kids and be happy, and let them learn what they really are interested in (they’ve had some Montesorri schooling so that helps). We still set boundaries but those expand once basic ideas are grokked and can be expanded on. We’re big fans of home schooling either as a replacement and certainly as an addendum to traditional schooling. Our kids are growing up being able to make up their own minds about things, and have critical minds rather than force-fed society sheep who will work for the masses and be unhappy. It helps that we have a strong and stable family foundation. Unfortunately a lot of kids don’t have this.

      2. I’m always struck when I speak to parents of schooled kids how much work they’re doing teaching the kids: I recently heard of one woman raise her daughter from a low 3rd (out of 5 levels) level Sats grading to a high 2nd with a grand total of two weeks cramming. The daughter basically was being left in the middle range because *she wasn’t a problem or a possible star* so any effort by the school to raise her grade would be “wasted” compared to working on those two groups. I wonder sometimes just how much kids learn in school: I happen to think most families are doing a damn good job teaching kids despite state school in the UK.

      3. Schools shouldn’t be a replacement for familial instruction, but should offer a lot of stuff you can’t get just at home. I think you’re right, that a lot of the mid-range kids are left in limbo, and teachers are just too swamped to be able to give totally individual attention to students. Smaller classes focused around a Montesorri-style education seems to be the best, because then it’s student-guided instead of curriculum-guided. I know that I probably learned more out of school than in school because I enjoyed going out and learning on my own, but hated being given deadlines by school to read this, write that etc.

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