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can probably type though.
about GayGuevara's post....
is fully aware of his mistake and will claim it was 'deliberate'.
You know nothing of music!
of an organisation which disproportionately represents private school teachers when they criticise a Labour government .... To some, it might suggest an agenda...
Daily Telegraph reports on a conservative-minded 'protect the middle classes' study published by a conservative minded organisation.
It's worth copying and pasting onto a public message board and no mistake...
I've got wrok to do.
Wrokind 9 to 5
What way to make a livind!
they should get back down my Daddy's mine where they belong. anyway, can't chat - off down the social club for a glass of port with the old boy's network!
more proof that having a rich daddy and and expensive ecusation does not equal a clever child.
to put letters in the right order to form these lovely things called 'words'.
Am I dyselxic?
of telling you to just give up.
shall i kill myself?
and to this day still don't get 'i killer a man, seriously' and 'Euripides trousers'. Strangely, i still find them funny.
I tend to hate all forms of "positive discrimination" - it's patronising to the people being "discriminated for" (in this instance implicitly implying that working-class people aren't bright enough to get on in life on their own merits) and I think it's usually a kneejerk gesture to make things appear fairer without tackling the root causes of inequality.
If we had a fair education system and university selection process in the first place then there would be a representative number of university students from all classes and backgrounds but creaitng more inequalities doesn't do anything to equalise the situation.
That said, there's also a fair degree of bullshit in the article. The existence of, say, a knitwear degree (bizarre though it might be) will have no impact whatsover on the academic level of a history degree or a maths degree so I'm far from convinced anyone's education is being "dumbed down."
And of course JacobJones makes a very important point - you've got to look at where this article's come from, where it's pritned and who's being criticsed and wonder if there's a bit of spin going on here somewhere.
the GayGuevara view that everyone's lot is theirs by merit, that poor people are just stupid and that no idiots make their way into elite universities. My girlfriend knew some real morons at Cambridge.
but the view of the article, for which i am not responsible. You imply that i'm not aware of the old boy's network. Of course i'm aware of it, i'm a product of it!
You admit that you are opposed to meritocracy and think the state should protect entrenched privilege...
within two posts you've said that it is 'GayGuevara's view that everyone's lot is theirs by merit' and GayGuevara is 'opposed to meritocracy'. Which is it?
It is my view that the old boy network exists, and it is something I have benefited from. Whether it SHOULD exist or not is a different, and somewhat irrelevant question. It does, and will always, exist.
suggest that you think that poor people shouldn't be allowed into good universities because their relative poorness must be an indication of low ability.
And then you go on to acknowledged entrenched and unfair privilege and celebrate how you have benefited from it. You're the one with multiple positions.
Also, didn't you go to the university of leicester? old boys network central, eh?
This thread could easily spriral off into a million different debates, but i'm not keen for that to happen.
I'm not casting a moral judgement on whether is right or wrong, just saying that it's there. I've benefitted from it, directly and indirectly, so i'm not going to sit here and argue it's the worst thing ever, because for ME it's not. It's not fair, but then what is?
I also nknow full well that money does not equal ability. None of my housemated went to private school, and some got better grades than me, some didn't.
that people from wealthier backgrounds are more LIKELY to be 'successful'. Again, not saying it's right or wrong, just saying that's what happens.
I think i'm more seeing things how they are, and you're more seeing things how you would like them to be or how they 'should' be.
I was irked by your initial post, the thrust of which was basically that it was outrageous that the government should have a strategy to stop universities being monopolised by the middle classes.
yes, i started the post to get people backs up a bit and you know have fun little agrument/debate and stuff. I think to say i think it to be 'outrageous' is probably taking it a bit far. All i'm saying is, and i'm fully aware it's selfish, why would I want to change a system from which i've benefitted. In an equal society things would be harder for me as there'd be more competition. The system is unfair, but it's unfair in my favour, so i'm not going to complain.
You've isolated exactly what it means to be a conservative (small c).
I didn't create the system, but i'm doing (relatively) well out it. I want to conserve it!
no point in anyone bothering to debate anything with you ever again, because you admit the system is unfair but you don't want to change it because you're alright (jack).
If the system changed drastically to not be in my favour (and under a Labour Government this is possible), then I would argue for change, to change it back to how it was!
"because I lose out".
It wouldn't really garner much support would it?
You've argued yourself into a corner.
I honestly don't see anything wrong with wanting to have a good life for myself.
with wanting a good life for yourself, but when doing so adversely affects a large number of other people is.. well..
and that's exactly the kind of people we want in power right now.
In fact the fundamental problem (or benefit, for you I guess) is whoever gets elected in charge tends to then have the prime goal of staying in power and, given they were elected to power by people living under the current system, they'll be reluctant to change it for fear of inadvertently losing the power base.
Plus I think the current government is essentially small-c conservative.
but it doesn't mean he's not an obnoxiously selfish cunt when it means a detrimental effect to a large percentage of the population.
But I don't think he's any different from most people in that respect.
Depressng as it sounds I think most people would be happy to preserve a system that works in their favour (why else wouldn't there be more effort to tackle third-world poverty?)
"The system is unfair, but it's unfair in my favour, so i'm not going to complain."
pretty much the most horrendous thing i've heard from an intelligent person in quite a while.
but i'm not a matyr or a freedom fighter or an idealist.
Also, thank you for calling me intelligent! You made me blush.
of people who are political opposites to me. fanatics of that sort give everyone a bad name.
your attitude of "i'm alright, so everyone else can go to hell" is abhorrent, and exactly what i despise about a large amount of Conservative politics.
as I said to zxcvbnm, I don't see anything wrong with wanting to lead a nice life. I'm telling everyone else to go to hell, i'm just saying that i'm doing pretty well out of the current system so I want to kep it as is.
But this is speaking about the 'system' from a very grand perspective, i'm not like that in my day to day dealings with individuals. I wouldn't make a pregnant woman stand on the bus and take the last deat for myself as a means of sorting myslef out!
I think the difference between the running of a society (if such a thing exists) as a whole, and personal dealings with individuals is a very important distinction to make.
I'm sure you have impeccable manners but who exactly brought that up?
The issue here Che....is
1) It is perfectly normal feeling to want to do well for yourself......evolutionry instincts, make you want to do that, because if you were in a struggle for day to day survival (as we would be as animals) then to not want to do well would mean that you would not be favouring your genes above other animals and that is an evolutionary no no.
2) You are not in a day to day struggle for survival, by developements of societies you can now reap easy living at a degree that is not commesurate with your own abilities, it is a product of previous generations work and building and of relative bountifulness of certain areas of populations compared with extremely impoverished other areas of the globe.
3) It might be a long way mentally, but you cannot claim that the inequality is not linked to your lifestyle, that you say you are content with, you are not presented with many alternative views of what lifestyles that you might be able to have, by what you have been taught (as they will only present possibilities within the bounderies of that which would be tolerated by the present status quo) I for one am not content with the lifestyle that the rulers of this country would limit me to (I suspect guntrip feels the same)
4) You have plenty of brainspace left to be more of an idealist and think about others who are not so lucky as you.
5) Change is inevitable, it is the duty of those who consider themselves to be 'intellectual' to consider what possibilities we should move towards with change choices that will crop up.
6) Assuming you are white male middle class and slightly comfy with the status quo.....as you say you are cos of the middle class/subject matter of unis........would you be so comfy and not willing to change were the older prejudices of ethnicity and male centric bias still in place? would you really be comfy with that, wouldnt you feel that you should have supported racial equality and gender equality? (if only mildly)......
tis thought provoking. I don't have to to repsond in detail now as I need to enter the real world (oh noes!), but promise I will come back and do so later.
I don't think the 'old boy's network' has anything to do with just having rich parents.
my parents are pretty rich but they're the children of coal miners so they don't have friends who are partners in city law firms and stuff.
you have a girlfriend?
I think it implies (rightly) that working-class children generally don't have the benefits in their home life that middle-class children have.
It's nothing to do with how intelligent you are, if you don't have the home life to help you learn you never will learn.
The point is that someone needs to help kids have the chance to learn, not lower the dificulty of education until they appear to have learned by default because that fails everyone.
I think university education in most subjects (except, say, engineering, medicine, law etc) is a positional good but the idea that a degree in history from Leeds means you've been better educated than if you'd done Women's Studies + Forestry at the University of Uxbridge is ... not consistently correct
And is what I meant by "not tackling the root causes of inequality".
Helping people into university by lowering the standards they need to achieve doesn't make anyone any more educated - it just means there are all more people in university and really what's needed are steps to help those who don't have the benefits in their homes that others do to have the chance to learn elsewhere.
On the other hand, going back to the original article, I don't necessarily think a wider range of subjects necessarily proves that education is getting easier. Clearly the guy talking has picked the most ridiculous subjects he can think of to imply that this is the case but on the whole I think the wider range of subjects is a good thing and don't necessarily think the standard of qualification or difficulty obtaining it will be any lower than it would be for more traditional degrees.
...it is being sold to kids as the way to increase their future earnings. However, a degree is (for instance)Women's Studies + Forestry at the University of Uxbridge is not going to increase anyone's earnings potential.
As a purely academic and personal challenge it might well be acceptable, but these kids are being lied to.
and which degrees increase earning potential and which don't. I certainly imagine IT, which is a relatively new subject and isn't purely academic, has an effect on increasing earning potential.
I also detest the idea that university is simply a way to increase future earnings. I accept that's what it's sold to many people as and that this is wrong but I think it's entirely the wrong motivation for doing a degree in the first place.
If we're talking about the furtherment of poor people then the increased earnings potential is quite an important issue. You must be fairly confident in your family's ability to pay for your degree to do one just because you think it'll be interesting. It's not a holiday.
I studied engineering because I liked science/maths type stuff and engineering was a good way to turn that into cash, and here I am being morally berated.
But it should be about further yourself as a whole rahter than simply being a cash equation.
I did a degree I thought'd be interesting but I've now got myself a 'proper' job to support myself after universtiy - I'm not scrounging off my parents or owt.
I'm not morally beraring you either - there's nothing wrong with doing a degree to increase future earnings, just doing one purely in order to increase future earnings (in a context where you've no interest in the subject you're studying but you think it can get you a career in a field which, althogh you dislike, will make you a lot of money. I know people who've done this and they're really not happy.
Obviously if you like the subject it's an entirley different thing.
Universities do appear to be offering sillier courses now but it's hardly the fault of the school leavers who are being coerced into higher education under the pretense that their lives will be over if they don't obtain a degree.
which is silly......I cannot actually find an indication that they are saying that middle classes cant get into university now because of the changes.....in fact I believe it is now easier than ever.
Surely it is also just extending the right to 'working class' children to be as much in debt at the beginning of their working lives as middle class children.
But more importantly the increase in diversity of courses is not social engineering, rather the spreading of interests because university is not really to do with knowledge or learning, rather than a new 'commercial opportunity....arnt universities now 'buisinesses' arent degrees now 'commodoties' arnt students now 'customers'......I thought this was the driving force behind most changes. the populaces desire to turn everything, to value everything in terms of money........cos they have been encouraged to emphasise their 'grasper' tendancy (see thatcherism)
Also there would appear to be less need for physics/chemistry and maths since successive governments have been keen to allow our leads in monufacturing and industial research, to pass to newer developing countries (because the workforce and costs are cheaper their and less labout laws and regulations, (on the whole).....since most rulers,rich people have loads of investments, and these investments are globally transferable, then idependantly of the fate of their country of domicile, their investments will be most healthy if the costs to the industry and manufactoring is low and are moved to countries with lowedst costs. (hence the dealing with china and brushing over serious worker/individual exploitation.
Successive governents have failed to capitalise on scientific and technological breakthroughs made in britain, other countries have not done so badly as this........basically we cand do the big industry as well......and the innovation we can do....but its pointless us doing it because the country will fail to benefit in any way from that. (Im talking relatively of course there is some success......but its less so)
I know this is going back a bit too far.
But I would like to take the examples of Dr Braun and Mr Turing.
One designed ballistic rockets for the Nazis to bomb a civilian population.
The other designed the first electronic computer, and was code breaker par exellance and was on the side battling the Nazis.
One was 'forgiven' and welcomed in america and feted by 'the man'
One was unsung (because of official secrets) in his own country and killed himself in depression as he was 'a criminal' in the eyes of his country (even though WWII seriously might have lasted another year were it not for him)
He was a criminal in the eyes of his country because he was gay.
Considering this comparrisom makes it pretty obvious that our country does not value thinking and innovation enough. Although some change has happened. comparitively it seems that britain still fails to make good use of its innovations or opportunities.....i dont quite know why.....the public takes eccentric boffins to heart.
well rounded intellectuals.
In this country we went from a classist society who would use intellectuals as advisors
almost immediatly to a mediocrity bassed society who only employ specialist intellectuals, because they can be picked and chosen from whatever flavour is most popular as surveyed by the popular media.
Unfortunately we seem to have bypassed having a true meritocracy, where we have well rounded intellectuals from all backgrounds and representing the spread of interests governing the country, with the intereest of increasing the fulfilling of all potentials of people across the board of making everyones lives more fulfilled, by using factors other than money. (as this enables you to tackle more than one problem without running out of resources......if you ensure money is involved in all resourcing then you will always have shortages of resources for education/health/security/social provision etc.
It should also be noted that the middle classes are no where near as clever as they might think they are (or as common sensical) they are merely good at fiting in the middle of their society.
Lastly I was working class as a kid (council flat, single parent, mum - home worker, housekeeper.) yet this in no way indicates my intelligence or cpability in a subject.......why is there the presumption in that artical that the working class are thick?
In the past it was classist based not on merit.
Now there is not really a working class....it is a 'casual working' class or there is also a 'not working class' this might be different.....the working and middle classes divide is now different.
Office workers are the nearest equivalent thing that the country now has to the factory workers of the old working classes.
The whole report and artical is kind of missing all points......its just filla really
...university education is a good thing. 1. Not everyone should have a university education. It isn't always suitable.
2. Stupid courses are a waste of time and money for all involved.
3. Too many people are studying stupid course.
4. It is too easy for 'posh' kids to get into good universities, because of the intensive A-Level coaching available to them, this is disadvantaging poorer people.
5. Allowing kids from shit schools in with lower grades is controvercial and I'm not sure whether it is a good idea.
6. My experience at Bristol university was that people from state schools who had got onto my course were almost invariably better at it than the public school boys (who if they had been at a state school may not have got the entry grades)
7. The real answer is to make state schools so good that this problem disappears.
Unfortunately it's much easier and more appealing to try to throw short-term solutions at a problem than to actually take radical action that could take a long-time and be slow to get results
but I can dream.
.....however if you have 'relative dullards and idiots and other interest' people making education policy then this will fail.
If I were education Tsar/czar then I would sort it (better than it is)
I would need far reaching powers though, like having veto and influence on tv and radio broadcasting and vetoing what can be said in a newspaper (otherwise they will be reclassified as adult comics)
should, as a prerequesite of taking the job, be required to have their children education in state schools (I also think the equlivalent for those senior in the NHS too)
I think that'd make sure they were motivated to ensure the education system improved.
i had a primary school teacher who privately educated her daughters but expressed to my mother the opinion that it simply wasn't worth educating any of the children in her class because they'd all probably end up in the prison system anyway.
There were only about 18 of us, 3 went to Oxbridge and only 5 DIDN'T end up attending a Russell Group university.
She was so blinded by Telegraph hatred and fear of everyone whose family has a combined income of less than 150k, she couldn't see that most of the children she taught were actually quite capable.
And I do wonder if in some cases teachers with that line of thinking can inadvertently fuck up the children their teaching's education (clearly not in this particular case!) by assuming they're thick and then not pushing them.
PS I just noticed the in my post that you're replying too slightly undermines my argument!
She'd have been more motivated if her own children were in the state system too....
I meant to say the "Grammar in my post you're replying to slightly undermines my argument"
but I fucked the grammar up on that too by missing a word out. I despair of myself sometimes!
But yeah I do think if you're prepared to work in and take money from the state system you should be prepared to put your own children into it.
wouldnt supply these courses if there wasnt demand. And if someone wants to waste thousands of £s doing surf science (and whose to say it is a waste if they then use this to do research or get a job within that industry) it's their choice.
Surely its what you do with your degree afterwards that counts, somebody who does a history (as an example) then ends up working in an office has to me just as much wasted there time as someone who has studied wine studies and is working in an office.
And offering these courses doesn't devalue your degree if you applying for something specific to degree (surely?). A david beckham fansite (or hello! magazine) looking for someone to run it, is no more going to give the job to someone with a engineering degree over someone with a david beckham studies than and engineering company give a job to someone with a david beckham studies degree over someone with an engineering degree.
I suppose were the problem comes is when there is an expectation that a degree in anything is going to get you somewhere or means something in a line of work non-specific to the degree studied.
i really hate the snobby superiority complex that comes with looking down your nose at "stupid" subjects that usually comes from science and literature bores.
you pick popular subjects like say 'David Beckham' then you might end up with more people who are more 'knowledgable' but who havnt paid the 'fee' (to a university(business)) for the piece of paper (qualification)
Then many more people who have the same knowledge will be discriminated against because they havnt brought something (qualification) off a business (university).
Its a bit of a problem......because I agree in some ways (especially as I feel agrieved that many people who have brought a 'highbrow' qualification, seem to be less knowledgable on the subjects than myself, so I am thus discriminated against because although I have knowledge it wont be listened as seriously, because I havnt jumped through hoops for a piece of paper proving I have jumped through hoops. v(Of course it doesnt help that I always try to take a slightly different intellectual path....this isnt willful though, its because it is the path that enables me to link up various areas of knowledge consistantly.........it is unsuprising that this will therefore always look different from academically accepted ideas as acadmia is based on segregating knowledge into 'disciplines' which may be useful for 'mass education' but is not helpful for well rounded knowledge exploration.
Seriously....I wish I hadnt gone to secondary school.....I could have happily taught myself with books which i loved.
have done the uni course arnt challenging intellectually (e.g. chiaroscuro) but, do people studying philosophy/history/sociology/politics/economics really treat their subjects seriously......I got the impression that many dont seem to care too much at all, they certainly dont seem to be able to discuss round the boundaries of their subject to any great degree. Yet by many (in our rather poor thinking society) they thier opinion will be regarded as 'expert' rather than expert on what is currently accepted.
Also you do not need to be a research grad to be able to think in advance of what is currently accepted, yet many in this society seem to think this.
in that a university degree doesn't mean an awful lot in itself. However, it is entirely understandable that people see senior academics as a fountain of expert knowledge because it is their job and they go through years of checks and accreditations to get there. Even if some bloke in the street knows more then there is no way anyone would accept this because it would be rather irrational. Course it depends on what they were talking about.
they do not measure in any other way.......which is the essential weakness in the system, and why we cannot avoid problems inherent in the status quo.
a) status quo decrees whether expert is right and qualifies
b) others can only measure wisdom by people with certification by status quo
c) If status quo is slightly wrong on many many things then how can someone who might be even more 'right' than free thinking experts who have undergone the 'status quo' mincer....precisely because they havnt undergone the mincer of the 'incorrect status quo'
I feel that this problem is exacerbated by the publics adversity to become 'amateaur experts themselves. They always feel if they have an aptitude for something that they should 'get it measured' and verified......its all terribly macho.
people are also reluctant to think or work hard with their brains (unless forced to by exams or entertainment such as sudoku or chess)
this is exacerbated by agents of status quo, not actually minding people not thinking too hard, and things like advertising and popular media articals and sound bitism and trailers help reduce peoples attention span and brain musculature.
If you are unfit it is difficult to start training. and training is what you need to get fit. The state seems to enjoy your thinking/working out part of your brain atrophying. Instead of trying to understand the gist of what I am meaning with my posts the 'status quo agents' would much rather criticise my spelling or punctuation.........because presentation is often falsely considered over content.
The fact that I phrase things wierdly is because I dont see why one should stick to convention, it limits you in so many ways.
Of course it makes things seem lees immediately obvious, I am often dissappointed that I am sometimes taken literally when I meant to be allagorical, this is often a result of the fact that Im posting in a very small window at work, and occassionally sparodically stop to kick off another database enquirey. I can't scan back what I've just written easily. So unfortunatley I do not advertise my advocating for less convention as well as I could do.
Everyone can do it....come up with their own way of expressing an answer, to me schooling seemed to be about not doing it your own way because that makes 'teaching more difficult' or 'marking more difficult'. Perhaps this indicates that not enough resources are being used to help children to develop how to think.
I actually think there is a quite obvious role for things like golf studies because there are lots of golf courses which need managing. If it is one university offering quite an esoteric course then Im sure there are opportunities for the graduates.
What is the problem is when to boost profits universities start offering countless degrees which are badly taught and funded and give people the impression that they will actually help them get a job. This is even more the case with Masters courses. Universities should specialise in what they do well and offer those courses at a high standard rather than attempt to capitalise on the expansion of higher education.
be honourable and do the right thing since they have been turned into businesses with products and consumers.
(Im talking secondary upwards here)
Even non failing schools have levels of unacceptable bullying. levels that will far more put an individual out of attaining that which they are capable of more than some policy........why is bullying not tackled seriously......it seems that all that is required is that schools must have an 'anti bullying policy' and the education systems eems to presume it is being fixed.......it needs to be more radical than that. yet hardly a word is mentioned by the great education reformers....who are mostly still interested in battling the old battle (grammar vs state) Im appalled as always
Infant and primary school can be enjoyed by many/most, including specific subjects.
Secondary school is not enjoyed by many/most, including specific subjects.
Why should art and music (enjoyed or at least benign) at primary level. Be turned into something measured and thus less pleasent by secondary.
Why can people only continue with art or music if they are good enough to 'pass an exam' surely this in itself is horrendously horribly discriminating, especially during adolescence. Art teaching should also include ways to enable the 'enthusiastic, not very good, self concious' art student to continue without feeling failure.
That is what the teaching profession should be about.
Teachers are often used as just government hoop holders.
This is a fundemental problem with education.
Primary school tries to enthuse pupils to have na interest in everything.
Secondary schools seem like they're intent on destroying any joyful enthusiasm......unless channeled and expressed in a happy clappy corporate/school way
bias is showing there ^, but my points are valid as I often hear of others being oppressed with maths or franch or science.......why? why has the idea of teaching maths managed to become a rod with which to beat people.........think about that for a while, specially if you like maths, its a horrible idea.
Mainly because the majority of teachers at my school tried to put me off studying art. I don't just mean they tried to get me to look at other things, I mean they refused to help me look up art courses full stop.
Luckily I had parents who understood what I wanted to do but still it's very disheartening to hear people trash your ambitions.
People at uni found it funny how made up I was at my tutor encouraging me to try eveything and helping me with any ideas I had however stupid, it's like being back at primary school in that respect and it's great.
at our school there's a number you can text if you're being bullied. but i don't think it solves anything.
my french teacher was saying how there is no such thing as 'bullying' in french schools, 'being bullied' is just a way of life.
should be considered in the uni admissions process.
can't it just be grades/personal statement or something? doesn't that work?
the best kids get the best courses and all that?
but the secondary system is incredibly unbalanced these days.
it just seems unfair to consider anything other than academic merit/a short interview.
middle class kids should be neither advantaged or disadvantaged. and the same goes for 'working class' kids.