Education superclass?

(819 Posts)
Amber2 Wed 13-Nov-13 10:49:10

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/iainmartin1/100245274/it-is-much-worse-than-sir-john-major-says-a-new-superclass-is-being-created-in-london/

This is interesting coming from John Major ...sounds like more lobbying along the lines of the Sutton Trust but do people really think it's much worse than it ever has been..? and this is do with with the inexorable rise of London...and the global money flowing in there...and so to creating an elite superclass of private schools also ...not just any old private school but a small handful of elite ones, applications to which have reached record numbers, presumably more and more from London and from overseas with over inflation rises in fees pricing out the traditional middle classes that used to be able to afford these schools.

wordfactory Fri 29-Nov-13 09:12:46

I took DS to school today, which is rare, but afforded us the opportunity for a good chat as we crawled through London.

And we touched on what an elite education was like. He told me that yes, analytical thinking, creative thinking etc was given high priority in his school, however knowledge was also given high priority. Teachers are fond of saying there is no point being super clever if you don't know anything.

I think it's this balance in education that is key. Gove bangs on about knowledge based education, industry bangs on about creative problem solving skills etc teachers are expected to make all lessons a singing and dancing experience...schools like the one DS attends have found the balance.

But, as I've said before, most parents would not want the type of education for their DC that my DC receive, even if there were enough resources to provide it.

happygardening Fri 29-Nov-13 10:33:41

"But, as I've said before, most parents would not want the type of education for their DC that my DC receive, even if there were enough resources to provide it.
I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you word but am interested to know what is your rationale for making such a bold statement?

Slipshodsibyl Fri 29-Nov-13 10:52:16

Ooh, it's Word's day for bold statements grin as I just asked a similar question of her elsewhere!

When you say they don't want it ,Word, might it not be that many do not have the opportunity to see exactly what it means to have this?

I don't really think most people don't want it.

Bonsoir Fri 29-Nov-13 10:54:43

Hmm. I tend to agree with wordfactory. Many parents are very frightened of "too much" school for their DC.

ClifftopCafe Fri 29-Nov-13 11:05:27

Knowledge based education is very out of fashion. I like the quote: 'rote learning is the trellis the free thinker can climb'.

We are told primary schools are not creative enough and far too much is taught by rote . IME the reverse is true .

Slipshodsibyl Fri 29-Nov-13 11:06:57

But isn't a lot of that our cultural conditioning? And sometimes it is the reaction of people who failed at school (some of whom succeeded later despite this). Sometimes it is just fear of competition and failing so they don't want to expose themselves and their children to this.

It is also rather hard work.

passedgo Fri 29-Nov-13 11:11:42

Bonsoir you frequently tend to agree with Wordfactory!

John Major's point is that there is a cycle of privilege in education resulting in a class of people who are already benefiting from having had educated parents, getting the best education for themselves, taking the best paid jobs and in turn being able to afford a privileged education for their own children.

There is no real equal opportunity if you are black, working class, live in a high rise in Tottenham. The inequality is stark and we need to address it if we are going to continue to claim we are striving for equal opportunity. We clearly are not.

wordfactory Fri 29-Nov-13 11:15:24

Ha, I don't mean to be bold grin.

It's more that as my DC draw to the end of their school career (they're year 10) and as I've now started to work in universities, my theories on education, life, the universe and everything, become less idealistic, I think, and more observational.

I also see as I get older that the things I assumed were universal, are in fact not. I am, I think, an outlier. And I'm ok with that.

I've come to the conclusion that most people don't want challenging, difficult, downright dull, and these are a necessary component to an excellent education. They don't want competition, disappointment, failure which are also a necessary feature.

They want to cherry pick the best bits. The nice bits. And IMVHO an education, like any experience, is worth nothing whilst it remains one dimensional.

wordfactory Fri 29-Nov-13 11:20:02

pass to a great extent I agree with you.

However, I think the very first step we need to take in giving people meaningful choices, is for them to want them.

At the moment people don't want to break their chains. They just want to stretch them enough to feel a bit more free than those underneath them. If I had a pound for every time I hear on MN that all they want is for their DC to be happy!

Slipshodsibyl Fri 29-Nov-13 11:32:24

So it is largely laziness then?

passedgo Fri 29-Nov-13 11:34:04

I agree that not everyone wants the same thing from life and that's OK but at the moment most people have no choice. The children of rich kids can choose to drop out, but the children of poor children are already excluded from the education elite due to a system that relies on parents to extend their child's learning.

I think education is undergoing a revolution since the internet and access to knowledge is becoming more equal, but access to the aspect of education that holds the knowledge together and makes it useful in the real world, is diminishing on a national and global level. This is because (I believe and I do like a good theory) the goalposts are always moving - these goalposts are moved by the elite to retain their status quo.

wordfactory Fri 29-Nov-13 11:41:13

slip I think it's fear.

pass I agree. And I'd go further and say the elite don't even have to worry too much, as the majority cheerfully exclude themselevs and do the work for them.

Bonsoir Fri 29-Nov-13 12:57:06

"I think education is undergoing a revolution since the internet and access to knowledge is becoming more equal, but access to the aspect of education that holds the knowledge together and makes it useful in the real world, is diminishing on a national and global level. This is because (I believe and I do like a good theory) the goalposts are always moving - these goalposts are moved by the elite to retain their status quo."

I think that people who are fascinated by, and take advantage of, the previously unimaginable access to information afforded by the internet are getting ever better at analysing that information and finding new ways of applying it.

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Fri 29-Nov-13 12:59:35

...Which is precisely why Word I tried unsuccessfully to nudge people over to a thread where this question was being asked in RL not just as an interesting theory.

Most people do not know that there is a better education that their children are completely missing out on. I think they would be furious if they found out.

Bonsoir Fri 29-Nov-13 13:24:04

They aren't furious because they haven't themselves got enough education to judge the alternative offering.

passedgo Fri 29-Nov-13 14:28:14

"I think that people who are fascinated by, and take advantage of, the previously unimaginable access to information afforded by the internet are getting ever better at analysing that information and finding new ways of applying it."

That's true of the people who are already educated, but have you seen some of the forums out there with people talking rubbish and quoting random internet information to back up their non-theories - These are people that have knowledge at their fingertips but do not have the education to disseminate it.

saragossa2010 Fri 29-Nov-13 15:45:31

I think it's important children get to fail. Two of mine had quite tough music exams today ( I accompanied them on the piano) which both or possibly one might fail. One music teacher there was saying he'd withdrawn a girl at another school as she might fail and the damage failure can do and I didn't sya but I was thinking gosh I've done rather well in life because I've had a lot of failures and learned to pick myself up and get on with it and that if they fail today that isn't necessarily a bad thing. So the hours of practice or if it were French house learning your verbs etc or capital cities in Geography which is part of what you get at the better schools, the fierce competition, the coming last and the like is all part of what I choose to pay for and as wordf says not all parents would want it anyway.

As for the internet, yes some wonderful free research and lectures are now on line. The problem is the average teenager is probably more likely to be using the internet for sex or computer games (if he's normal) than downloading MIT lectures. In a sense you need an environment at school or at home which puts a value on learning before children will seize the chances the internet brings.

Blueberrypots Fri 29-Nov-13 16:26:53

In a sense you need an environment at school or at home which puts a value on learning before children will seize the chances the internet brings

Absolutely agree with this comment.

slickrick Fri 29-Nov-13 18:01:16

The whole education system in the UK is outdated it was designed for a different generation. We need to reinvent the curriculum for the modern world.

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