Poor UK education standards


True, but I find that since I've switched to a 5-core GPU, octacore CPU running at 2.5 GHz and 4 GiB RAM, I can get digitally distracted so much faster than I ever could with analog organic technology, even when using a Bic multicolour pen with 0.5 mm pencil.

And there's a further advantage to books - think of the exercise one can get wandering round a proper multi-storey uni bookshop. You don't get that kind of fitness training running a finger over the Amazon Kindle or Books pages. "Look Inside" is a completely different and inferior experience to actually looking inside a book, as well.
 
True, but I find that since I've switched to a 5-core GPU, octacore CPU running at 2.5 GHz and 4 GiB RAM, I can get digitally distracted so much faster than I ever could with analog organic technology, even when using a Bic multicolour pen with 0.5 mm pencil
Perhaps that's because the disciplined habits associated over a lifetime with pen and paper haven't yet translated to the new means.
 
True, but I find that since I've switched to a 5-core GPU, octacore CPU running at 2.5 GHz and 4 GiB RAM, I can get digitally distracted so much faster than I ever could with analog organic technology, even when using a Bic multicolour pen with 0.5 mm pencil.

And there's a further advantage to books - think of the exercise one can get wandering round a proper multi-storey uni bookshop. You don't get that kind of fitness training running a finger over the Amazon Kindle or Books pages. "Look Inside" is a completely different and inferior experience to actually looking inside a book, as well.


I was distracted by windows at school. The computers were all acorns though. I’d look out the window and see proper acorns get hidden by squirrels.



I think the poem alludes to how distraction may be more subject matter, delivery and interest to the individual than the level of digitisation.
 
Poetic, but that's gone "whoosh" over my head :D!

I know you appreciate the irony on a thread about education standards…
 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
Poetic, but that's gone "whoosh" over my head :D!
Naming of the parts is a poem by Henry Reed

Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But today,
Today we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens likecoral in all the neighboring gardens,
And today we have naming of parts.....

 
It's something I'm seeing much more since COVID - the argument over whether it's an intrinsic thing exacerbated by lockdowns or they would have been fine and lockdowns really screwed them up is fairly academic at this point.

A lot of the teenagers I see have a stunningly poor grasp of numeracy and literacy and to a greater extent than in previous years. They also lack the willingness to actually try and do anything which involves more than 5 seconds thinking.

The repeated abridged conversation from the last week goes:
Ortholith: Did you understand when I went through this on the the board (all helpfully colour coded)?
Child: No, I can't do it.
O: OK, have you tried doing any of the questions using the same method as is still on the board?
C: No, I can't do it.
O: Would you like me to explain how to do it and work through the questions with you now 1:1?
C: No, I can't do it.
O: (mentally) **** you then.

Previously the metaphor was it felt like I was pissing on Grenfell, now there's a bunch of arsonists running about setting fire to other buildings at the same time.
Ah…
[What you hear]
N: (to child staring into space) “how are you doing?”
Child: “I can’t do it”
N: “what’s the problem?”
C:”it’s too hard”
N: “which part are you having trouble with?”
C:”all of it”
N: ”show me where you got stuck” (there’s nothing on the paper)
C:”all of it”
N:”have you tried any of it?”
C: “no, it’s too hard”
[What is not spoken]
“You didn’t feckin listen you little feckin fecker and now you don’t have a feckin clue”

There’s an old joke about the guy who can make his tropical fish do tricks through mind control, he demonstrates to his mate who is amazed and has a go. Guy comes back later and his mate is sat staring at the aquarium with his mouth opening and closing…
There used to be half a dozen of these kids in a school, nowadays it’s half of every class…
 
We didn't have any violent troublemakers in my school while I was there. Anyone who tried it on very quickly found out that their violence was outmatched a hundred fold by any of the teachers if goaded.

My old maths master (Lardy Gillard) used to be able to fire a piece of chalk across the room and catch you on the earlobe with it.

A gang not to be f*cked about with...

View attachment 680613
Quite likely because a few years previously they’d been bombing Hamburg every night…
 

Yokel

LE
Ah…
[What you hear]
N: (to child staring into space) “how are you doing?”
Child: “I can’t do it”
N: “what’s the problem?”
C:”it’s too hard”
N: “which part are you having trouble with?”
C:”all of it”
N: ”show me where you got stuck” (there’s nothing on the paper)
C:”all of it”
N:”have you tried any of it?”
C: “no, it’s too hard”
[What is not spoken]
“You didn’t feckin listen you little feckin fecker and now you don’t have a feckin clue”

There’s an old joke about the guy who can make his tropical fish do tricks through mind control, he demonstrates to his mate who is amazed and has a go. Guy comes back later and his mate is sat staring at the aquarium with his mouth opening and closing…
There used to be half a dozen of these kids in a school, nowadays it’s half of every class…

Are you training future civil service middle managers or staff officers? Sorry we thought that it might involve some effort, so we did nothing...

A paranoid person might suggest that there has been a deliberate effort to stop people from developing the instinct to do things by themselves, thus creating a culture of dependency and compliance. Do the kids say write out the problem, or draw the diagram, and then go blank, or do they not even get that far?
 
A paranoid person might suggest that there has been a deliberate effort to stop people from developing the instinct to do things by themselves, thus creating a culture of dependency and compliance.
In my more paranoid moment, I wonder if there hasn't been a deliberate effort to stop people developing critical faculties and the ability to identify and think about first principles, thus creating a population who don't ask too many awkward questions.
 

SpannerCat

Swinger
I'm afraid a lot of us(?), in the West, are living in a "dumb-ocracy", and it's only going to get worse. I give you, exhibit "A" . . . . . "The United States of Dumb-merica" . . . . . Just to be warned, this is where chronic "Dumb-assery" leads to . . . . .



Quote: "We have to figure out how a country can solve any problem, if so many of its people are so intractably, astoundingly, mind-numbingly stupid."

There is so much to unpack in this vid, you just might have to watch it twice . . . . or 3 times . . . . or more . . .

When you do watch it on repeat, just watch Douglas Murray's face . . . very funny! Fyi, I'm a big fan of Mr. Bill Maher. Just to clarify, he doesn't always "get it right", but he's a left-winger who "gets it" . . . . . .
 
Are you training future civil service middle managers or staff officers? Sorry we thought that it might involve some effort, so we did nothing...

A paranoid person might suggest that there has been a deliberate effort to stop people from developing the instinct to do things by themselves, thus creating a culture of dependency and compliance. Do the kids say write out the problem, or draw the diagram, and then go blank, or do they not even get that far?

In my more paranoid moment, I wonder if there hasn't been a deliberate effort to stop people developing critical faculties and the ability to identify and think about first principles, thus creating a population who don't ask too many awkward questions.

Having helped my recent trio through their Nat 5s, Highers and Advanced Highers (one still a work in progress), I was slightly relieved to see that amongst the learn-by-rote stuff, there was the occasional nod to critical thinking in the syllabuses and textbooks. How well it is emphasised in class, I don't know, but some of the maths and science teachers I spoke to did seem to find this a point of frustration - many children simply do not *want* to think and will do their level best to avoid it.

I've also noticed a phenomenon on social media whereby people deny that they were ever taught or told something, or there was no information available, or it's only now that people are aware of x, y or z. Now that may be true in some instances, but in a disturbing number of cases, I'm pretty sure that isn't the case because I was taught it, I had no problems finding that information, and we've known x, y, and z for decades or more.

A classic one is a claim that it's only now that people are beginning to realise that the Babylonians and Egyptians were doing mathematics before (white) Europeans (including the Greeks). Yet, I knew this before I even went to secondary school in the mid-60s (thanks, in part, to Sir Patrick Moore and one of his astronomy books).

Furthermore, having seen multiple offspring in action, I'm convinced there is a genetic as well as an environmental aspect involved in how well people, esp children, reason. Two of my aforementioned trio are quite intelligent but reason mathematically in a manner that is alien to me - they try to remember far too much stuff instead of working out. They then get surprised and annoyed when a memorised/given equation needs insight and manipulation to get the desired answer. I could never adequately get through to them that one does not simply walk into Mordor memorise maths and physics. Yet they are far more than adequate during verbal argumentation (I deliberately challenged from early on to think about whether one of my "facts" or "stories" was true or not; they'd all make good barrack-room lawyers).

However, the third one thinks like mini-me and has demonstrably done so since the age of 2. He's a systems level thinker who needs to understand what's going on rather than just follow the script. I can usually immediately work out what devilish idea he's had just from looking in the direction of his gaze when a smile appears on his face - it's just what I'd be thinking. And I've seen the look of astonished disbelief and bafflement on his face when somebody fails to see a "simple" concept. (He's not cocky, though, and is aware there's a lot of stuff he doesn't know)

I've also noticed this difference throughout life - there are people who think systems whilst most think individual bits of kit. Interestingly, during a management training course (with international attendees), we were given a "personality type" test. The few of us systems engineers ended up in one corner of the resulting grid and the many software guys ended up in the opposite corner.
 
I was distracted by windows at school. The computers were all acorns though. I’d look out the window and see proper acorns get hidden by squirrels.



I think the poem alludes to how distraction may be more subject matter, delivery and interest to the individual than the level of digitisation.
I was distracted by windows at school. The only computers were called 'an abacus'. I’d look out the window and see acorns get hidden by squirrels.

Drift -
I watched a video interview of Chris 'Grace' Kelly, the astronaut.
He and his identical twin brother were also distracted by windows at school to the point that their dad sat them down and told them they had one semester to turn the grades around or they were going to plumbing school, not college.
Mark took note and applied himself, but Chris had been distracted by a squirrel outside while his dad was talking and did not recall that important moment.
Chris joined the navy from High School, but got a commission and passed flight training.
He describes his career path as pretending to have more ambition than was actually true. To achieve this, he would apply for jobs he did not want and kept his applications to three or four pages, whereas as other applicants sometimes submitted hundreds.
In this way, he became a test pilot attached to Grumman, a pilot of the space shuttle, 'Endeavour', and commander of the International Space Station without actually trying.

Finally, his brother was also on the astronaut program and Chris was asked if he would be a guinea pig as the ISS commander for a double tour, a full year, so that the scientists could measure the effects of a flight to Mars on the human body, using his twin, on Earth, as a comparison.
He declined.
He submitted the usual four-page application again, this time because he did not want to become the commander of astronauts at NASA.
He got an interview during which he was asked what he would rather do, a year in space or the astronaut commander's job, he replied "I definitely would NOT want a year in space."
He was assigned as the commander of ISS for one year.

"But that for that squirrel, my life would have been so much different."


Chris 'Grace' Kelly as the first gorilla in space

 
Are you training future civil service middle managers or staff officers? Sorry we thought that it might involve some effort, so we did nothing...

A paranoid person might suggest that there has been a deliberate effort to stop people from developing the instinct to do things by themselves, thus creating a culture of dependency and compliance. Do the kids say write out the problem, or draw the diagram, and then go blank, or do they not even get that far?
Sometimes the kid genuinely can’t see the way forward and just needs a prod in the right direction, frequently though, it’s learned helplessness - their parents sit on their arrses expecting everything to be done for them, so it becomes normal.
Alternatively, boys are treated as little princes (in some communities) and mum does everything for them; they were predicted a ‘C’ grade in junior school so that is what they’ll get, so no point working.
Girls may make no effort with woodwork because “I’m never going to put shelves up” and can’t see the importance of measuring, estimating, time management, simple arithmetic, teamwork and problem solving, because they’re just going to fitted up in an arranged marriage to pop out kids.
yes, it’s a depressing state of affairs, however, watching the 12yr old son of a refugee from a sandy place (Phd, but working as a cleaner) lecturing Jaguar Land Rover designers on the difficulties of designing circuits using LEDs with differing forward voltages does a great deal to restore faith in human nature.
 
I've also noticed this difference throughout life - there are people who think systems whilst most think individual bits of kit. Interestingly, during a management training course (with international attendees), we were given a "personality type" test. The few of us systems engineers ended up in one corner of the resulting grid and the many software guys ended up in the opposite corner.
Some of this is about nurture; most kids will leave junior school knowing what frontal adverbs, split infinitives and connectives are, and how they fit into a sentence, however, the have no idea how to write coherently. This is usually because they haven’t been exposed to books, or have had stories read to them. My Ed Psch had been a head teacher in a scuzzy school in a place where it got dark early; at the time there was a push to get a computer in every home, his ambition was to get a book in every home. It’s terrifying how few kids actually own a book these days
 

Yokel

LE
My apologies for dealing with your comments back to front, but I am a bit back to front....

Some of this is about nurture; most kids will leave junior school knowing what frontal adverbs, split infinitives and connectives are, and how they fit into a sentence, however, the have no idea how to write coherently. This is usually because they haven’t been exposed to books, or have had stories read to them. My Ed Psch had been a head teacher in a scuzzy school in a place where it got dark early; at the time there was a push to get a computer in every home, his ambition was to get a book in every home. It’s terrifying how few kids actually own a book these days

Perhaps it is a sign of the times? When I was at primary school we used to have volunteers who came in to listen to you read, in a quiet room so there was no possibility of being laughed at if you got a word wrong. Is this no longer done?
 
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My Ed Psch had been a head teacher in a scuzzy school in a place where it got dark early; at the time there was a push to get a computer in every home, his ambition was to get a book in every home. It’s terrifying how few kids actually own a book these days
The great Dolly is here to help with that to this very day, with one book a month free from birth up to the age of 5
 

Yokel

LE
Sometimes the kid genuinely can’t see the way forward and just needs a prod in the right direction, frequently though, it’s learned helplessness - their parents sit on their arrses expecting everything to be done for them, so it becomes normal.
Alternatively, boys are treated as little princes (in some communities) and mum does everything for them; they were predicted a ‘C’ grade in junior school so that is what they’ll get, so no point working.
Girls may make no effort with woodwork because “I’m never going to put shelves up” and can’t see the importance of measuring, estimating, time management, simple arithmetic, teamwork and problem solving, because they’re just going to fitted up in an arranged marriage to pop out kids.
yes, it’s a depressing state of affairs, however, watching the 12yr old son of a refugee from a sandy place (Phd, but working as a cleaner) lecturing Jaguar Land Rover designers on the difficulties of designing circuits using LEDs with differing forward voltages does a great deal to restore faith in human nature.

Learned helplessness is a truly evil phenomenon that society must fight. It was a factor in the Jews being unable to fight back against the Nazis, meekly going along with what the Einsatzgruppen demanded. It is a factor in people staying with abusive partners, with people not bothering to improve things, and much else. I am sure that there were experiments where rats suffered electric shocks whatever they did, so they stopped responding. This is one of the reasons I do not like the everything or nothing approach.

My example of kids being encouraged to read where they are safe from mocking is an example - if you are going to be mocked and laughed at, will you make an effort? Will you ever associate reading with anything other than negative emotions, and give it a go? If you get shouted at a spat at because you could not run fast enough or did not catch the ball, will you be motivated to join in sport, and have a healthy attitude to physical activity in later life? Do experts TV chefs encourage people to have a go themselves, or do they despair that they could never make anything as good as that by a Michelin starred celebrity, and order McDonalds via Just Eat?

Likewise young kids picking up prejudices about Maths and Science being hard and boring.
 
My apologies for dealing with your comments back to front, but I am a bit back to front....



Perhaps it is a sign of the times? When I was at primary school we used to have volunteers who came in to listen to you read, in a quiet room so there was no possibility of being laughed at if you got a word wrong. Is this no longer done?
AFAIK reading aloud still happens in junior school, I’ve certainly seen it in high school. Sadly, this isn’t reinforced in many homes and in some cases, actively discouraged…
“I’ve never read a book in my life and it didn’t do me any harm” isn’t unknown during parent’s evenings. Most teachers develop a facial expression that silently says “That’s why you’re a fat ugly smelly piece of shoite and hopefully your kids will work this out and return to kill your in inventive ways”.
 
My apologies for dealing with your comments back to front, but I am a bit back to front....



Perhaps it is a sign of the times? When I was at primary school we used to have volunteers who came in to listen to you read, in a quiet room so there was no possibility of being laughed at if you got a word wrong. Is this no longer done?

Reading aloud on class is on a volunteer only basis.

All my Y7s & 8s and bottom sets Y9 read to me every couple of weeks and I had a reading progress section in my mark book.

I was definitely one of the last to do such and despite my encouragement few junior staff followed on, mainly because they've not been trained in how to do oral reading assessment; written comprehension style tests "assess" kids reading abilities is the modern way. For what it's worth, imo, its more imported, failed American educational shyte.

Not all kids will read aloud in the class through fear and anxiety; none ever refused to read directly to me, they enjoyed the feedback and I rewarded effort as well as tangible progress (sweeties, stickers, and praise - more flies with honey...).

Fcek Baker and all that followed him into his office. Clueless, useless tw@ts that used education as their publicity machine. A pox on all their houses.
 
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