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Modern education


MarkW
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At the school parents evening last week one of the teachers told me that my 10 year old boy was struggling a bit with some of the maths topics they were doing. He then proceeded to show me his exercise book, which was full of sums with green question marks next to them (they don't use red ink or crosses, as these are 'demoralising' apparently). The teachers comments were all along the lines of "What a marvellous maths mistake! Well done! Let's think about this in reflection time." WTF?!


When I was his age I was in the headmasters class. He was a deeply unpleasant man - a bully and an overt racist - but his teaching methods had something to recommend them. Every Friday morning we had a maths test, and if you failed it you had to stand up whilst he fired some of the questions at you that you'd got wrong.


"You - Einstein - stand up! How many decilitres are there in 16 decalitres? Nine?! NINE?! You bloody halfwit! Is your brother as stupid as you? Two halfwits would make a whole wit, wouldn't they. Your parents both work at the local university don't they? With your brains I can only assume you were adopted - they must be disappointed they can't swap you for someone more intelligent. Why don't you go and ask the cleaning lady to show you how to scrub toilets, because that's all you'll ever be good for. Now sit down you cretin, and stay in at playtime and revise."


Then, in the afternoon art lesson, when everyone else was painting or making collages you'd have to make a pointy hat out of coloured card and decorate it with a big glittery 'D' and tinsel. You would then have to wear this creation in class for the rest of the day whilst he referred to you sneeringly as 'Professor' or 'Brain of Britain' every time you were spoken to.


The upshot was that almost nobody failed the test a second time, and as far as I am aware none of us was psychologically scarred by the experience. Years later I was tempted to try his approach myself whilst teaching genetics and statistics to biomedical students, but even by the 1990s we'd gone soft.


Anyway, I suggested to my son's teacher that he might get better results if he stopped pretending that failure was just as good as success, and that producing a cohort of kids who are intimidated by red ink hardly equips them for the harsh realities of life. Suffice to say neither suggestion was well received. :lol:

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Exactly. I had red pen all over my school books teachers used to throw our homework back at us if it was bad.

Wooden blackboard rubber was thrown at our heads if we weren't paying attention.

That's proper schooling. Not this political correctness bullsh1t that they seem to teach these days.


Its no wonder the kids have no respect for teachers or discipline when they can basically do what they like and not get and negative response. And this follows into later life where they have zero ability to deal with failure or rejection.


And these are the future adults who will be runing the country and paying our pensions... Thank f#ck they will all be replaced by robots as I don't trust any of them to be able to wipe their own arse without getting emotional for the feelings of the toilet paper, or worrying that the cardboard tube in the middle might feel lonely...

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He will probably be off for at least a month, then they will have to agree on aback to work plan, probably be June before he's back up and working full time, no doubt ptsd will set in and more counseling will be required, he will probably end up moving from maths to a teacher support role and spend the rest of his days in a closet.


All because of your red ink remarks, I hope your happy 😊

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I'm going to run slightly contrary. Done right, it's not a bad thing.


I know too many people in business who are:

 

  1. Adamant they're not a "maths person" and/or 'can't do maths' etc
  2. Petrified of getting things wrong or failure
  3. Lack all manner of confidence in anything that requires analytical thinking

 

All because they were made to feel that way at school. I know a lot of adults that have been really brave and redone things like maths and english qualifications as an adult and said "if only I was taught this way at school". Or people that only discovered that physical activity could be fun later in life because the experience at school was totally miserable (happy to use myself as an example there)


Yes of course it can be OVER done, like most things. But reminding a kid that mistakes happen, that there's safe places to fail and crucially that there isn't always a right or wrong answer (sometimes you've just got to come out with a reasoned decision based on the information and evidence that you have to hand) is not a bad thing in the workplace. Instead the methods you make lead to people that are petrified of failure and quickly cover up mistakes (and we all hate people that cover their own ass)


Before you go down the road of "well I was alright with it" make sure you take in the experiences of many others and also see out the research evidence that goes into the benefit into each approach (disclaimer, I'm not an expert but I know a few people who have worked in this field and had a few conversations with them)

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In this country we are shit at teaching, we struggle to teach bloody English to our kids when just about every other kid an europe can speak 3 when they leave, everyone is so focused on stats to fit which ever way the wind is blowing at the time, I'm sure there are good teachers but the whole system is f**ked up, I know a few teachers and they are all glad they are out or soon to be out.

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Start the kids too young in the UK too.

They don't get a chance to be children because they are forced into the education system at an early age so that parents can get back to generating tax revenue.

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Did you see a work experience programme with Rhod Gilbert when he was a primary school teacher for a week?

He found it quite shocking the different teaching styles to what he went through, looked very relaxed and informal compared to us sitting at your desk watching the teacher write stuff on the blackboard,; it was all about different learning zones and sitting around chanting various mantras.

Rhod wasn't convinced by all this but by the end of the week he could see it working and had all the kids engaged in the lessons.

And to be fair to Rhod he was actually quite good at it.

It all looks a bit liberal,softly softly approach but have to wonder if its all good preparation for real life or are we raising the next generation of super snowflakes?


Eldest daughter visited some primary schools recently as my eldest grandson starts school next September, even she said how much things had changed in the 18 years since she left primary.


I went to grammar school in the late 70s that was still run like it was in the Victorian era.

Some of the teachers were terrifying especially one of the maths /PE teachers ,huge Welsh bloke with a booming voice and temper to match,lobbing board erasers and chalk was commonplace.He was collecting the homework , you had to open the exercise book at that page and he would collect it in a big stack.

He got to one of the class jokers who was frequently in trouble, asked where his book was to be told it was at home.The teachers whacked him on the head with the pile of books and bellowed at him to go home and get it.

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Another thing his teacher raised was that my son has little enthusiasm for the endless class tests that kids seem to be subjected to these days. I said that you don't fatten a pig by weighing it all the time, and that far from being lazy he was in fact indulging in a complex and sophisticated response to a world crazed by pointless activity. :lol:


We also discussed their toothless bullying policy, my son having come home one day with bruises up his arms from having been punched by the school bully - a yobbish ginger turd with a chavvy diamond stud in his ear. Apparently the punching resulted from my lad stepping in when he saw one of his friends being bullied, and saying "I like your sparkly earring. Do you wear frilly knickers too?" The bully was dragged off and made to sit on a chair in Contemplation Corner. I said I was perfectly happy to leave them to deal with bullying their own way as long as it was effective, but that the next time this lad hits my son I'd toe-punt the fat little f*cker over the fence, and his Neanderthal father would be following close behind.


I might put myself forward for the PTA...

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@MarkW - is this the same son who threatened to hit another child in the face with his penis not so long ago?

 

Err... I dunno - I can't remember posting that. :shock: To be fair, drink had probably been taken... :cheers:

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@MarkW - is this the same son who threatened to hit another child in the face with his penis not so long ago?

 

Err... I dunno - I can't remember posting that. :shock: To be fair, drink had probably been taken... :cheers:

 


You could really do with your children being sober when they go to school no wonder he was going to be hitting folk with his dick.

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That fear thing that teachers used to use for humiliation and control has led to entire generations of peeps who can’t admit when they don’t know something. People who’d rather make something up than be caught out not knowing because the ridicule that came from not having an answer was worse than simply saying “I don’t know”

It leads to you having to doubt the word of the person giving you information you need. You have to check with more than one source because it could easily be bollo.


I see it the other way round. If they don’t know something then what have they been doing with the kids for the majority of their waking hours? It’s not the child’s failure it’s the system they’re shoved into. Its like dog obedience training. Hoop jumping to train you up for the next few decades of hoop jumping your going to do for an employer. Trained to accept boredom and rigidity. Education can offer freedom (when it’s free) but tying down young kids/adults to a university debt on a pathway they can’t even know if they really want is a horror and the pre university education they get is a joke. It really doesn’t take that long to learn to read, write and add up.


I’m not convinced the generation who were raised used the antiquated fear n bully system of yesteryear have done such a great job of looking after the planet, people or the economy. This love of things needing things to be tough or worrying your childs not hard enough is a fear as old as time. Life can be tough, they’ll get their experiences in due course, there’s no preparation in childhood that can help sidestep it.

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I work with a lot of 15/16 year olds in my shop and I always find their level of maths comprehension to be amusing. They can all run rings around me with fancy maths requiring letters and charts and special diagrams etc but simple basic adding and subtraction leaves them like a deer in headlights.


Customer gets £10.05 worth of food and hands over a £20 then says 'do you want the 5p' girl/boy looks at me with terror in their face as they've already rung £20 through till and now are required to work out in their head how much change to give back. :lol:




its £10 change for you youngsters

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@MarkW - is this the same son who threatened to hit another child in the face with his penis not so long ago?

 

Err... I dunno - I can't remember posting that. :shock: To be fair, drink had probably been taken... :cheers:

 


You could really do with your children being sober when they go to school no wonder he was going to be hitting folk with his dick.

 

:lol:


I think I remember this incident now. Same son, but he didn't threaten to hit anyone with his dick - he called someone a "penis face" in class, which caused his teacher huge embarrassment in the re-telling because she couldn't bring herself to say "penis" in front of me in the playground.


In fairness, I was stark naked at the time...

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I think I remember this incident now. Same son, but he didn't threaten to hit anyone with his dick - he called someone a "penis face" in class, which caused his teacher huge embarrassment in the re-telling because she couldn't bring herself to say "penis" in front of me in the playground.


In fairness, I was stark naked at the time...

 

My apologies, my brain obviously embellished things a smidge.


Your son certainly has form. Where do you think he gets it from? :scratch:

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I work with a lot of 15/16 year olds in my shop and I always find their level of maths comprehension to be amusing. They can all run rings around me with fancy maths requiring letters and charts and special diagrams etc but simple basic adding and subtraction leaves them like a deer in headlights.


Customer gets £10.05 worth of food and hands over a £20 then says 'do you want the 5p' girl/boy looks at me with terror in their face as they've already rung £20 through till and now are required to work out in their head how much change to give back. :lol:




its £10 change for you youngsters

.....is it a local shop, for local people? That will be twelvety pence, please.

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I think I remember this incident now. Same son, but he didn't threaten to hit anyone with his dick - he called someone a "penis face" in class, which caused his teacher huge embarrassment in the re-telling because she couldn't bring herself to say "penis" in front of me in the playground.


In fairness, I was stark naked at the time...

 

My apologies, my brain obviously embellished things a smidge.


Your son certainly has form. Where do you think he gets it from? :scratch:

 


The milkman 🚷

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Your son certainly has form. Where do you think he gets it from? :scratch:

 

Couldn't say. :D


I was kicked out of RE in primary school once (well, several times if I'm being honest) when the religious old bat who taught us asked what everyone wanted to be when they grew up. All the girls wanted to be vets or nurses, and all the boys wanted to be footballers or firemen. All except me. I said I wanted to be a hitman. 8-)

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Your son certainly has form. Where do you think he gets it from? :scratch:

 

Couldn't say. :D


I was kicked out of RE in primary school once (well, several times if I'm being honest) when the religious old bat who taught us asked what everyone wanted to be when they grew up. All the girls wanted to be vets or nurses, and all the boys wanted to be footballers or firemen. All except me. I said I wanted to be a hitman. 8-)

 

Aah so sweet Mr Slowlycatchymonkey wanted to be an assassin :D turns out he’s too nice to be a librarian :lol:

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I had the theory home life is what had the bigger impact on how a kid turned out. The "hard kids" in my school could have the most serious teacher screaming/swearing in their face but they'd just smile. It was often the case that their parents just didn't care or were bad themselves.


A lot of my teachers were pretty strict, and not afraid to ramp up the punishment. Taking away a mobile phone and then telling the child their mother would have to come and collect it, and explain why they were looking at explicit pictures during maths etc were personal favourites as the shame of that. If I got in trouble I knew if my parents found out I was a dead man, so while I wasn't the model student, I was always cautious of not overstepping the mark.


The only real trouble I caused was with religious studies. It's not that I don't believe there could be a higher being of some description, it's that I find 4200 religions that have followers believing they are believing the "right one" very hard to get my head around. And this caused issue as most of my RS teachers were Christians :lol:

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I only got sent to the headmasters office a few times at high school, and never for anything serious, but one occasion sticks in my mind because he had to abandon any hope of telling me off because he couldn't stop sniggering.


I had suggested in RE class that God either didn't exist, or that he had gone to extraordinary lengths to give this impression. You can't see him, you can't hear him, he allows good and bad things to happen fairly arbitrarily to both devout believers and ardent atheists, and praying to him has no better outcome than random chance.


"But I do hear the Lord speak to me!" she snapped.


"Perhaps you're mentally ill then, miss..."

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