Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Give It A Rest

In November, you may have recognised a hint of my exasperation what passes for schooling in Puddlecoteville.

As a parent, I am already fully aware of the lackadaisical approach of the state to schooling. Without my intervention, the little Puddlecotes' (by no means dull kids) would quite simply not be fully conversant with their times tables. Other kids in their respective classes aren't because the teaching is expected to be done by the parents during homework whilst more important matters are injected at school. Both little Puddlecotes' (taught in different schools within one LEA) can tell you all about Nelson Mandela, the religious festivals of Islam, the number of chemicals in a cigarette, the effects of alcohol on the body (science class), and most of all, environmental issues.

They haven't been taught capital cities yet, though.

In the last couple of months, the boy has been to the town centre on a school trip to pick up litter to help the environment, the girl has come home after a lesson on water preservation with a bag for the toilet cistern. She has also had a lesson whereby the kids were told to write a letter to the local MP asking for measures to save the planet and she keeps turning the heating off after being told that our staying warm kills people in Africa. Similarly, when I last told the boy to turn the light off when he leaves a room, he eagerly said he had been taught about that at school. "It's to cut down on gas in the air, isn't it Daddy?", he enthusiastically volunteered, "No, it's to bloody save money", said I. And don't get me started on the guilt-laden school concert songs, or choice of non-religious carols for the upcoming Christmas play.

By way of consolation, the elder of the two has just started to learn about the Romans.

By way of update, yesterday the boy described a book his class were reading:

"There's these girls and they have to walk 300 miles and they have to avoid the nasty men who are out to get them"

I hazarded a guess. "Are the girls black?" I asked, yes came the reply, "and are the nasty men white by any chance?", you know the answer. The girl, who is a year older (and attends a different school), piped up excitedly that her class had read that book too - she helpfully informed us that it's called Journey to Jo'burg.

Now, it's no doubt a well-written and heart-warming story, but the constant forceful injection of Guardianista pet fascinations is starting to be very wearing.

Then today the girl, who usually cops a deaf 'un to any talk radio channel, jumped to turn up the volume when weapons grade cocktrumpet, Billy Bragg, who was being interviewed about his weekend gobshitery, mentioned Benjamin Zephaniah - "we're learning about him at school!", she shrieked. Of course she is.

Opening the boy's bag on reaching home, a missive from his school informed me of his curriculum for this term. Including such vital educational cornerstones as ...

Geography: The topic this term is about life in Chembakolli Village in India. We will be using maps to make comparisons and identify features. We investigate Indian patterns in Art.

ICT: The children will learn to use Dazzle to create patterns with symmetry and to use ICT to design Indian patterns.

RE: We will be studying Hinduism, festivals and imagery.

It never ceases.

Meanwhile, I pay a tutor for weekly top ups to their maths so they can FUCKING ADD UP, TAKE AWAY, DIVIDE AND MULTIPLY PROPERLY!

We pay £3,780 per annum for each primary school kid in the country to be taught in the image of an Islington mung bean muncher.

Can't they give it a fucking rest?


Cold Steel Rain said...

Not quite the 'Education Education Education' we were promised..

More Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer

JuliaM said...

Oh, you're gonna love this then... ;)

Reason said...

Are the teachers female?

Demetrius said...

Does the teaching on alcohol I wonder tell them what a marvellous anti-microbial whisky is, how well it guards against tooth decay, and how it curtails IBS arising from food flavourings and enhancers? Also in all the stuff on India are they told about how the Brit's rescued many of the great works of Indian literature from destruction?

troposphere said...

Blame Gramsci. His is the shade investing all this cultural hegemony stuff.

1. Feminism

Make the women go out to work. Not just middle class ones who want a career at the BBC, but, and most especially, the others, who are thereby condemned to boring and low-paid jobs. This has several effects of value to the Marxists. It increases commodity prices, since two wages now take the place of one. (Housing has become especially expensive since 1970, when feminism took off in Britain and the U.S.). It eventually forces the majority of women out to work, since one wage no longer cuts the mustard. This undermines the family and shifts emphasis for childcare to the state. (I cannot think of any government initiatives sinces 1970 which encourage the nuclear family: the opposite, in fact.) It also makes the family budget much more vulnerable to unemployment and infirmity, reducing one's independence and ensuring that the elderly have no one but the state to look after them.

2. Political correctness

Gramsci's chief contribution: a construct of sheer genius, combining language and peer-pressure to weaken thought, independence, and hence the fabric of society itself.

3. Destruction of culture and history

Gramsci and his disciples were adamant that teachers should be the first to be subverted, and that those teachers should then use their positions to undermine the enemy culture. No subject was regarded as exempt, but history, above all, was seen as the most important rampart to be felled. He regarded a sense of national history as gravely inimical to the plan. British teacher training colleges, as well as our other seats of tertiary education, were targeted by the Soviets from the late 60s.

The idea was to soften us up before a military strike. The fall of the Wall removed the military threat; but the cultural war still goes on. Your kids are on the front line. I suggest you get them out of that sewer and teach them at home (though home teaching is now under attack as well).

Paranoid? Reds under the bed? Jack Jones was in the pay of the KGB, FFS. Which Labour and "Conservative" politicians, in various governments from 1945 to 2010, were/are closet Marxists? Where to begin the list?

JJ said...

We couldn’t wait for the comp to be completed in 1962, after all, our secondary modern school was somewhat old fashioned wasn’t it…with old ideas about teaching, and even though we were perfectly happy there…this was going to be a bright new future. It was so exciting, and indeed it was a first rate school…it had every possible teaching facility that one could wish for. What could go wrong?

I spent a very happy four years there…but I only managed poor grade CSEs (Certificate of Secondary Education), because a proper set curriculum had yet to be worked out…and wouldn’t appear for several years. Naturally these qualifications were of no help when I left in ’66.
Some blame Shirley Williams for the comprehensive system, but in fact it was already up and running by them, Williams didn’t become education secretary until 1976.

For me education - wise the sixties spawned a maggot pile that’s got bigger more rotten and stinking ever since. Trendy teachers with their trendy new methods meant that you weren’t being taught subjects in a way that would prove useful in later working life. Unnecessary tinkering by education fashionistas succeeded in damaging the future prospects of generations to come.

Of course what was developing back then was a fledgling politically correct culture that would dominate to this very day.

Your post DP…exemplifies the culmination of that maggot pile of left-wing idealism spawned all those years ago.

Man with Many Chins said...

Oh dont even get me fucking started.

I had this very same argument with my wife last night. My 7 year old sun gets about 3 bits of homework to do.
He only turned 7 just before xmas so he is still in infants school.

As far as I am concerned, a child this age should be playing when they get home (learn through play), rather than me doing the overpaid wankers jobs for them at home.

They even sent him home with a propaganda book from the Princes trust about global warming. He was quite upset when I recycled it, but I told him it was full of 50% lies and 50% half truths.

Dick Puddlecote said...

CSR: Feels like that sometimes, hence this post.

Julia: No, I didn't ;-)

Reason: I reckon about 90% in both schools, but the boy's teacher wasn't female last year and the girl's is male this year. I understand your thinking but unfortunately the problem is deeper than that.

Demetrius: There is no value in balanced views these days, silly.

Troposhere: Not 'up' on Gramsci, but experience of state education tells me I should look him up.

JJ: I went to the same primary school as the girl but wasn't aware of anything untoward in the 70s. Having said that, I raced through the place and was eventually removed by Mr Puddlecote Snr in favour of a governor's (ie free) prep school place as he didn't think my education was going anywhere.

MWMC: Been there, done that. :-(

Anonymous said...

French school history text books describe the battle of Trafalgar as,
"A minor naval engagement".
I saw a French TV documanetry that practically showed the Brit position there as war criminals.
Now that we are in the EU I have a feeling it will not be touched upon at school.
I remember how pliable I was as a small child.
But I remember how I questioned the rubbish when I reached my mid teens.
Ah, conformity to "SAFETY PINS" !
Will this generation rebel ?
I hope so, I really do.

Letters From A Tory said...

Never underestimate the power of a socialist government to screw up every single child's education.

Command and control, that's the name of the game.

Reason said...

I agree that the problem is much deeper. A “Gender Inequality Balance” of 90:10 cannot be helpful.

Dick the Prick said...

@Demetrius - whiskey sorts out tooth decay!!! That fucking explains it. I smoke filterless rollies but with the guilt that I may get smokers teeth (which are bloody horrid) but so far have been booted out of the dentist with not so much as a by your leave. I just thought I was lucky but no, the booze saved me again - hurray!

troposphere said...

@Dick P -- Antonio Gramsci is the fellow. I forgot to mention multiculturalism, another one of his ideas.

Worth looking into; could make an informative post for those wondering WTF is going on! See also "Frankfurt School" and "neo-Gramscianism".

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, I pay a tutor for weekly top ups to their maths so they can FUCKING ADD UP, TAKE AWAY, DIVIDE AND MULTIPLY PROPERLY!

You too huh?