Coincidentally, if you can tear yourself away from your computers, there's a documentary at 9pm tonight on BBC2, Who Gets the Best Jobs?, which sounds very germane to the current discussion ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00yb5kv ).
PS note the text of the Google link I found for this: "Richard Bilton investigates how privilige effects [sic] access to professions in modern Britain".
Last edited by Neil Foxlee on Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift."
My greatest contribution to the nation's education was to fail to go into teaching after graduating from teacher training in the seventies.
" 'ardest game in the world, the old teachin' game."
At best I was going to be mediocre.......in fact I aspired to mediocrity, and I wasn't the worst. A lot worse than me took it up for a living and no doubt got away with it. Illich's Deschooling Society and Tools For Conviviality with their emphasis on the folly of our formal education set ups and on kids and adults not leading totally parallel lives was all the inspiration and excuse I needed to leave well alone.
Apologies to Hugh: you really have to do some reading on this forum (one of the reasons I like it) – and I find, on re-reading contributions, that I committed the sin of speed reading and missed sections that would have given me different conclusions.
Hugh, sorry again; and I can see where you’re coming from, believe me. I, too, have spent several internet sessions listening to Ken Robinson lectures on TED: indeed, I met the guy when I was working in Liverpool. I’m sure that Martin Owen will have had dealings with him as well. Lovely stuff and more than pertinent.
He always makes me think of a young guy I appointed to my Liverpool team. We were doing lots of multimedia stuff, circa early 90s, CD ROMs and, from the mid 90s, first-pass Web sites. We did the first crude Web templates for Liverpool and Everton football clubs. I interviewed him and gave him a little test – to come up with some visual animation that might work to explain Pythagoras’s Theorem. He did it brilliantly, a master already of the-then new toolsets but also a clearly gifted visual thinker. I then discovered, after the interview was over, that he hadn’t even finished his degree; and that he had a disastrous educational record. I learned later that he’d been told at school to ‘forget his fantasies and look for a job with Tescos’.
At that time, before the walls of reaction had totally closed in, I was still able to argue my point like mad with the Human Resources crowd; and simply overrule their bloody pedantic arguments about how he failed on all the criteria for the job (as a multimedia designer). I wanted him and I got him.
Because he was dyslexic and hopelessly illiterate at the conventional set of skills (he actually had problems spelling his own name), he was invisible at school, except as an irritant on the back row. No one noticed that he was stunningly gifted on the visual side; and it was only after he left school and went into FE that anyone saw anything of worth in him.
Of course he’s now highly successful. But he would certainly have not flourished in a Gove Academy; and he would have run a mile at the thought of studying Latin, Greek or even reading Philip Larkin and Yeats.
And yet his skills are absolutely apposite for today’s world. Which can only mean that today’s schools are addressing the needs of some, whilst ignoring those of others.