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Rob Liddle on comprehensive schools

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Vince_Ulam, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    [​IMG]

    (Question Time, BBC1, 15th October 2015.)


    I'll let you listen for yourself, from timestamp 41:38.

    Good episode. Interesting dust-up with Simon Scharma during which Liddle shows appropriate self restraint.
     
  2. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Interesting viewpoints
     
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I've just read Liddle's book 'Selfish, whining monkeys'. I think I love him.
     
    monicabilongame likes this.
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    For those who wish to catch Liddle's comment on comprehensive schools, it's now on Youtube. I think the TES media linker won't allow me to embed at the relevant timestamp, 41:38, but if not then scoot along the slider to that point and you'll hear a view with which you might agree. Or not:


     
  5. hermitcrabbe

    hermitcrabbe Established commenter

    I looked at the clip.

    I think Grammar Schools are fine as long as you manage to get into one. I am inclined to agree with Sharma's comments on this. However, like Liddle I am "conflicted".

    I passed the 11+ . However at 11 ( unlike the clearly knows more than his age 22 year old member of the audience) I did not know that I was " academic" at 11 whilst in Primary School. I passed the 11+ and went on to secondary school before my "potential" seemed to appear. I did not go to a Grammar School, for reasons I will not go into. I was probably 12 before I recognised just how much brighter than my peers I actually was.

    Neither am I convinced that Grammar Schools do in fact, or ever did allow social mobility to the
    "deprived sections" of our society, even at their height in the 50's and 60's. They did not really allow many " working class" kids to get on- a few maybe. However, overall, studies at the time showed that Grammar Schools were dominated by the children of the middle class and that often working class children who went to them had a " middle class" background when the surface of their family background was scratched a little ( usually on their mothers side). There were a number of studies done at the time - Carter " Home , School and Work" and Halsey to name but two. Even then working class children who did go to grammar school seemed to end their education at 16.
    Only a few managed to utilise that golden road to university and the professions - not like the myth.

    Further sociologically we now understand that much of the social mobility of the time resulted from a lack of middle class children to fill the jobs because of WW2 as many of the "Officer Classes" had been lost. It was a social blip which enabled bright working class children an opportunity at that time. That has largely closed now.

    Another myth was how well the 11+predicted outcomes too. More than 10% were misplaced by that exam ( just on IQ alone). The so called 13+ did not change this as even when someone passed the 13+, they were often deprived of the Grammar School place because there was " no room". . However, a more recent study has shown that of those few who did go to Grammar School at 13+ most were very successful compared to both their 11+ selected peers and others who were not selected.

    Maybe the way forward is a 13+ rather than 11? Often I think by 13, not only does one realise one is "academic" (truly) but one can better utilise what skills one has...... however, I am aware that " Middle Schools" were a total failure in educational terms when they were tried.

    However, comprehensives do not work. I can agree with Liddle on needing schools which are
    "rigorously streamed" ( and I would emphasis streamed, not setted and rigorously). Too often sets reflect little more than a mixed ability at the middle and bottom end.

    But I think really,what most parents want is not a grammar school necessarily but they equate that with a school which is ( probably - although they wont say it) socially selective, is culturally homogeneous , does what most independent schools do in terms of education (but without the cost) and does not allow disruptive (aka "rough") elements or social problems etc to interfere with learning. That of course is not the politically correct thing to suggest.
     
  6. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter


    I suspect they did. Now that the intervening strata of money and culture are wider, not so much.
     
  7. hermitcrabbe

    hermitcrabbe Established commenter

    Your evidence? Most of the studies show it was not the case. Why don't you just say you do not agree with me and we can leave it at that? I am happy enough to allow you to disagree without having to get into combat. :)
     
  8. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    The research shows setting has an extremely small positive effect or a slight negative effect depending on the students' ability

    Children at the lower end of a streaming system do worse, but there is no discernible affect on the more able students

    there's a lot of original research, and Hattie's huge meta analysis, but a handy summary of Hattie is here: http://edge.ascd.org/blogpost/is-ability-grouping-or-streaming-effective
     
  9. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter


    It's a suspicion. I don't need to give you evidence.
     
  10. hermitcrabbe

    hermitcrabbe Established commenter

    No,you do not. Fine , fair enough. We disagree.
     
  11. hermitcrabbe

    hermitcrabbe Established commenter

    I know Hattie's work. I am quite fond of quoting him at school.

    However,my main point seems to have missed comment to wit:

    "But I think really,what most parents want is not a grammar school necessarily but they equate that with a school which is ( probably - although they wont say it) socially selective, is culturally homogeneous , does what most independent schools do in terms of education (but without the cost) and does not allow disruptive (aka "rough") elements or social problems etc to interfere with learning. That of course is not the politically correct thing to suggest"
     
  12. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter


    Thanks for flagging this. I might have missed it otherwise.
     
  13. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Sorry, I wasn't ignoring it.

    I am not concerned with the wider issue at present. I was just pointing out that there is no basis for setting, other than some people "like it". If it has any effect it will likely be a deleterious one.
     
  14. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

  15. hermitcrabbe

    hermitcrabbe Established commenter

    I think this is a problem. Most parents (myself included) would ask why it is my child (Crabbette is "bright") should be left to fend for themselves just because more able students do not seem to be affected. That may well be the motivation behind wanting a Grammar School. That, and the poor behaviour which tends to pervade all sets/ streams in many Comprehensives. Teachers are so busy dealing with the challenging and the least able, they have no time for the able. It is about the environment as much as it is about achievement.
     
  16. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    If it's a case of fending then perhaps parents should take more responsibility for the social behaviour and the academic efforts of their children. Provision for lower streams can always be improved but some groups are positively Darwinian and I don't see what teachers are expected to do about this. Our fangs have been pulled, our claws clipped.
     

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