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Barking mad political correctness!

Discussion in 'Education news' started by David Getling, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. george1963

    george1963 Occasional commenter

    Evidence based? I love people who quote 'evidenced based.' :) :) :) It's as if everything by magic appears to be right. While the word 'stupid' denounces everything as if it is wrong. Pooft. Again :)

    Grades are grades. Not saying they are right but they are 'an agreed standard' or atleast 'the best agreed standard we have at the moment.' use them or don;t but don't shilly shally this way or that depending on how many legs you have, which background, gender or political disposition you have :)
    dleaf12 and woollani like this.
  2. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Yes, George,

    It is an evidence-based policy. With a hyphen.

    You seem angry. Did you lose your place at Oxford to a one-legged black lesbian or something?
    george1963 likes this.
  3. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Established commenter

  4. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Established commenter

    The idea has some merit from what I can see. Universities are no longer capped on how many students they can take, and it makes sense to want to make sure that those that are offered places are most likely to be able to complete the course, ideally to a high standard.

    If there is other contextual data they should use it. Most teachers I know don't just look at the last test results to make a judgement on a students ability if they have other data available (even if the government does).
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    This post deserves a Trophy :cool:
  6. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    Part of the problem -- maybe all the problem -- is that students from well off backgrounds can pay to be coached to pass exams. I don't take pride in it, but looking back on my education that is pretty much why I got to where I am. Mine wasn't through money however, I just happened to be taught by a teacher who knew how to get his students to pass exams.

    Then there were the examples of the 13plus kids who joined my grammar stream in our 3rd yr. (Yr.9) They were by far the really clever kids in our class, but had missed out on the 11plus because nobody had taught them how to pass it. They got there in the end purely by their ability. How many deserving others missed the boat?

    Then, when I became a teacher I wondered why I was getting such high pass rates compared to my colleagues until I realised that I was simply teaching what my teacher had taught me. I hastily add, not teaching to the exam, but teaching my pupils how to learn and how to analyse and tackle examining situations. I emphasis it is not about the syllabus but about how to deal with it all in both learning and the exam. The same techniques also work in interviews which I have also done very well at.

    I was one jammy so and so in that I came across my teacher when I did. Whilst the state system is hampered by all the red tape and political climbing on its back, the private system is paid to get kids through exams by their parents, and that is what they do. I would even go as far as saying that the hindrances to state education are put there deliberately to make them fail in comparison to the privileged private sector.

    Don't get me wrong, I know my friends teaching at public schools have as hard a time of it as state school teachers. Just that the aims and the pressures are quite different.

    Mind you, it is why they produce such idiots as Cameron and Bozo Borris. No common sense but full of misplaced confidence and ambition.

    So basically our education system is biased towards the privileged and the people who know how to play the system to their advantage and it is totally unfair. Because of my accidentally privileged education which should have been available to everybody, I believe strongly in a fair world and anything that can be done to bring it about. And if any influential bodies feel that they have to do something about it, more power to their elbow.
    Alice K likes this.
  7. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Established commenter

    I was in the position of achieving very good grades at GCSE and A-level by just doing the work set and doing a few practice papers. I didn't have to work for it and this left me pretty badly prepared for university. Now I went to a fairly ordinary, if academically successful, comprehensive school and FE college. I had good teachers, an environment conducive to learning both at home and at school. If I'd had to work for my grades I'd have done a lot better than I did at university, where I didn't really get the hang of working independently until my 3rd year.
    phlogiston likes this.
  8. george1963

    george1963 Occasional commenter

    Actually I was the one legged black lesbian ;)
    les25paul likes this.
  9. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    Oxford contextualise GCSE and A Level results: so, a student who achieves an A in a leafy lane is all well and good; whereas a student achieving an A in a gritty inner city school where results are generally lower across the school is considered more impressive. Their recruitment team told us this last year at a conference on Oxbridge recruitment for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is a complex argument but I find it hard to believe that anyone who has worked in education could dispute that background (home life) and calibre of the school (which is almost invariably linked to the income bracket of their parents) don't impact on a child's life chances. This isn't political correctness gone mad: it is a way for top universities to find raw talent; not necessarily grades that have been coached and tutored out of a smart, private school student (or good state school, with possibly a bit of private tutoring on the side!). Surely Oxford are in a position to understand the importance of context better than us? Therefore, they apply this criteria. There are thousands of ways a poor background affects a students' life choices, and some excellent videos/resources out there that demonstrate this - there's a particularly good one doing the rounds at the moment of a competitive race where the coach tells them to take a step forward if their parents are still together etc etc etc.
    phlogiston likes this.
  10. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

  11. pennyh.

    pennyh. Occasional commenter

    At the moment ( a proviso on how future might change!) all secondary schools are staffed by teachers with degrees and good training. So sometimes I wonder what the so called education disadvantage is meant to be? Bad behaviour in the classroom? Bad housing? Where does it stop -do they then go on to grant different degree marks? Different job interviews? etc. etc. Perhaps the 'leafy lane kids' could cry discrimination and sue in the future.
    Actually I get sick of the Oxford Cambridge thing. Kids I taught being pushed in that direction used to say the courses were better and terms longer elsewhere.
  12. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Well, at my nephew's school a goodly chunk of the A-level maths (including further maths) is being taught by someone who has an English degree, and their training is whatever Teach First provide. Call me what you will, but I have much more faith in a university based PGCE.

    A lot of leafy lane kids, at supposedly very good schools, get some bloody awful teachers: so they don't need to have the bar raised higher for them.
  13. dleaf12

    dleaf12 Occasional commenter

    Discrimination, whether positive or negative is wrong.

    Set standards, publish criteria and select according to those criteria is the only fair way to select anyone for anything.

    If context causes a disadvantage - work on that directly so that context no longer presents a difficulty.
  14. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    Sounds good, but it doesn't work.

    We've been trying to improve social mobility and equality for years, and things are still no better. The current situation discriminates against the poorer pupils.

    How do you 'work directly' on the fact that some can afford tutors whilst other can't? Ban tutors? That'd go down well.

    Taking context into account isn't discrimination. Not taking it into account is discrimination.
  15. dleaf12

    dleaf12 Occasional commenter

    You fund public libraries, internet cafes or whatever study options these disadvantged pupils need (grants to pay for tutors?? or... gasp... schools funded to allow them to have teachers in them who are enabled to teach...), you provide decent social care and childcare at affordable levels so pupils dont have to be "young carers" but have the time to study - it isnt rocket science.

    Its all very well establishing a statistical link between affluence and academic progress but you need to understand the causal links in detail and direct policy against those, not mess with the standards or start discriminating - this is just a lip-service sticking plaster attempt to make up for the laissez-faire education on the cheap nonsense this allegedly great country has had to endure - and which gives the lie to "we've been trying to improve social mobility" - I would argue that as a society we havent tried anything in the way of joined up strategic policy, just pious hope and populist grand-standing.
  16. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Coming from a working class background and your success in life don't go together any more than passing or failing an exam at 11 does. If you work hard you can achieve anything you wish as has been proved many times by many people, and my own case is an example.
    dleaf12 likes this.
  17. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Well said, Josie! Just think of all the Asian students who do very well. Often they come from poor backgrounds, with parents whose English isn't that good. BUT, those parents value education highly, and pass on those values, and the ethic of working hard to their kids.

    It the touchy feely bleeding-heart liberals want to do something radical to help disadvantaged kids, then flogging bad parents until they practice good parenting would be an excellent start.
    JosieWhitehead likes this.
  18. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Perhaps they'd learn to flog their kids until until they did better at school. Sounds fab.
  19. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Occasional commenter

    It’s about how valued education is and how much responsibility parents take for it. Too often now parents take the attitude that it’s up to the school to do it and that they’ll leave it until they start school. This means all the time taken up helping children with toileting, changing, learning to hold a pencil, strengthening the muscles to hold a pencil, learning to sit and listen etc take time away from the actual teaching. More needs to be done before children start school as by the time they start some are already miles behind and the gap just widens every year. Unfortunately too many parents either can’t be bothered or have only had children because they wanted a baby fashion accessory they can dress as a princess/cool dude. In my recent experience it’s quite often the parents with the most money who are the worst for this. And I say this as a “bleeding heart liberal”.
  20. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Established commenter

    The beatings will continue until parenting improves? I'm sure that will be really effective. I'm all for early (and properly funded) intervention from the likes of NCH to help parents get to grips with their responsibilities. That's a solution that, if applied consistently, will help resolve (some of) the problem in about 15 years' time. The question is whether you say to kids who have a rough start in life: "tough; them's the breaks", or give them an extra opportunity to shine once out from under the influence of their parents. The thing about having the social (and financial, though I agree this isn't as important as one might think; my parents were not well off) capital of supportive and hardworking parents is that it gives you second chances. It gives you the skills to succeed educationally but it also gives you ways to pick up the pieces if that doesn't happen. Growing up is something like learning to tightrope walk. Do it with a harness, net, balance pole and so-on, and eventually you've got a decent chance of getting good. Some will be able to do without the safety gear, and still keep their balance, but it's unreasonable to say to those who did without and fell that they deserve their broken leg.
    chelsea2 likes this.

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