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To think in general English people do not value education?

(236 Posts)
clairemcnam Wed 03-Apr-19 20:52:56

It always dismays me how little education seems to be valued in England. Lots of people say they do value education, but in closer questioning this is nearly always a utilitarian approach to education.
So education is valued to get you a good job, or help you earn more money - to help you achieve something else.
But relatively few people seem to value education for its own sake.

nutsfornutella Wed 03-Apr-19 20:58:10

Do Irish, Welsh or Scottish people value it more then? biscuit

How can you speak for a whole country?

Judashascomeintosomemoney Wed 03-Apr-19 21:01:57

Maybe you’re talking to the wrong/right people (depending on your perspective for this, clearly, derogatory post). And no, I’m not English.

SidekickSally Wed 03-Apr-19 21:07:04

Wow, what do you base this sweeping statement on? Is this unique to England and English people? What evidence do you have for your theory?

SexNotJenga Wed 03-Apr-19 21:07:23

It's a massive generalisation, of course, but there's a kernel of truth in it, I think. I'm not saying the English care more or less about education than any other country in particular, but certainly in the school that I attended and the schools I taught in, education was not valued for its own sake. Or at all, in many cases. Trying hard at school makes many children targets for bullying, because lots of our young people see it as fundamentally uncool, not something to aim for.

clairemcnam Wed 03-Apr-19 21:08:49

I don't know about the other countries, which is why I only talked about England.
I have come across this attitude again and again amongst very different kind of people in England.

Mrscog Wed 03-Apr-19 21:10:07

I know what you mean, lots of people don’t understand/value education in the broader sense. For example someone I work with was pearl clutching about me sending the children the wrong message about not valuing education about taking the kids out of school for one day to go to a museum, but then couldn’t understand why I used duo lingo to teach myself languages as a hobby!

Reddragonqueen Wed 03-Apr-19 21:12:27

Do you just mean in school?

I can't imagine many children in amy country value education but I know lots of adults who enjoy learning and education. I guess there's more choice about it then rather than being forced

clairemcnam Wed 03-Apr-19 21:13:40

I think if you ask people why does education matter? In most cases in England people would say - to get a good job or earn more money.

I was brought up to value education for itself. Not that my parents are particularly special, just that value is part of their cultural heritage. So if it helps you get a good job or money, great. But that it matters for its own sake.

Butchyrestingface Wed 03-Apr-19 21:13:51

I’m Scottish so no fucks given here about any sweeping generalisations. grin However, where exactly are you hearing these things being said? Who is saying them?

Because if its parents saying things to their kids like “you need to stick in at school if you want to get a good job”, well, of course that’s how they’re going to couch it. Far easier than trying to motivate their kids with some airy-fairy, nebulous appeal to Socratic ideals.

HaudYerWheeshtYaWeeBellend Wed 03-Apr-19 21:13:59

So you can’t really form an opinion based on limited experience, globally speaking GB have a huge emphasis of education.

However what the GB does take education for granted... due to the policies and procedures we have in place.

GeorgeTheBleeder Wed 03-Apr-19 21:14:54

Given the current standard and ethos of education it's probably a good thing that so many apparently don't understand or care.

Otherwise there'd be rioting in the streets ...

HaudYerWheeshtYaWeeBellend Wed 03-Apr-19 21:15:46

One persons values hold differ from one another’s tho.

MetroToy Wed 03-Apr-19 21:16:27

I think the English are too obsessed with education. I found it a shock having my dd go through the school system and very relieved she's no longer in it thanks to relocating.

HaudYerWheeshtYaWeeBellend Wed 03-Apr-19 21:16:31

Could differ autotext hmm

clairemcnam Wed 03-Apr-19 21:18:21

I have posted on here to see if the conclusions I have drawn from my experience are reasonable. If you all know lots of adults who value education for its own sake, then brilliant. I don't, except amongst some academics I know.
I also see on MN people making comments about a utilitarian approach to education. So that all education of children should be based on what employers want with a few life skills thrown in. And nothing about education for its own sake.

I think kids are generally born with a love of education for its own sake, Kids for example do not read everything they can about dinosaurs because it will help them get a good job, but because they want to learn more.

onlyconnect Wed 03-Apr-19 21:20:40

I think there's truth in what you're saying OP. Obviously it's a generalisation but there's enough truth in it. It's hard to put your finger on why, or even on why I think it's true but I think it links with the way that being an "intellectual " is viewed a bit cynically.
There's often criticism of what's learned at school as irrelevant with rarely any defence of that put forward.

camelfinger Wed 03-Apr-19 21:21:35

Yanbu. People care about what schools you get into and having top grades but not education in the broader sense. And there is also a large swathe of the population who is suspicious of education and thinks you’re better of leaving school young rather than learning about history and trigonometry.

clairemcnam Wed 03-Apr-19 21:21:53

Actually the adults I have met who have made a positive choice to home school do often value education for its own sake.
But I have seen people on MN mocking the idea of anyone studying subjects like medieval poetry, saying how will that help anyone get a job. And replies saying which employers would be interested in that degree.
But if say someone comes from a well-off family, why should they not study a subject that they find incredibly interesting but will not help them get a job?

Longdistance Wed 03-Apr-19 21:22:18

Utter rubbish.

You’ve obviously never fought to get your child into the best school in the area, or paid for private education where it’s fierce competition to get to the best University. All driven parents in ‘England’. There’s never been so much competition (not in my day there wasn’t) but in my dds era it’s dog eat dog. That’s ALL parents talk about.

LittleChristmasMouse Wed 03-Apr-19 21:22:37

I know it's trite but education is wasted on the young.

Looking back now if I could go back to school I would get so much more from it. I talk to my children who have been/ are at uni and they just raise their eyebrow at me because I'm grilling them to find out what they've learnt, discussed etc.

I would love to go to uni now(if we weren't paying for them to be there 😅).

LadyGregorysToothbrush Wed 03-Apr-19 21:23:01

I agree, education is completely instrumentalised in England and I think this, along with an absolute obsession with exams and testing from a very young age, plays a large part in increased mental health problems among young people.

clairemcnam Wed 03-Apr-19 21:24:10

Yes onlyconnect!!! I have read on here so many times people saying that they wasted their time at school as they learned lots of things they never used again. That shows they have a totally utilitarian approach to education.

MixedColours Wed 03-Apr-19 21:24:20

Agree with OP.

Most do not seem to value education for its own sake. As far as I can see, they enthusiastically engage in the competitiveness of schools, exams and climbing the greasy pole. But obviously thats not the same thing.

LadyGregorysToothbrush Wed 03-Apr-19 21:24:51

Having to choose A Level subjects so early is also part of this picture - a narrow specialisation so early instead of keeping a broad, holistic and wide ranging approach to more subjects.

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