Certain changes would be needed to make this work

University students should be drafted into a new “national service” to boost social mobility, a Government adviser has said.

When undergraduates start their courses they could be automatically enrolled as Maths or English tutors for underprivileged children at local schools, according to Prof Lee Eliot Major of Exeter University.

The major change required would be to bring all new university students up to a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy.

Two Es in variants of grievance studies doesn’t constitute that proof.

22 thoughts on “Certain changes would be needed to make this work”

  1. Any youth with the balls of a gnat would tell them to shove it up their arse.

    Enslaved to be a teacher? Lots won’t like kids or be suited to the task and are at Uni to study NOT be an unpaid nursemaid to the brats of welfare-state victims who don’t give a shite about their own kids. Otherwise said parents would be tutoring their kids themselves. My Mam was no intellectual but she could read and she taught me to read before the state goons got anywhere near.

    Tho it was my Granny buying me a Batman comic that turned reading from a chore into a pleasure.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    More evidence the state education system is failing, in no small part because of places like Exeter university that have a say in education policy making.

  3. Good luck with that. When I started at Leeds Poly doing “Computer Studies” as it was back in the day Maths and English “O” Levels were required, but the preferred A-Levels were Maths, Physics and Chemistry.

    I scraped in with a mixture of A Level Computer Studies, Biology and Geology.

    Plus I was pretty much an irritating nerd with the charisma of roadkill. If this scheme had been up and running back in the 80’s, I’d have pitied whatever poor sod got me allocated as their Maths or English tutor as I was no better than average in either and with poor communication skills to boot.

    It took 3 years post-graduation working on a factory floor to fix those problems.

  4. I did some tutoring at University. It was an eye opener how I had to lower my expectations. And that was of hard working older kids.

    Tutoring a person of vastly lower ability from vastly different background would be an education. For the tutor.

    Plus a huge bureaucracy would be needed to run it. That would cost as much as just hiring dedicated assistants for schools.

  5. Huhwut? Is he insane?

    I have had to do that as a module, for 8 weeks, at a highschool. “Teaching Credentials” were part of a Well-Rounded University Education up until ’95 in the Netherlands.

    It was…. Interesting.. Not everyone can deal with uninterested overentitled little shits raging balls of hormones the hallowed offspring of mediocrity.

  6. I carefully chose my postgraduate course to provide with a route out of academia because I knew that I should be utterly useless as a teacher or lecturer.
    So Professor Major wants people like me teaching underprivileged children? They certainly would be underprivileged if I was teaching them!

  7. At least it might persuade graduates there is reason why some do not enjoy the same privileges they do.

  8. We are, apparently, going to suffer a shortage of strawberry-pickers. Maybe we should conscript University lecturers……

  9. And when all done, the underprivileged will be just as dumb.

    Note the classic Lefty tack. They aren’t drafting students to fill the need for tutors, they are creating a program. One always has to wonder with them if the objective is actually their solution.

    Also note they aren’t really against slavery.

    This will certainly cut enrollment in unis way down.

    And I thought having to write a senior paper was ridiculous. So I didn’t. Just one more stupid hoop to jump through. Like students are circus animals.

    No fear: Capitalists will take over. Rent-a-Tutor will cover your requirement.

  10. Genuine LOL @NN!

    Actually some variant of this doesn’t seem the stupidest of ideas in the sense that the state demands relatively little quid pro quo for funding students through their degrees, so it might be worth considering attaching some strings. Perhaps view it as an element of government funding via employment guarantee of a few hours a week at a particular, not necessarily substantial, wage. If students don’t like those strings they can always pursue other funding paths – whether that’s self-funding by typical student jobs or getting a graduate employer to pay for uni for you, or relying on the Bank of Mum and Dad (if someone’s from a well-off family and their family are happy enough to pay, why should the taxpayer pick up the tab?).

    But it isn’t obvious that “tutor” is a good string to attach for reasons that have been discussed extensively in this thread. It isn’t even obvious that providing all the necessary training and coordination wouldn’t be a total waste of time – what’s the evidence that having a pretty minimally pedagogically trained and undermotivated undergrad tutoring kids will improve their outcomes? (Any pilot study is likely to involve more enthusiastic undergrads and schools willing to sign up to the scheme so will likely overstate the case compared to schools getting inundated with “(in)volunteers” they don’t really want and lack capacity to coordinate, while the (in)volunteers wish they were somewhere else.)

    But there are some jobs we are short of. I’m dubious I would trust an involunteer being a care worker to the nation’s grannies or an HCA in our hospitals (better that that’s being done by someone who actively wants to do it, and redoubtable middle-aged Filipina mums are probably heaps more efficient at making a bed) but as NN points out, how badly wrong can you go with strawberry picking?

  11. Both my parents were primary school teachers, but I knew I never wanted to do that in a clasroom situation. Strangely though, when I was a teenager I did some 1 on 1 tutoring in maths for another lad who was a couple of years younger. He was having problems getting to grips with algebra & stuff but I think I managed to get him to see it.

    I would still be happy to do some 1 on 1 to help out parents who haven’t a scooby, but I suspect my methods would jar terribly with current educational methods. We had this when my daughter was in primary school, learning arithmetic. My method of using carries was not what the school used and I got in trouble with the teacher…

  12. Gamecock said:
    “This will certainly cut enrollment in unis way down.”

    There’s always a silver lining!

    Anyway, there’s an easy way out of this; fail the CRB test, then you won’t be allowed to do 1-on-1 teaching with minors.

  13. In The Old Days the brightest kid in the classroom would be roped in to be a teaching assistant, that seems to be the path they want to follow, but substituting “the bightest kid” with “everybody from the next year up”.

  14. @ jgh
    Not in my case as it wouldn’t have helped: when the maths teacher asked me to “show my working” I couldn’t because I just jumped to the answer. [By the time I got to the stage when I did some “working” they’d given up on “show your working”]

  15. ‘He was having problems getting to grips with algebra & stuff but I think I managed to get him to see it.’

    You didn’t force your way into his house and demand to tutor him, I assume.

    I got some tutoring in calculus while in college from a former girlfriend. I ASKED for help. Prof Major apparently wishes to force both sides. And ‘boost social mobility’ seems a completely fake motivation.

    ‘When undergraduates start their courses they could be automatically enrolled as Maths or English tutors for underprivileged children at local schools, according to Prof Lee Eliot Major of Exeter University.’

    Wouldn’t it be better to use them AFTER they have taken their courses? Green freshmen don’t know poop. Might could even use tutors. Who tutors the tutor?

  16. In my first Easter vac from university I was paid to tutor a lad who had his O-levels fast approaching. He was bright but miles behind because asthma had meant he’d missed a lot of lessons. The deal was I’d teach him everything except Latin (I loathed it), and German and Biology – because my knowledge of those two was hopelessly sketchy.

    Great fun, well paid. His mother, alas, turned down my offer to coach him at rugby, football, cricket, golf, ping-pong, badminton, shooting, and sailing. I even offered British Bulldog, Highland Fling, Sword Dance, and tug-of-war. She thought I was joking.
    Draughts, chess, bridge? Nope. Cribbage, pontoon, brag? Certainly not. I know, darts and dominoes? Off you go.

  17. Julia: Just a talking to and an explanation of their method. It was odd to someone who learned ‘proper’ arithmetic with traditional carries and borrows (which I still use, though calculator for hard sums). I’ve now forgotten it.

  18. “Anyway, there’s an easy way out of this; fail the CRB test, then you won’t be allowed to do 1-on-1 teaching with minors.”
    Oh. So then you get to do 1-1 tuition in prisons instead. There’s plenty to be tackled there too. [Hint – don’t tell your pupil that you failed the CRB check]

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