So what's wrong with a little elitism?

#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.
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
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.
 
#4
Of course we need elitism, otherwise we'd all be clones of Rab C Nesbit. (Although he was, arguably, elite too).
 
M

Mark The Convict

Guest
#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
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.
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.
 
#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 ?
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
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?
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
.................................. writing off 2/3rds of the population at 11 is a waste of resources....................................................
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.
 
#11
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'.
 
#14
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.
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.
 
#16
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.
I remember a conversation with a schoolmate from the year above me, back in the day up on Teesside. Basically, there were three local choices: apprenticeships with ICI and British Steel, or the forces.

An acquaintance of his who was more academically gifted was crowing about going to university and pissing everyone off with it.

My mate was unphased - as he put it, he'd have a job, money in his pocket, be paid to go to college and at the end of the other fella's degree would have the advantage of several years' work experience as well as a vocational qualification. As he saw it, he'd come out broadly equal.

The old system allowed you to climb through the windows or use the side door, rather than just knock pointlessly on the front one. I can't see how it was ever condemned as 'elitist'.
 
#17
There should still be 'elitism' just stop fcuking calling that.

How about 'streaming'.

No grammar this and secondary that. Just test teh kids and look at them critically. Put those that are better at Maths in a higher group, and those that are sh1t in a lower group. Where they can all learn at the their own pace without falling behind or speeding up too much.

Ensure that the primary levels of school delivers a good firm grounding in English and Maths which is then tested and practiced in projects where other skills are introduced (not knowledge although that will come too 'skills). Such as investigation, weighing up history etc.

Projects at the Primary school level could include the Industrial Revolution, Romans, British History and culture (including how our mountains were formed), where we are in the world and nature. There is about 3 years worth of projects right there.

These would include Art work, low level wood work and similar skills and displays by the kids. As added projects we could look at books like Beowulf, The Lord of the RIngs and visit plays and the like of these works. Two maybe three projects running concurrently each term(+).

A language should be introduced at this point also.

Citizenship would be taught, as would (I would like to see) sport and phys and things like cycling prof.

At secondary the subjects could branch out, but not too much. Lets not go fcuking nuts. GCSE economics? Is it really neccesary? Give the kids too much choice and they'll go fcuking wild.

Keep it smal but quality. English (lit and lang), Sciences (I'm all up for a mixed approach until year 4/10), Maths, a Language, and CDT. Humanities (branching out to History, Geography and RE later).

Do we need a music GCSE in school or could it be set up as a 'interest' if you are interested i nit you do it as a club? Same with Drama.

All through the school there should be sets or groupings according to skiils.

By year 5 the kids should have a good grounding in Maths, English and science, with a language and some citizenship and basic life skills thrown in at the very least. And if they haven't just make it clear that there will be no dole until they have.

Open up school clubs and sports teams. Have schools battling each other on the weekend. Devote a whole afternoon to sports and encourage bands (they can help out at the sporting fixtures) and have an afternoon where the school does something for hte community. I spent a term doing conservation work, it was brill. Learning about hte environment and little critters.

Oh and bring back the house system. Nothing like a bit of tribalism to encourage the kids.
 
#19
Our local primary school had a sports/fun day.No-one "won" any race as they "were all winners" as we were constantly told by the Grauniad reading hairy lesbian headmistress,sorry headteacher.
When asked about it,and did she think it taught the children about the reality of life and not everyone comes first in the real world,you would have thought I'd crapped in her tofu salad.She launched into her well practiced rant about eliteism and equality.
She hasn't spoken to me since.
 
#20
Our local primary school had a sports/fun day.No-one "won" any race as they "were all winners" as we were constantly told by the Grauniad reading hairy lesbian headmistress,sorry headteacher.
When asked about it,and did she think it taught the children about the reality of life and not everyone comes first in the real world,you would have thought I'd crapped in her tofu salad.She launched into her well practiced rant about eliteism and equality.
She hasn't spoken to me since.
But did you shag it?
 

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