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'We need to teach children that there's nothing you can't do if you believe in yourself'

Discussion in 'Education news' started by PeterQuint, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Established commenter

    Laphroig, zizzyballoon, nomad and 6 others like this.
  2. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    We must teach children complete fantasy!

    Don't teach them maths, english, history or PE, teach them hippyguff...

    Hippyguff... it solves everything...*


    *warning hippyguff solves nothing and might result in long term sociological damage to your child. Use with care.
     
    drek, Laphroig, Alice K and 1 other person like this.
  3. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I rather 'liked' the comment underneath:

    Debby Enoe
    The teacher's mind-set need to change, as they themselves need to know that everything is possible, The sad thing abou tit, whilst I was at school I was told that i would amount to nothing and I can't become a researcher,(in the 80's) a well behave student with a very strong accent. This is the same things that the children in my son's class (2017) is being told that they can't do, or become certain what they want too, they are encountering barriers before, they do anything else, this is then reinforced in the unconscious and it becomes the students reality. As we know the mind is very POWERFUL.

    It's all our fault again!

    PS Pity she never learned to write anything approximating correct English!
     
    drek, Laphroig, Alice K and 4 others like this.
  4. galerider123

    galerider123 Established commenter

    If you read the article it's about a scheme designed to get children to meet adults from different areas of work that they they might not normally meet, in order to broaden their horizons. One of the barriers to children being aspirational is that they don't all see those role models around them..the rich kids will. And things that better off people might take for granted.
    It was only when one of my friends in sixth form at secondary school was undergoing exams for Oxbridge that I learnt (from him) that they were considered the most academic universities, and that there was a separate route you had to take to apply (and it was too late by then;the aspiration needs to be there a whole lot earlier). My parents didn't know. Nobody in school mentioned it.
    I actually think that it is a valid idea, personally.
    If you do not know what you can aspire to, it's impossible to aspire to it (!)
     
    peggylu, PeterQuint and sbkrobson like this.
  5. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I hate the idea, spouted on so many TV programmes and elsewhere, that you can achieve whatever you want to if you try hard enough.
    I'd love to be able to sing in tune but it will never happen. I can read music and was able to compose short pieces of music that met all the musical rules on cadences etc when I was doing O level music years ago. However, even with only 10% of the exam being the Oral, you had to pass that component to pass the O level. I was scoring 92% regularly in mock exams but could not ever make the grade in the Oral. I can hear when something is off-key but no amount of effort or wishing will make me even a passable singer.
    I was withdrawn from the O level in 1970. I wonder how I'd fare at Music GCSE today?
     
    drek, Laphroig, Alice K and 1 other person like this.
  6. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith New commenter

    The rhetoric of the title is rather annoying (Can my son become Queen / Dangermouse / a dinosaur?) but of course the rather more earthly sentiment expressed in the article that all children should have equal access to knowledge about careers, opportunities and aspire to do well is one that can't really be argued with.

    By the way - there is no longer any requirement to sing in GCSE Music.
     
  7. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I could a get an A* then and everyone would just assume that I could sing in tune really well.
     
    drek and galerider123 like this.
  8. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Occasional commenter

    Presumably only so if they were in ignorance of the current provision excluding singing from the exam?
     
  9. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Occasional commenter

    Patently true.

    But once this knowledge is widespread, why do I still not believe that the Judiciary, the City and the High Tables of Oxbridge Colleges are going to be revolutionised overnight ?

    Nor anytime this side of, say 2067?

    Irrespective of the self-belief of the would-be candidates for these much sought after posts and roles.
     
    peggylu likes this.
  10. galerider123

    galerider123 Established commenter

    Is this, "never in my lifetime", BigFrank?
     
  11. KRkazoo

    KRkazoo New commenter

    There is another side to all of this: what about the growing number of young people who believe that they can make it big in game design or vlogging just because they enjoy Call of Duty? There is little reality about the future for these youngsters, they do believe they can do whatever they like without having studied anything to any great depth.
    We need to be able to guide without quashing all aspirations.
     
    drek and Alice K like this.
  12. Skeoch

    Skeoch Established commenter

    There is a balance to be struck here. Anecdotally some youngsters are being told that Russell Group - or indeed university - is not for the likes of them, despite having the right academic credentials. That has to be wrong. Equally we have youngsters swept up by the professional footballing world, only to be discarded as not good enough, and the failure rate there is huge. That feels wrong, too, although at least they've had a fair chance to succeed. The Y12 pupil with 6 C and a D grade at GCSE who wants to be a vet is unrealistic - how do we cope with that?
     
    drek likes this.
  13. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Established commenter

    Listen, I agree that young people should be told to aim high, and that they're probably capable of more than they think.

    But the idea that you will be able to do anything you set your mind to is sentimental drivel.

    How may Olympic 100m gold medals are handed out? One every 4 years. Well two, as there's men & women.

    Given that that are 7,600,000,000 people on the planet, you have a 1 in 380,000,000 chance of winning any one gold. Average life expectancy is, let's say 80. That's 20 Olympics in your life. That's a 1 in 19,000,000 chance.

    If everyone on the planet wants to win that gold, how can they all achieve that dream just by believing it? How can 19,000,000 people all win the same gold medal? That's a hell of a photo finish.

    On a more down to earth level, all of the kids in bottom set science at a typical comprehensive can't all become doctors just by believing it enough.
     
  14. Alldone

    Alldone Established commenter

    The trouble is, some of the parents still want their little dears to be doctors, vets, dentists.
     
    drek likes this.
  15. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    In my experience a lack of aspiration is a far bigger problem than being over-ambitious. But that is rather influenced by the type of school I have always worked in - non-selective in a grammar area, high levels of deprivation, high proportion of white working class intake.

    I find this lack of aspiration in many teachers as well as students themselves or their families.
     
    drek likes this.
  16. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    combined with a fatal lack of effort
    .
    Sometimes you get ground down, by the lack of effort or the opposition from the learners. Sometimes it's pragmatic realism.

    I like the positive mindset of "I can't do this YET" as long as it's followed by, "I can do it only if I work to develop these skills".
     
    peggylu and Alice K like this.
  17. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    There can be dangers in leading some children to think that they can be whatever they want in life. When they have done their utmost and have not reached the required level for their ambitions, they will feel like failures.
    Children should be set manageable challenges throughout childhood. You can tell a child who is upset that they can't dress themselves or do up shoelaces, as an older sibling can, that they will get there in the end (even giving a likely time frame), but you should never tell them that they will be able to do everything that they set their mind to.
     
    drek, phlogiston and Alice K like this.
  18. elder_cat

    elder_cat Occasional commenter

    "There is a balance to be struck here. Anecdotally some youngsters are being told that Russell Group - or indeed university - is not for the likes of them, despite having the right academic credentials."

    I was born and raised in an inner city working-class environment, which in today's terms would probably be labelled as 'deprived'. I passed my 11+, and went to a local grammar school, I did not fit in with the middle class kids I met there and was never happy. I eventually left and went to another local 'secondary modern', as they were called at that time. I was much happier there, not because the subjects taught were any easier, but because I didn't feel 'the odd one out' any more.

    Getting good results is one thing. Feeling like you belong somewhere, and being comfortable with your peers is something else. And if you don't feel 'right' about where you are, it will probably have an impact on your overall achievement.


    "There is another side to all of this: what about the growing number of young people who believe that they can make it big in game design or vlogging just because they enjoy Call of Duty? There is little reality about the future for these youngsters, they do believe they can do whatever they like without having studied anything to any great depth.

    We need to be able to guide without quashing all aspirations."


    Lost count of how many students came to College expressing a desire to be a 'Games Designer'. I never went out of my way to squash that desire. Most changed their mind, when I let them take a look at a book on the mathematics required to create something like the games they imagined they would be making. Usually it took until they reached page 3.


    "In my experience a lack of aspiration is a far bigger problem than being over-ambitious. But that is rather influenced by the type of school I have always worked in - non-selective in a grammar area, high levels of deprivation, high proportion of white working class intake.

    I find this lack of aspiration in many teachers as well as students themselves or their families."


    Now retired, I taught Computing in a local FE College. Our students were pretty representative of the local kids leaving school. Yes, there is a pervading lack of aspiration in many of the students, but much of that comes from their parents and peer groups, and it's compounded by the lack of employment and opportunities available in the general area. You could argue that aspiration is what's needed to try to change that, but aspiration doesn't create jobs.

    I don't think it's wrong to encourage young people to aspire to bigger and better things. But we should really be pointing out to them that life consists of a series of choices, and each choice has an attendant set of consequences. Those consequences can range from turning your back on your peer group of friends, in order to knuckle down and put the work in, to being prepared to leave your friends and family behind, if you want that 'good job'.

    I always told my students "You can have anything you want. Provided you are both willing, and able, to foot the bill, in order to get it".
     
    drek likes this.
  19. maggie m

    maggie m Occasional commenter

    Our SENCO is telling her SEND pupils this. I could scream and shake the silly woman. Yes we have had high achievers on the autistic spectrum who were capable of getting into top universities, and students with physically disabilities who have gone on to study law and psychology. But to tell a teenager who struggles with basic English and maths they can do anything is plain ridiculous .
     
  20. elder_cat

    elder_cat Occasional commenter

    We had one young man who said he wanted to go on to HE when finishing college. He was the most likeable and polite young man imaginable, but to be perfectly honest I was not sure how he had managed to complete the FE course at all, given the standard of his written and verbal comms skills. Presumably some sort of 'waiver' came into effect, based on his 'learning ability'. I said I thought we should display a little 'tough love', and perhaps try to steer him towards something more realistic. That didn't fly. His main interest outside college was football, and he ended up being supported in his application to go on and take a sports oriented course. He lasted about two months before leaving the course, saddled with a Student Loan to repay for his trouble. Criminal. I have since seem him walking between home and Tesco with his shopping bag, and as far as I am aware he is still unemployed, presumably because he cannot offer what prospective employers are looking for.
     
    drek and neddyfonk like this.

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