Skip to content

Well, yes Sir Simon

It is almost unbelievable that the secondary curriculum and teaching methods have changed little since Charles Dickens’ Hard Times. Educational research now stresses the need to prepare young people in creativity and teamwork, in physical and mental fitness, and in skills relevant to the modern world of work – and play.

It’s just that all the educational research is done by those who ascribe to the more fatuous of the lefty shibboleths about hildren, the mind and humans. Tabula Rasa and all that. There’s not a single conservative anywhere in educational academia – or at lesat I’m willing to be there isn’t.

16 thoughts on “Well, yes Sir Simon”

  1. Look at Primary school classes. Children in clusters around a table. The unlucky ines have to twist around to see the teacher, who at all times should be the centre of their attention.

    No wonder everyone since the 1970s has grown up to be a homicidal maniac or sexual deviant.

  2. It is almost unbelievable that the secondary curriculum and teaching methods have changed little since Charles Dickens’ Hard Times

    It is unbelievable, because it’s bullshit.

    Victorian schools provided a much higher standard of education than most universities today.

    One of the reasons things don’t work very well in our country anymore is due to the ongoing decline in the average IQ.

    We is dehellenising innit.

  3. Elderly left-wing would-be polymath reads something that doesn’t need a lot of technical knowledge, cobbles together some opinions, sounds off.

  4. Bboy – no, the beatings were incidental and just to prove they love you.

    The reason education used to work was because our society used to set high standards in everything, respected knowledge rather than the appearance of knowledge, and was highly intolerant of incompetence or failure.

    Used to.

  5. Spot-on, Steve. They can criticize the old “rote learning” all they like, but my grandparents could tell you what river every town in Britain stood on, its principal industries and prominent landmarks, right off the top of their heads. Now, it might be argued that this is of less practical use than reading, writing, and arithmetic (although they were far better at those – especially the second two – than most people today as well), but I’d counter that they knew their country. Even if these working-class Glaswegians never once visited Exeter, for example, they knew that it was founded by the Romans, that it’s the county-town of Devon, that it stands on the Exe, and could find it on a map. It strikes me that Strictly and Corrie are poor substitutes for engendering a sense of national identity and cohesion, let alone a respect for knowledge for its own sake.

  6. “Last month’s parliamentary report on the content of schooling was devastating. Former education secretary Kenneth Baker highlighted a collapse in technical subjects of between 70% and 80% in the last 13 years, while creative subjects such as drama, performing arts, music and dance had dropped by 50%. Fewer than half of children do enough sport, while obesity soars. As for knowledge of money, civics, law, health and social skills, forget it.”

    Maybe we don’t need schools doing a lot of the things they do. There are more kids learning to play musical instruments than ever. YouTube tutorials, cheap instruments. And why do schools need to do sport? It’s not like we need armies of pro footballers. Just, kicking a ball around in the park is fun and gives kids exercise.

    As for the mental health thing, that’s mostly about raising the age of school leaving, the age of fags and being tougher on shops. A lot of kids find teenage life and school pointless and only work or babies restores that. Benson and Hedges used to get a lot of them through it.

  7. “ It is almost unbelievable that the secondary curriculum and teaching methods have changed little since Charles Dickens’ …”

    Well they certainly have changed significantly since my school days in the 1950s & 60s.

    Conservatism – small or big ‘c’ – is about keeping what works, what gives best results consistently, and ditching what gives poor outcomes.

    Leftism is about replacing what gives consistent best outcomes with what gives consistant poor outcomes and calling it ‘progressive’.

    Their excuses: needs more money spent; needs more effort; needs more time. Progressivism is the ultimate unfalsifiable doctrine.

  8. It’s really stark how The Left has seized language and manipulated it for their own ends. Over a century ago “progessiveism” was a conservative philosophy. Keep what works, test new ideas, find what works, carefully advance forwards. Now it is: throw away everything, adopt stuff untried and untested, complain that The Man is stopping it working when it fails, double down on the untested and unworking.

  9. Sam – also practical skills.

    A schoolboy circa 1955 could probably fix a bike, build a model aeroplane, and read a map correctly without parental assistance.

    Kids these days are stumped as soon as the wireless goes off.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    Look at Primary school classes. Children in clusters around a table. The unlucky ines have to twist around to see the teacher, who at all times should be the centre of their attention..

    I wonder how private prep schools teach the little ones? I wouldn’t be surprised if they still have them sitting in rows.

  11. “And why do schools need to do sport? It’s not like we need armies of pro footballers.”

    School instilled a lifelong loathing of football into me, so not doing that might help with kids not doing enough sport. You know, just not teaching them to hate it.

  12. ‘A schoolboy circa 1955 could probably fix a bike…’

    No probably about it Steve, especially map reading. Sixty years later I still love the old Ornance Survey maps, still know every symbol and can set off the contours to get a cross-section of the terrain just as we were taught in Langley Avenue junior school. Teaching the grandbairn how to do it now, it’s a delight to see her realising she’s mastered something.

  13. This schoolboy circa 1985 can and has fixed a bike, read – and drawn – maps, built a table, laid a floor, plastered a wall, bodged a leaking roof long enough for a builder to fix it properly.

  14. You can’t teach creativity and team work. For a start creative people are rarely team players.

    But more importantly, such soft skills are subject dependent. A creative mathematician requires a lot of maths first. A creative dramatist needs to be able to write effectively. If you want to stifle creativity, then make sure no-one is good at anything.

    And nothing, but nothing, is worse than having a team member that knows nothing. They are just dead weight.

    Knowledge precedes everything useful.

    If we can teach “creativity” and “team work” then why not just leap ahead and teach:
    — intelligence
    — wisdom
    — wit
    — mental healthiness?
    That would be much more helpful.

    Why is it that some soft skills are clearly not teachable, but others are deemed “essential”?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *