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Jamie's Dream School

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by Freddie92, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Freddie92

    Freddie92 New commenter

    First up I confess to being someone who views Jamie Oliver as a bit of a pain in the derriere as I think he has as he is as qualified to speak about the decline of society in Britain as Kermit the frog has on Ecuadorian barndancing.

    The programme is a bit of a stitch up with the ridiculously trendy modern headie referred to as 'Dabs'. Naturally the kids are not to blame, or indeed their parents. They are disengaged and have never been told they are good at something. Oops. Most decent people regardless of background realise the world does not owe them a living and work hard at bettering themselves. However, above all, decent people have basic manners and respect for others. I am not saying we should always kowtow to authority - I believe if you think something is wrong then speak up.

    Anyway, the programme is naturally following the usual formula of such shows. Establish the challenges and the conflicts early on, show the peaks and troughs of the conflict and no doubt before the last episode or even during it there will be an almighty challenge from which the pupils and school surely will not recover. Only that they will and there will be a crappy message of hope for the feral-like children.

    There are some valuable issues though. If we can pick any subject to teach - which is allowed in Jamie's Dream School - then the dumbing down of British Education is surely complete (say that last sentence with the voice of The Emperor from Return of the Jedi for full dramatic effect).

    No expense is spared. Want to take them to the Theatre? Sure. Give them all laptops? Check. Bring in celebrity teachers? Check. What is this exactly trying to prove? Of course kids are going to listen to Daley Thompson a two time Olympic gold winning decathlete rather than some poor skinny PE teacher who plays amateur volleyball at the weekend. What chance can any of us in our subjects have to compete with the stars of our fields?

    Then we get to my own personal bugbear: mobile phones. Jamie collects his up in a tray before the start of a cooking lesson. Fair enough you might say, and indeed most viewers/parents would too. But try that in school and you would be up in front of the senior management team for breaching pupils human rights.

    If kids misbehave they have to be inconvenienced in some way or another. Pupils have a right to learn, but teachers have a right to teach without disruption.

    I would love to see a fly-in-the wall documentary on several schools in the UK using spy-cams just to illustrate what the little angels get up to, so that we catch their indiscipline in the act and they are not aware of the cameras. Society is crumbling due to an eroding of values. We are at tipping point I believe.

    While a show like Dream School may be crass and sordid entertainment, at least it does highlight some of the problems faced by teachers across the UK day in, day out. And from what I have seen so far, these bad boys and girls are ***** cats compared to some of the challenging pupils I have encountered during previous years on supply in Glasgow (though that was some years ago).

    So how do we solve the problem in our schools? I await with bated breath Jamie's six point plan to save Education. Pass me a chicken drumstick please.
     
  2. Freddie92

    Freddie92 New commenter

    First up I confess to being someone who views Jamie Oliver as a bit of a pain in the derriere as I think he has as he is as qualified to speak about the decline of society in Britain as Kermit the frog has on Ecuadorian barndancing.

    The programme is a bit of a stitch up with the ridiculously trendy modern headie referred to as 'Dabs'. Naturally the kids are not to blame, or indeed their parents. They are disengaged and have never been told they are good at something. Oops. Most decent people regardless of background realise the world does not owe them a living and work hard at bettering themselves. However, above all, decent people have basic manners and respect for others. I am not saying we should always kowtow to authority - I believe if you think something is wrong then speak up.

    Anyway, the programme is naturally following the usual formula of such shows. Establish the challenges and the conflicts early on, show the peaks and troughs of the conflict and no doubt before the last episode or even during it there will be an almighty challenge from which the pupils and school surely will not recover. Only that they will and there will be a crappy message of hope for the feral-like children.

    There are some valuable issues though. If we can pick any subject to teach - which is allowed in Jamie's Dream School - then the dumbing down of British Education is surely complete (say that last sentence with the voice of The Emperor from Return of the Jedi for full dramatic effect).

    No expense is spared. Want to take them to the Theatre? Sure. Give them all laptops? Check. Bring in celebrity teachers? Check. What is this exactly trying to prove? Of course kids are going to listen to Daley Thompson a two time Olympic gold winning decathlete rather than some poor skinny PE teacher who plays amateur volleyball at the weekend. What chance can any of us in our subjects have to compete with the stars of our fields?

    Then we get to my own personal bugbear: mobile phones. Jamie collects his up in a tray before the start of a cooking lesson. Fair enough you might say, and indeed most viewers/parents would too. But try that in school and you would be up in front of the senior management team for breaching pupils human rights.

    If kids misbehave they have to be inconvenienced in some way or another. Pupils have a right to learn, but teachers have a right to teach without disruption.

    I would love to see a fly-in-the wall documentary on several schools in the UK using spy-cams just to illustrate what the little angels get up to, so that we catch their indiscipline in the act and they are not aware of the cameras. Society is crumbling due to an eroding of values. We are at tipping point I believe.

    While a show like Dream School may be crass and sordid entertainment, at least it does highlight some of the problems faced by teachers across the UK day in, day out. And from what I have seen so far, these bad boys and girls are ***** cats compared to some of the challenging pupils I have encountered during previous years on supply in Glasgow (though that was some years ago).

    So how do we solve the problem in our schools? I await with bated breath Jamie's six point plan to save Education. Pass me a chicken drumstick please.
     
  3. Me, too, Freddie, and do make that a chicken drumstick slathered in extra-virgin. This is Jamie OliveOil, after all.
     
  4. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    The editorial in yesterday's Herald said that this programme showed how hard the REAL teaching really is - and complimented those of us who carry out this REAL job!
     
  5. My problem with this programme is that it is yet another attempt to blame teachers for pupils' lack of responsibility/accountability for their own behaviour/engagement with the L & T process. What's the answer? Celebrities of course . . .
     
  6. Couldn't agree more. We have a 'something for nothing' culture . Many kids think they're entitled to Standard Grades, Highers, University - without any idea of hard work, personal responsibility or perseverance. And if they do fail, it's the fault of the teacher.Of course, they are only symptomatic of society at large.
    Time to ditch active learning, the focus on skills development , inclusion, and other types of trendy-lefty teaching. Time to get back to book learning, strong discipline , basics in maths and English, and traditional exams. Put that in your Turkey Twizler.
     
  7. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    I havn't seen this programme as I can't stand these new chefs and their like (Keith Floyd was in a different league!) Anyway, we (and our like) will still be here when they are no longer celebs.
    Couldn't agree more.
    Put that in your Nobby's Nuts + Turkey Twizler!
     
  8. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual New commenter

    Freddie92 - I must take great exception to your reference to Kermit The Frog. I feel he did sterling early years educational work on 'Sesame Street'.
    As for the program - the "cast" of teachers was designed to convey some kind of message about "star at subject doesn't = star teacher", which is ture in some cases, but not all.
    A better idea would possibly have been to have the celeb teachers parachuted into a south London comprehensive or a Scottish west coast satellite-of-satellite-town school. Not in a vengeful way, but I think there would have been genuinely more support and guidance for the likes of Starkey.
     
  9. See Charlie Brooker in today's Guardian:
    " Watching Jamie's Dream School is enough to transform the wettest liberal do-gooder into a furious Nick Ferrari type by the third ad break. They gawp at iPhones, they burble witlessly amongst themselves, they slouch in their seats looking bored and surly and demanding respect for absolutely no reason whatsoever . . . Maybe our educational system has tragically failed them. Or maybe they're ****. Even the most helpless **** can change, of course, but they tend to do so quietly, and of their own volition. Which doesn't make great television.
    Follies of youth aside, their biggest problem seems to be a chronically stunted attention span: they're constantly texting or yapping on their mobiles instead of applying even 1% focus on whatever's directly in front of them. The entire programme should have been billed not as a crusading mission documentary, but as a chilling warning about how technology will inevitably destroy human civilisation by distracting it into stupidity and madness.
    Dumb though half the kids may be, they're just plodding meat fodder for a shockingly arrogant TV experiment, which exists for no apparent reason other than to demoralise any genuine teachers watching, potentially to the point of suicide, which really would cause a crisis in our educational system."
    Says it all really!
     
  10. If there's any value to this series, this is where it lies: to show anyone who thinks teachers have it made exactly what teachers have to contend with, not for an hour an week, but week in, week out, year in, year out, when they walk into their place of work every morning. And that's only within the classroom, that's not counting all that other paperwork ***** we have to deal with.
    But au contraire, Charlie Brooker: as a teacher, I don't find this series in the least demoralising. I find it very affirming, in that it demonstrates to anyone with a grain of sense just how much skill, patience, and sheer guts are required to deal with classes full of, not 20 but 30, mouthy little nincompoops like these.
     
  11. Yes- Time to ditch active learning. Time to ditch creative engaging teaching that involves curiosity, enquiry and discovery in favour of regurgitated somnolent waffle. Time to ditch metacognition and get back to good old fashioned poorly relayed cognitive resources. Time to ditch accessibility to people with english as an additional language, halten Sie das Mutterland rein. Time to ditch teaching that takes time to prepare and get back to good old fashioned laziness... Time to ditch people like you.
     

  12. <font size="2">1) The 'keep pure the motherland ' reference ,in German I suppose to infer that I harbour Nazi sympathies. Search Godwin's Law. </font><font size="2">2) The mention of laziness - having left school this week no earlier than six on any day ; time spent producing resources to replace what I don't think is up to scratch or not suitable for the class coming in , attending CPD, running supported study, helping at clubs and at parents night, I find that ignorant and grossly offensive.</font><font size="2">3) 'Poorly relayed cognitive resources ' .I can assure you that most teachers , myself included , when taking a traditional didactic approach teach with an enthusiasm that inspires 'curiosity, enquiry and discovery' and has for hundreds of years . The best teachers I know are those who have the kids hanging on every word they say, as opposed to the dry , mechanical &lsquo;today we will learn&rsquo; approach. Coming from a knowledge based subject, what I object to is the idea that knowledge isn't as important as 'skills' ; 'who cares if we don't know anything - we know how to do a googe search'.</font><font size="2">4) 'Regurgitated, somnolent waffle' - using big words doesn't make what you say sound more impressive. </font><font size="2">5) Ditching EAL?? When did I even remotely mention that? Again, using the racism card to discredit someone with whom you disagree. Inclusion? Yeah working well with kids who really need dedicated support but instead sit lost in a mixed ability class with an overstretched teacher . That's not even to mention the extreme behaviour cases, who can disrupt the learning of EVERYONE in the class . But hey, we've all had an inclusive experience. </font><font size="2">6) -'Time to ditch people like you'. How arrogant. You turned an attack on an idea into one on a person. Not worth responding to. </font>
     
  13. Let's put our swords away. What I hoped 'Jamie's Dream School' would do is bring attention to the way teachers are expected to teach - the physical buildings we inhabit, the classrooms we use, the idea that one person is responsible to between fifteen to thirty-three souls. To an extent it is doing that, but offering no solution - or maybe, as ever Oliver is the arch propogandist. Maybe change is coming, change to schooling is coming?
    Best celebrity teachers in fact or fiction? I direct you to Derren Brown, ***** Wonka, any religious prohet you care to mention and Socrates. What worked? They're more knowledgeable than any student but never announced that all the time, they had gentle methods (when he's scary, Wonka is gently scary) and they loved their subject and sharing the love.
    This must be why Rolf is a bit better at it than Starkey.


     
  14. txtmsgspk -
    Thank you for your magnanimous response. It is certainly true that few things compete with a content rich evocatively delivered lecture (replete with visual powerpoint slides of course) for expertise and effort to produce. Jammie Botherer's Dream Teachers presumably have all week to prepare their lesson? I don't have a TV. Of the idents' on 4OD I was interested to see Rankin sweep in with his team of make up artists and assistants and offer to take their picture whilst some breakdancers came and showed what hours of dedication could bring you in street cred. Nice experiences but not really teaching them about photography or physical training is it? And their frame of cultural reference is hardly being expanded. Is this indicative of the rest of the show?
     
  15. Freddie92

    Freddie92 New commenter

    Did anyone watch tonight? I missed it.
     
  16. Jamie made a big mistake here. I have recorded my views on this via the wonder of youtube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PNWhY8Bsuc
     
  17. Why do the teachers that do feel demoralised? Having watched admittedly a limited number of episodes and the downloads on you tube, I think the program is not a criticism of teachers, but as Jamie says the system that has let them down.
    Why do we not offer different types of educational experiences to different types of learners, as so many people have pointed out theseyoung people were constantly on the go yapping and fiddling on their mobile phones and laptops, maybe they need to move to learn, some people do. They engaged well with the stomp, the pond dipping the diving and games sessions because they were doing and moving.
    Why do we assume that all children will learn by passively sitting and listening or discussing, some people need to get up and move about by punish them for this need?
    Do they have a stunted attention span or just need to be active to think which our classrooms don't allow consequently these children / young people, are failed
    An early poster said that what the program showed was that money resources and small class sizes were important we know that. That is why children in the private sector do so well.
    Stop feeling aggrieved and look at the real messages, if so many people are failures after going through the education system maybe we need to look at that system and stop blaming the young people who have failed.
    I went through the education system labelled as a disruptive child, I need to talk and discuss and struggle to sit still, I was able under the old GCE system to use my photographic memory and attained 10 grade a gce's. I then became considered a huge success.
    Now as I write this I have 5 windows open I am engaging in 4 other conversations and have my ipod and a tv program going which I am following, I cann only function this way. If I were with others I would be considered disruptive , but its what I need I also have a BA/Ma and I am a qualified teacher.
    Lets remember we need to provide different strokes for different folks and good education may not come cheap as the leading independents will testify.


     



  18. <font size="3">I think the real solution is one to one individualised learning, (which might also have worked with the kids in Jaime&rsquo;s school???) but is of course totally impractical. Failing that, we have to impose certain boundaries that give the teacher the best possible chance of reaching everyone in the class. I think the private schools incidentally are sticking with traditional teacher led instruction, which also tells its own story.</font>
     
  19. My point is we have choice as a society how we spend our limited public resources, we spend around &pound;1100 per child per year in primary I believe. How much do we spend trying to get the disaffected back on track? via mental health services social care, prison service, benefits and actual care.
    I worked with a group of young people that cost the public purse over &pound;40,000 per year to take care and educate of as they needing specialist intervention many had pace of safety orders and had to be relocated All had been exclude from school some as young as 5
    All were in gangs Most of thes young people joined "gangs" because the were disaffected with or by school it didn't meet their needs, square pegs round holes.
    Why is it ok to make everyone sit still because its distracting, but we don't provide opportunities for people who are distracted by sitting still, we then pay a huge cost when they fall outside of the education system and start breaking the law.
    During the last 9 months of 2009 I worked with 14 young people many who cost the LA the amount stated above, some who cost more. (The priory group of schools charge &pound;120,000 per year per child for day schooling in what is effectively a private EBD school ) The top independents cost &pound;30,000 and some do offer alternatives to the " traditional teacher led instruction" you quote.
    we spend huge amounts to try and "mend" the problem or contain it, once children fail,or are failed, why not invest in alternatives before we reach this point.
    With the amounts of money sloshing around to provide education for "disruptive/ disaffected pupils, and the paltry amounts available in mainstream sate schools, maybe there is a need to re think the allocation of resources and the types of education we make available to all our young people and try to target it to different needs and learning styles.
    .
     
  20. I'm sorry. I can't buy into your argument on so many levels. To say that kids join gangs because they are disaffected at school is totally naive and simplistic. There are so many reasons why young people join gangs including upbringing, boredom, lack of male role models, search for adventure or identity, drugs , poverty etc. Often, school and education is furthest thing from their minds and way down their list of priorities. I doubt that 'disafected' kids are simply waiting for Hillary Swank's character in 'Freedom Writers' to come along and inspire them with Homer's poetry. Often, these kids are fidgity and distracted because they want to do anything other than learn.
    I would also ask you one question: are you happy for the pupils in your class to talk when they want, text when they want, walk about when they want or generally do what they want when they want? In my experience, that is a recipe for total chaos in the classroom and a guarantee that nothing will get done.Even active learning - especially active learning - requires a period of time when children sit and listen to instructions - as will many situations in everyday life. ANnd what about the quiet, pleasant and cooperative (majority of) kids who simply want a peaceful environment to get on and learn. What about their needs?
    Finally, I doubt very much there is a huge amount 'sloshing about' anywhere in the current climate. In any case, I think a lot of the probems we saw on TV with the disruptive pupils could be solved with stricter displine from the outset, going back to primary school. One simple example - ban all mobiles from schools. Huge potential problems eliminated at a stroke.

     

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