Sunday, May 25, 2008

Silly Suggestions in the Times

Janey Lee Grace reports that she isn't quoted accurately in this piece in the Times, but she still comes across well, unlike Mr Smithers who fails to think through the consequences by suggesting that the government should legislate to ensure that HEors teach the National Curriculum and are inspected, presumably by Ofsted.

Ok, Mr Smithers, so tell us this? When the National Curriculum does not suit a child, whether that child is in school or at home, who will be held responsible for failing to educate that child appropriately?


Ruth said...

Let's face it Prof Smithers has probably never had a job in the real world. His whole career, his very image of himself is built on the premiss that the school system is THE way to educate children. HE challenges that so it threatens him and his precious status as an 'education expert'. How can his expertise mean anything if parents can do better than schools with no training at all?!

Every child who succeeds through HE is a threat so any who stand out academically by starting university early MUST be labelled as socially maladjusted little freaks who won't be able to cope in the real world (maybe Smithers is projecting a little bit?)

If you check his Wikipeadia page (a self written puff piece if ever I saw one) you'll see that he regards himself so highly that he doesn't bother to get his 'research' peer reviewed. Oh no, his words of wisdom [snerk] are so valuable that they must be rushed to the media without delay!

Looks like the Times just called up a rent a quote they had on file under 'education' and asked him what he thought of homeschooling [sic].

Anonymous said...

How funny! Well it would be if it wasn't supposed to be good journalism. 'Whatever you do don't consider educating your children after 11.' Having just helped my 12 year old draw up a revision timetable for next 2 weeks I've been thinking how miserable all the testing is and what I would like to do is exactly that - home educate after 11! Shame the child doesn't agree.
Interesting reference though is bitesize revision which has revision notes, tests and games for all nc stages. Interesting if you want to see what the poor mites are cramming. I also can see how that kind of mass standardisation could drive average scores up albeit in a very circumscribed way. Rather scary really thinking of millions of kids all logged on learning exactly the same things at the same time. yuk


Carlotta said...

Hi S,

Yeah, I agree - the Beeb site is invaluable for checking up what schools would be doing I think, though we actually use it fairly infrequently.

I suspect your 11 plus is in an almost unique position of not being compromised by school education, given that she is offered real choices, has the real opportunity to be truth-seeking and is provided with great information at home. I'd actually be very happy if we could achieve that, but suspect that your secondary is less of a hell-hole than ours.

re: driving up standards, yes, I think your right re the effect of cramming the same set of information into all pupils.

There's also the travesty of the SATS results which inspector John Bald refers in post above. Do you see this fiddling with results, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

yes indeed, I would use the bitesize infrequently to say the least if they were h.e.'d. I might just look at it for my own info I guess, out of interest, as you say. So glad you understood that is what I meant.

We've not used it before having done no cramming for SATS at all and of course offered them the opportuntiy to take a holiday instead of taking the SATS. This has always been declined.

Are they just conforming as a way of rebelling? Or if you choose to be in the system is it easier to do lock, stock and barrel?