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Wolford6

Education / Michael Gove

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Was it any worse than the supercilious smirk constantly worn by Gove? 

 

 

Couldn't agree more. At one time this morning he referred to his own "humble background" .... which, according to Wikipedia comprises public school, President of the Oxford Union and Deputy Editor of the Times. I think he lives in an upper class dream world that he regards as being merely middle class.

 

However, his wife also works for the Times and, in fairness, seems like a nice person. She certainly feels no shame about publicly pricking his pompousness and delighting in his failings. If he's really as obnoxious as he comes across in interviews, he should be married to someone else. He seems to take it in good part, as it's been going on for several years.

As a result, I suspect that he's one of those blokes who disagrees with 90% of your politics but can be a good mate. I played rugby with and worked alongside quite a few blokes like that.

 

 

 

This morning Michael Gove was saying that current GCSE students don't get taught anything about the writings of Voltaire and Diderot!!!.

I can't think why the interviewer didn't ask him  if he sends his own kids to state school and whether he discusses the tenets of basic classic philosophy with them. Then ask him for an interview with the kids. I think he would have declined but with a smile.

 

Do you think that Miliband is the sort of bloke who can quite unselfconsciously laugh at himself? I'm afraid I don't.

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This morning Michael Gove was saying that current GCSE students don't get taught anything about the writings of Voltaire and Diderot!!!.

I can't think why the interviewer didn't ask him  if he sends his own kids to state school and whether he discusses the tenets of basic classic philosophy with them. Then ask him for an interview with the kids. I think he would have declined but with a smile.

 

Do you think that Miliband is the sort of bloke who can quite unselfconsciously laugh at himself? I'm afraid I don't.

Gove is possibly the worst education secretary I can remember, and he's up against some pretty stiff competition.

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Gove is possibly the worst education secretary I can remember, and he's up against some pretty stiff competition.

 

Nonsense.  Anyone who can base their entire policy on polls commissioned by UK Gold and Premier Inn is a genius.

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I agree! He's obviously doing a good job when he has so called teachers up in arms! The problems in education fall at the feet of the teacher of this nation, but its always someone elses fault! The vast majority, I'm sure, are good people. The loud, vocal, opinionated large minority are a disgrace to their profession, and imo responsible, in part, for many of the social problems in this country!

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I agree! He's obviously doing a good job when he has so called teachers up in arms! The problems in education fall at the feet of the teacher of this nation, but its always someone elses fault! The vast majority, I'm sure, are good people. The loud, vocal, opinionated large minority are a disgrace to their profession, and imo responsible, in part, for many of the social problems in this country!

So, doing a good job means alienating the people who are delivering your policies rather than working with them? I'm not a teacher but I can see that successive governments have forced wildly contradicting systems on the profession to the point where no-one really knows what the hell is going on.

Gove's "return to the 1950s" attacks based on rote learning, rigorous teaching and "proper grammar" wouldn't be quite so bad if he himself didn't make so many errors and actually bothered to check facts when he makes his pronouncements.

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If Miliband is Little Lord Fauntleroy, then Michael Gove is Bertie Wooster.

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So, doing a good job means alienating the people who are delivering your policies rather than working with them? I'm not a teacher but I can see that successive governments have forced wildly contradicting systems on the profession to the point where no-one really knows what the hell is going on.

Gove's "return to the 1950s" attacks based on rote learning, rigorous teaching and "proper grammar" wouldn't be quite so bad if he himself didn't make so many errors and actually bothered to check facts when he makes his pronouncements.

If at the next election a party promises to do nothing with education other than ensure it is adequately funded they will get my vote. What the teaching profession needs more than anything else is at least 10 interference free years to enable one single system to become established instead of the content tinkering.

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Over the past dozen years, I have had at least half a dozen A level students come and do part time clerical work for me.

 

I certainly don't think that we can allow schoolteachers to carry on under the current system for an uninterrupted ten year period. The students leave school with a woefully limited vocabulary and wholly inadequate understanding of the standards required of them in a professional working environment.

 

As if the standard of their typed work wasn't bad enough, when collating reports they are prepared to try and sneak in out-of-line photocopies and punched sheets rather than do them again.

They just love me when I spot such issues, rip the offending sheets in half in front of them and say "Shred these and do them again properly. This is a business not a fourth form O Level project. You're getting an adult wage so do an adult's job". :dry:

 

Without exception, they have a limited knowledge of grammar and can't spell to save their lives. If they annotate diagrams or photos, I have to tell them to type it all in capitals, because they can never work out which individual words are normally written with a capital first letter. Then I have to inspect their spelling before I let the documents be printed and photocopied. This includes the ones doing English A Level.

 

I'm a ponderous two-finger typist so try to dictate whilst the assistant types. The current incumbent used to habitually: -

 - phonetically (mis)type a word that I had dictated and then automatically  just highlight it and click on "spellcheck"

 - receive on screen a list of suggestion-words that in any case didn't relate to the correct word but to the mistyped one

 - because her vocabulary is so limited, she'd then just replace the misspelt word with the nearest suggestion-word that sounded nearly the same.

 - the result was utter gobbledegook but she was  not bright enough and not interested enough to realise this.

 

After a year, she's getting much better, but I don't see why I should have to do the job that her teachers should have done by the time she was fifteen.

 

I seriously think that the government should incorporate crosswords into the English syllabus on the national curriculum. It would improve the students' collective vocabulary and can be done whilst  simultaneously watching Hollyoaks on the the telly and texting a circle of half a dozen friends.

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If Miliband is Little Lord Fauntleroy, then Michael Gove is Bertie Wooster.

 

gove_michael_pob.jpg

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Over the past dozen years, I have had at least half a dozen A level students come and do part time clerical work for me.

 

I certainly don't think that we can allow schoolteachers to carry on under the current system for an uninterrupted ten year period. The students leave school with a woefully limited vocabulary and wholly inadequate understanding of the standards required of them in a professional working environment.

 

As if the standard of their typed work wasn't bad enough, when collating reports they are prepared to try and sneak in out-of-line photocopies and punched sheets rather than do them again.

They just love me when I spot such issues, rip the offending sheets in half in front of them and say "Shred these and do them again properly. This is a business not a fourth form O Level project. You're getting an adult wage so do an adult's job". :dry:

 

Without exception, they have a limited knowledge of grammar and can't spell to save their lives. If they annotate diagrams or photos, I have to tell them to type it all in capitals, because they can never work out which individual words are normally written with a capital first letter. Then I have to inspect their spelling before I let the documents be printed and photocopied. This includes the ones doing English A Level.

 

I'm a ponderous two-finger typist so try to dictate whilst the assistant types. The current incumbent used to habitually: -

 - phonetically (mis)type a word that I had dictated and then automatically  just highlight it and click on "spellcheck"

 - receive on screen a list of suggestion-words that in any case didn't relate to the correct word but to the mistyped one

 - because her vocabulary is so limited, she'd then just replace the misspelt word with the nearest suggestion-word that sounded nearly the same.

 - the result was utter gobbledegook but she was  not bright enough and not interested enough to realise this.

 

After a year, she's getting much better, but I don't see why I should have to do the job that her teachers should have done by the time she was fifteen.

 

I seriously think that the government should incorporate crosswords into the English syllabus on the national curriculum. It would improve the students' collective vocabulary and can be done whilst  simultaneously watching Hollyoaks on the the telly and texting a circle of half a dozen friends.

After reading the first line I was about to jump to the defence of school leavers but your post is spot on. The school leavers we are seeing are better at independent study and critical thinking than in the past but on the whole the standard of English is appalling. Basic sentence syntax, paragraph structure, inability to write in the passive voice, limited vocabulary are common traits we see. I don't mind the students making use of automatic spell checker because it is a valuable tool, especially for dyslexic people.

(I really hope there aren't many spelling and grammar errors in this post  :ph34r: )

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Over the past dozen years, I have had at least half a dozen A level students come and do part time clerical work for me.

 

I certainly don't think that we can allow schoolteachers to carry on under the current system for an uninterrupted ten year period.

 

 

We have found that people who were predominantly schooled after the introduction of SATs have poorer critical thinking skills and need to be spoon fed much more.  Our joiners tend to be 25 and up though, so a bit older than you're talking about.

 

That said, we don't expect young joiners to be fully capable from the start.  One of the problems we have in this country is that we assume someone fresh out of school is the finished article and berate them for not being what we expect.   I think back in the day a 15 year old kid getting his first job would have been treated as a 15 year old kid and be expected to spend years learning the ropes, rather than understand immediately what was required. 

 

There is a long and distinguished historical literature of people complaining that young people are uneducated and schools are failing.   People forget all too easily what a muppet they were when they were 16.

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After a year, she's getting much better, but I don't see why I should have to do the job that her teachers should have done by the time she was fifteen.

 

Because that's how the world works.  Young people aren't the finished article when they're dropped into the world of work.

 

Perhaps you should just hire someone older with more experience, if that's what you actually need.

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Over the past dozen years, I have had at least half a dozen A level students come and do part time clerical work for me.

 

I certainly don't think that we can allow schoolteachers to carry on under the current system for an uninterrupted ten year period. The students leave school with a woefully limited vocabulary and wholly inadequate understanding of the standards required of them in a professional working environment.

 

As if the standard of their typed work wasn't bad enough, when collating reports they are prepared to try and sneak in out-of-line photocopies and punched sheets rather than do them again.

They just love me when I spot such issues, rip the offending sheets in half in front of them and say "Shred these and do them again properly. This is a business not a fourth form O Level project. You're getting an adult wage so do an adult's job". :dry:

 

Without exception, they have a limited knowledge of grammar and can't spell to save their lives. If they annotate diagrams or photos, I have to tell them to type it all in capitals, because they can never work out which individual words are normally written with a capital first letter. Then I have to inspect their spelling before I let the documents be printed and photocopied. This includes the ones doing English A Level.

 

I'm a ponderous two-finger typist so try to dictate whilst the assistant types. The current incumbent used to habitually: -

 - phonetically (mis)type a word that I had dictated and then automatically  just highlight it and click on "spellcheck"

 - receive on screen a list of suggestion-words that in any case didn't relate to the correct word but to the mistyped one

 - because her vocabulary is so limited, she'd then just replace the misspelt word with the nearest suggestion-word that sounded nearly the same.

 - the result was utter gobbledegook but she was  not bright enough and not interested enough to realise this.

 

After a year, she's getting much better, but I don't see why I should have to do the job that her teachers should have done by the time she was fifteen.

 

I seriously think that the government should incorporate crosswords into the English syllabus on the national curriculum. It would improve the students' collective vocabulary and can be done whilst  simultaneously watching Hollyoaks on the the telly and texting a circle of half a dozen friends.

 

Yeah I'll bet they do, great man management there, bet they really respect you for your no-nonsense style

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Because that's how the world works.  Young people aren't the finished article when they're dropped into the world of work.

 

Perhaps you should just hire someone older with more experience, if that's what you actually need.

 

Yeah, but he might have to pay them a bit more.  :O

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Yeah I'll bet they do, great man management there, bet they really respect you for your no-nonsense style

 

 

They actually do appreciate it. I'm not an ogre and berating people is not my default position; I only resort to it in exasperation when advising has no effect. I've never had anyone walk out (though there have been tears) and I've only ever sacked one ... for continually not turning up. The rest have carried on until they went to college or got a job, and quite often they then ask if a friend can take their place.

Even now, they ring me up and ask if they can give my name as a reference.

 

I'm not pretending that my attitude would have been any different from theirs if I'd had the same education as them, but I didn't. We were imbued with a sense of discipline and plain speaking was the norm.

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They actually do appreciate it. I'm not an ogre and berating people is not my default position; I only resort to it in exasperation when advising has no effect. I've never had anyone walk out (though there have been tears) and I've only ever sacked one ... for continually not turning up. The rest have carried on until they went to college or got a job, and quite often they then ask if a friend can take their place.

Even now, they ring me up and ask if they can give my name as a reference.

 

I'm not pretending that my attitude would have been any different from theirs if I'd had the same education as them, but I didn't. We were imbued with a sense of discipline and plain speaking was the norm.

 

You really don't understand how things have changed. This is why people have asked for ten years free from government meddling. We can't keep up with the  changes. I have just had an induction session on Safeguarding Children. Among many other things, I was told that I should not allow myself to be alone in a room with a girl pupil (impossible! After the end of school bell, a girl knocked on the door and entered to apologise for missing the lesson. I was alone in the room with her. What should I do? Jump out of the f-ing window?), not to sit 'side by side' when explaining something, but to sit 'round the corner of the desk' and 'keep both hands above the desk', never, under any circumstances, to offer comfort or sympathy in the form of an 'arm round the shoulder' to any pupil, even if the pupil is crying because he/she has fallen and hurt themself. Honestly! I don't recognise this job from the one I left 14 years ago, let alone the one I joined 36 years ago.

 

I'm sorry, Wolford. I enjoy reading your posts. I even get where you are coming from on some of your more outrageous posts. But you don't get it on education. The 'powers that be' dictate the agenda. Grammar is not on that agenda. GCSE passes are. You're intelligent, work it out, mate.

 

edit to add "even if the pupil is crying because he/she has fallen and hurt themself"

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For Wolford, re Grammar.

 

I think grammar is important, but like you, I am a dying breed. I believe that I have an excellent understanding of grammar and I would like to think that I could pass it on. However, I am swimming against the tide.

 

Think back thirty years. Most newspapers used correct grammar. The Guardian was ridiculed for its erratic spelling (typesetting rather than journalistic errors), but its grammar was good. The BBC presenters/announcers/newsreaders invariably used precise grammar. Now compare that to today. Even with wordprocessors pointing out errors of both spelling and grammar, our newspapers are riddled with both types of mistake. I have listened to BBC presenters on the radio using erroneous forms of the perfect tense, for example "I have wrote to the manager", and cringed. That usage is dialect, I know, but the BBC should use the correct form of "I have written to the manager". Sometimes, I could scream! But it wouldn't change anything.

 

Teachers are far from perfect, but we are a lot better than the media portray us. I think we are like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dyke, trying to hold back the tide. And do you know what? The government and its constant change are part of the tide.

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. But you don't get it on education. The 'powers that be' dictate the agenda. Grammar is not on that agenda. GCSE passes are. You're intelligent, work it out, mate.

 

I  have worked it out. Time to change GCSE's.

 

Make kids realise that they are in education so that they can get a job  or get into university. I took one seventeen-year-old girl who had left the sixth form before A levels to switch to a vocational course (social-work I think) at Bradford College. She said she didn't like her course and actually wanted to work in forensic science. She hadn't even got a decent GCSE Science qualification, so I got her look up the entry requirements on the internet. It was obvious she couldn't get in. She ended up, like so many, on the agency-worker grind, working primarily as a call-centre worker. She's about twenty two now and has had a baby so she will struggle to start a proper career for another few years. 

 

I don't know whether the education system let her down or whether she let down the education system but, either way the system failed.

 

 

There was one idiot on breakfast tv yesterday saying that the current teaching system, whilst not reinforcing  grammar, allowed children a greater 'freedom of expression'. Well, as far as I am concerned, and it no doubt applies to everyone else who these kids are hoping will offer them a job, their first priority is to do my work properly to a professional standard and then they can express themselves in their own time.

 

If they can't do basic office work, they shouldn't expect to get a job. Not unless it's as a free-form journalist, poet and author ... and, fair play, there's always hundreds of those vacancies advertised every week in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus.

 

 

If expressing yourself is so vital to the current teaching regime, how come all the great writers  managed to do so despite having the crippling handicap of a traditional education?

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So, doing a good job means alienating the people who are delivering your policies rather than working with them? I'm not a teacher but I can see that successive governments have forced wildly contradicting systems on the profession to the point where no-one really knows what the hell is going on.

This is just it.

 

The government created a national curriculum to make sure that all schools taught more or less the same things. This was "a good thing".

 

Then a later government decided that the national curriculum didn't work and thus allowed some schools to opt out of it. This was "a good thing".

 

All schools must follow the national curriculum which is vital and necessary except for those schools who don't follow it for vital and necessary reasons.

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Because that's how the world works.  Young people aren't the finished article when they're dropped into the world of work.

 

Perhaps you should just hire someone older with more experience, if that's what you actually need.

Obviously they aren't. You don't expect schools to teach kids how to work the office photocopier but basic spelling and grammar should be the responsibility of the education system not the employer.

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I'm completely convinced that school leaver standards are the fault of government interference, for the reasons listed above, and parents with teachers having a secondary responsibility.  As a child, I was encouraged at home to read and there was a definite involvement in my education rather than a complete abdication of responsibility to the school as I've seen some parents do now.

 

There's a new school near us that was one of only three built by the Labour initiative (can't remember the name if it) to provide top end educational facilities.  That was canned immediately by the Tories.  The school is an utter marvel with everything you could possibly want from a sixth-form college.  The science labs are fantastic, the facilities were future-proofed for 10+ years to allow quick upgrading for new technologies, they even have a mechanical engineering workshop with equipment that many good garages would envy.  The only thing that hinders the school is that the management are given conflicting directions from central government and council level so often that they cannot plan for an entire academic year without major disruption.  I genuinely think that if the school were left alone for a few years that they'd be providing school leavers with a skill set that would be the envy of Britain.  One of their senior teachers said to me just after it opened that his greatest concern for leavers is that they'd be going to universities that had generations old facilities and the students could be disillusioned by their quality.

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I  have worked it out. Time to change GCSE's.

 

Make kids realise that they are in education so that they can get a job  or get into university. I took one seventeen-year-old girl who had left the sixth form before A levels to switch to a vocational course (social-work I think) at Bradford College. She said she didn't like her course and actually wanted to work in forensic science. She hadn't even got a decent GCSE Science qualification, so I got her look up the entry requirements on the internet. It was obvious she couldn't get in. She ended up, like so many, on the agency-worker grind, working primarily as a call-centre worker. She's about twenty two now and has had a baby so she will struggle to start a proper career for another few years. 

 

I don't know whether the education system let her down or whether she let down the education system but, either way the system failed.

 

 

There was one idiot on breakfast tv yesterday saying that the current teaching system, whilst not reinforcing  grammar, allowed children a greater 'freedom of expression'. Well, as far as I am concerned, and it no doubt applies to everyone else who these kids are hoping will offer them a job, their first priority is to do my work properly to a professional standard and then they can express themselves in their own time.

 

If they can't do basic office work, they shouldn't expect to get a job. Not unless it's as a free-form journalist, poet and author ... and, fair play, there's always hundreds of those vacancies advertised every week in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus.

 

 

If expressing yourself is so vital to the current teaching regime, how come all the great writers  managed to do so despite having the crippling handicap of a traditional education?

 

Thanks for the response, Wolford. I agree with much of what you say, though I would say that "expressing yourself" is a skill people need, for example, in a job interview, but they also need to know and understand the structure and meanings within our language.

 

As far as the girl who wanted to work in forensic science goes, I do wonder how she has come to have such a mismatch between expectation and ability. I guess she's now had the reality check she needed.

 

Finally, you say "Time to change GCSEs" and I wouldn't disagree, but I would advise caution on time scale. Too often, such changes have been rushed in before their failings have been discovered. Perhaps it is time to start planning for a change to be implemented in 5 to 10 years time. Get it right first, then put it out there. (I do understand that there are reasons to rush such changes through - today's 16 year-olds deserve to have the chance of an improved GCSE just as much as the 16 year-olds in 5-10 years.)

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Because that's how the world works.  Young people aren't the finished article when they're dropped into the world of work.

 

Perhaps you should just hire someone older with more experience, if that's what you actually need.

Last week a young woman in front of me in the queue in the butchers was asking for directions on how to get to 'a big building called the White Something'

We suggested what we could but she had little else to give us a clue, and nothing written down

Finally we worked out it was a pub in a village 3 miles away, so I walked her to the bus station and put her on a bus that went past the door

She was in the wrong town, didnt know the name of the right town or how to get there or the name of her potential employer. Nothing like being prepared for an interview...

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As far as the girl who wanted to work in forensic science goes, I do wonder how she has come to have such a mismatch between expectation and ability. I guess she's now had the reality check she needed.

Blame CSI.

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Last week a young woman in front of me in the queue in the butchers was asking for directions on how to get to 'a big building called the White Something'

We suggested what we could but she had little else to give us a clue, and nothing written down

Finally we worked out it was a pub in a village 3 miles away, so I walked her to the bus station and put her on a bus that went past the door

She was in the wrong town, didnt know the name of the right town or how to get there or the name of her potential employer. Nothing like being prepared for an interview...

 

That reminds me of the time years ago when I was walking to the Blue Pits Inn in Castleton, Rochdale. This car pulled up and the driver asked me where the Cheshire Cheese Inn was. I thought to myself that I'd heard of that but not in Castleton - then it came to me.

I hope his date didn't mind waiting for an hour or so for him to drive to Castleton, Derbyshire!

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