So what's wrong with a little elitism?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Cold_Collation, Sep 9, 2011.

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  1. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

  2. because its empty sound bites.
    an eton schoolboy who sends his kids to the richest schools in England has no experience of state education.
    Grammar school/secondary modern model of education didn't work then doesn't work now.
    writing off 2/3rds of the population at 11 is a waste of resources.
    The Germans have a better version.
    90% of the population is never going to be able to afford private education and the state can't spend that much.
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  3. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    I have a number of gripes with the state education system (having trained and worked in it for 2 years) but the biggest by far is the LACK of elitism. The entire curriculem, the entire apparatus of teaching and assessment as been constructed as a grand quest for mediocrity with everything done to the lowest common denominator. My personal bugbear being the "To make it a fair test" type answers on exam papers. Why do you need to make it a fair test? How do you make it a fair test? What are the dependant and independant varriables within the experimental framework you have described? How will you attempt to control the independant variables? In short there is only the most limited teaching of proper scientific method in schools, despite it being (in my opinion) the single most important human inovation of the last 1000 years.

    Yes this is an old rant, some of you may have read it before. But this is because I feel suprisingly strongly about it. If every subject in the curriculem is as slack as science, then we are setting our kids up to fail the biggest exam of all- Real Life.
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  4. Of course we need elitism, otherwise we'd all be clones of Rab C Nesbit. (Although he was, arguably, elite too).
  5. 'Attainment' might have been a better choice of word than 'elitism'. It's academic (see what I did there) because, as mentioned, it's politician's bluster.
  6. Great. The state has reduced educational standards to the level of secondary modern schools instaed of raising it to that of grammar schools. 2/3rds of the population was not written off at 11. If you were good enough it was possible to move to a grammar school subsequently. GCSE's were brought in to give secondary modern children an educational qualification, allbeit at a lower level than GCE's.
    The system of the 50's and 60's produced people who could put a sentance together and do mental artihmetic.
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  7. What's wrong with elitism now ? Nothing. It was true that back in the day it was rare for kids who went to the Secondary schools to upgrade to Grammar ones. That meant for most of the men, secondary school lead to apprenticeships and for women, shops and factory work and this in turn meant lower earning potentials over the course of their lives as earnings was far tighter linked to education.

    Nowadays you can be a thick cnut doing some dead end job and be on more money than an 'educated' person doing some job that might be cleaner and more strategically useful. Sadly the apprecticeships died 30 plus years ago. At least ones that had any real meaning.

    What it does mean is that intellectual elitism can now work as it doesn't consign people to poverty.

    But then again, what the fcuk do I know ?
  8. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    I really, really like that because it encapsulates exactly what's wrong - we spend too much time pretending that everyone's a winner instead of producing an education system and a population that can properly serve the economy and the rest of life.

    Mind you, Rab C. Nesbit was at least reflective and empathetic - two traits that more of us should display. :-D
  9. There was a 13+ examination in my day. It gave the secondary school 11+ "failures" a second bite of the cherry and a chance to move into grammar school or technical college.
    There were however plenty of aprenticeships knocking around for the less acdemically minded.
    Perhaps if, has been said on a number of occasions, all were of a satisfactory standard this debate would be incidental.
  10. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    • Like Like x 2
  11. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    Hey - do quotes count towards letter counts? My 'Kerching!' with exclamation mark only came to nine.

    Have I cheated the system?

    Made my day, that has.

    File me under 'Easily Pleased'.
  12. 'Have I cheated the system?'

  13. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

  14. You're wrong if you think the old system didn't work because it very clearly did work in getting those academically-minded into higher education and those more practically-minded into apprenticeships, arts college or technical college.

    Far from a child being written off at 11 they were placed in a system that gave them a better than average chance of making a success of their abilities in whichever direction they lay.

    There were even crossover points all the way through up to Polytechnics so that late developers could succeed.

    Unfortunately there will always be those who succeed and those who don't whatever start in life they get. An education is supposed to prepare you for life and life is competitive at all levels. Sometimes it's helpful to be given a little direction in life, a little focus and the chance to make the best use of your abilities in an atmosphere that stretches you without swamping you.

    Cameron is being realistic not elitist. It is the lefties that try to convince us all that academic qualification is far more preferable to practical qualifications that are being elitist. Education should give every leaver the best possible chance to succeed using those skills they have naturally. Better a successful mechanic or carpenter or plumber than a mediocre call centre worker because some Labour politician decided that white collar was the Holy Grail.
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  15. Sorry.
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