Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk > Religion, Politics and World Events
Reload this Page >

Do you think this UK government education bureaucrat should be fired?

Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film
View Poll Results: Do you think this UK government education bureaucrat should be fired?
Yes.
5
62.50%
No.
3
37.50%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

Do you think this UK government education bureaucrat should be fired?

Old 06-05-08, 08:02 AM
  #1  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 15,988
Do you think this UK government education bureaucrat should be fired?

I vote yes.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...s-adviser.html

Drop 'middle-class' academic subjects says schools adviser

By Laura Clark

Last updated at 12:06 AM on 04th June 2008

Children should no longer be taught traditional subjects at school because they are "middle-class" creations, a Government adviser will claim today.

Professor John White
, who contributed to a controversial shake-up of the secondary curriculum, believes lessons should instead cover a series of personal skills.

Pupils would no longer study history, geography and science but learn skills such as energy- saving and civic responsibility through projects and themes.

He will outline his theories at a conference today staged by London's Institute of Education - to which he is affiliated - to mark the 20th anniversary of the national curriculum.

Last night, critics attacked his ideas as "deeply corrosive" and condemned the Government for allowing him to advise on a new curriculum.

Professor White will claim ministers are already "moving in the right direction" towards realising his vision of replacing subjects with a series of personal aims for pupils.

But he says they must go further because traditional subjects were invented by the middle classes and are "mere stepping stones to wealth".

The professor believes the origins of our subject-based education system can be traced back to 19th century middle-class values.

While public schools focused largely on the classics, and elementary schools for the working class concentrated on the three Rs, middle-class schools taught a range of academic subjects.

These included English, maths, history, geography, science and Latin or a modern language.

They "fed into the idea of academic learning as the mark of a well-heeled middle- class", he said last night.

The Tories then attempted to impose these middle-class values by introducing a traditional subject-based curriculum in 1988.

But this "alienated many youngsters, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds", he claimed.

The professor, who specialises in philosophy of education, was a member of a committee set up to advise Government curriculum authors on changes to secondary schooling for 11 to 14-year-olds.

The reforms caused a row when they were unveiled last year for sidelining large swathes of subject content in favour of lessons on issues such as climate change and managing debt.

Professor White wants ministers to encourage schools to shift away from single-subject teaching to "theme or project-based learning".

Pupils would still cover some content but would be encouraged to meet a series of personal aims. The curriculum already states some of these but is "hampered" by the continued primacy of subjects.

The aims include fostering a model pupil who "values personal relationships, is a responsible and caring citizen, is entrepreneurial, able to manage risk and committed to sustainable development".

Critics claim theme-based work is distracting and can lead to gaps in pupils' knowledge.

Tory schools spokesman Nick Gibb said Professor White's view was "deeply corrosive". He added: "In the world we are living in, we need people who are better educated, not more poorly educated, more knowledgeable about the world, not less so.

"This anti-knowledge, anti-subject ideology is deeply damaging to our education system. It is this sort of thinking that has led to the promotion of discredited reading methods, the erosion of three separate sciences and the decline of mathematics skills.

"I just find it astonishing that someone with his extreme views has been allowed to advise the Government on education policy."
grundle is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 08:40 AM
  #2  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di Salò
Posts: 32,265
If the purposes of education (beyond merely knowing a bunch of stuff*) are to make people better citizens, self-sufficient, and productive members of the economy, then I don't necessarily see why what he's proposing is so clearly wrong. Is learning trigonometry inherently superior to learning how to balance a checkbook or figure out which automobile will be cheaper to operate annually? It sounds to me like the ideological agenda might obscure any potential benefit to this change.



* I work in higher ed, so I place great value on people knowing a lot of stuff just for the sake of it.
wendersfan is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 08:52 AM
  #3  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 15,988
Originally Posted by wendersfan
If the purposes of education (beyond merely knowing a bunch of stuff*) are to make people better citizens, self-sufficient, and productive members of the economy, then I don't necessarily see why what he's proposing is so clearly wrong. Is learning trigonometry inherently superior to learning how to balance a checkbook or figure out which automobile will be cheaper to operate annually? It sounds to me like the ideological agenda might obscure any potential benefit to this change.



* I work in higher ed, so I place great value on people knowing a lot of stuff just for the sake of it.

How can people learn how to protect the environment if they don't learn science first?
grundle is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 08:54 AM
  #4  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di Salò
Posts: 32,265
Originally Posted by grundle
How can people learn how to protect the environment if they don't learn science first?
It's possible they learn science along the way. The article wasn't really clear about this.
wendersfan is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 09:00 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
AGuyNamedMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: (formerly known as Inglenook Hampendick) Fairbanks, Alaska!
Posts: 15,070
So he wants to replace courses in reading, math, science, and history with what are essentially life-skills seminars, and hope the kids pick up the basics along the way? As we say down here, "Bless his heart."
AGuyNamedMike is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 09:07 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hero
 
CRM114's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 42,726
Originally Posted by grundle
How can people learn how to protect the environment if they don't learn science first?
How can people possibly learn -anything- without the Montessori method?

BTW, not that it matters, but the article doesn't say this person is a "bureaucrat" employed by the government. it appears he is a professor at the University of London who is merely advising as a committee member. I know it is totally off the wall to have varying opinions on advisory committees.

Last edited by CRM114; 06-05-08 at 09:10 AM.
CRM114 is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 09:42 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Hoboken, NJ
Posts: 3,068
I'm not a big fan of teaching history and such to elementary school kids. I'd much rather have them taught to solve problems creatively, etc.

I can't imagine why it's worthwhile to teach kids "disney history" when they're 8 or 9.
Birrman54 is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 10:51 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,814
Grundle, who is the bureaucrat who should be fired?

Also, I don't think he should be. He's offering an extreme view which shouldn't be adopted, but it is something worthwhile to think about.
The Bus is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 12:30 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 1,502
Originally Posted by grundle
I vote yes.
"
You believe someone should be fired for having an opinion and sharing it with others?

Also, does professor = bureaucrat?
pjflyer is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 02:53 PM
  #10  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 15,988
Originally Posted by wendersfan
It's possible they learn science along the way. The article wasn't really clear about this.
The article was very clear about this. It said:

Pupils would no longer study history, geography and science
I even bolded it in my first post.

How can they learn how to protect the environment if they are not learning science?
grundle is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 02:55 PM
  #11  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 15,988
Originally Posted by CRM114
How can people possibly learn -anything- without the Montessori method?

BTW, not that it matters, but the article doesn't say this person is a "bureaucrat" employed by the government. it appears he is a professor at the University of London who is merely advising as a committee member. I know it is totally off the wall to have varying opinions on advisory committees.
The first sentence, which I bolded, says that he is a "Government adviser."
grundle is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 02:56 PM
  #12  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 15,988
Originally Posted by The Bus
Grundle, who is the bureaucrat who should be fired?

Also, I don't think he should be. He's offering an extreme view which shouldn't be adopted, but it is something worthwhile to think about.

He's the person whose named I bolded.

What is "worthwhile" about not learning science?
grundle is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 02:58 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,814
Originally Posted by grundle
What is "worthwhile" about not learning science?
Using the same grundlelogic™, why is it not worthwhile to learn about how to efficiently use resources or be a responsible person?
The Bus is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 02:59 PM
  #14  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 15,988
Originally Posted by pjflyer
You believe someone should be fired for having an opinion and sharing it with others?

Also, does professor = bureaucrat?
He should be fired because he can only hurt the cause of education.

He's a bureaucrat because he's not doing anything to help with educating those students.
grundle is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 03:01 PM
  #15  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 15,988
Originally Posted by The Bus
Using the same grundlelogic™, why is it not worthwhile to learn about how to efficiently use resources or be a responsible person?
Those are good things.

But they should be taught in addition to science, not instead of science.
grundle is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 03:02 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,814
Wikipedia has bureaucrat as:

A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy, usually within an institution of the government. Bureaucrat jobs are often "desk jobs" (the French for desk being bureau).

The term "bureaucrat" today has largely accepted negative connotations, so those who are the members of a governmental bureaucracy usually prefer terms such as civil servant or public servant to describe their jobs. The negative connotation is fueled by the perception that bureaucrats lack creativity and autonomy.
Simply having a government job does not make you a bureaucrat.
The Bus is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 03:04 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,814
Originally Posted by grundle
Those are good things.

But they should be taught in addition to science, not instead of science.
Which is why I said it was worthwhile looking into it. For example, you stated this as one of your political positions:

Get the federal government out of health care and education. <a href="http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showpost.php?p=8726761&postcount=68">[source]</a>
I don't think that's a good idea, but it is worth looking into, because there are some areas where less government intrusion would be useful.
The Bus is offline  
Old 06-05-08, 03:09 PM
  #18  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di Salò
Posts: 32,265
Originally Posted by grundle
He should be fired because he can only hurt the cause of education.

He's a bureaucrat because he's not doing anything to help with educating those students.
I'm asking this, not to be confrontational, but simply because I don't think anyone has actually asked you this directly before. <b>grundle</b>, do you actually believe the things you post, or are you just joking with all this?
wendersfan is offline  
Old 06-07-08, 06:08 PM
  #19  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 15,988
Originally Posted by The Bus
Wikipedia has bureaucrat as:



Simply having a government job does not make you a bureaucrat.

I know.

But this person isn't doing any real work. Plus, his proposal would cause harm, not good.
grundle is offline  
Old 06-07-08, 06:10 PM
  #20  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 15,988
Originally Posted by wendersfan
I'm asking this, not to be confrontational, but simply because I don't think anyone has actually asked you this directly before. <b>grundle</b>, do you actually believe the things you post, or are you just joking with all this?
Yes, I do believe the things that I post.

Plus, I love science, and I think that anyone who wants to get rid of science classes should not be in charge of the schools.
grundle is offline  
Old 06-07-08, 07:41 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
B5Erik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Southern California
Posts: 8,611
This guy is a joke.

With no knowledge (or little knowledge) of history, how can anyone make an informed decision when they vote? Without historical context of similar cases that had come before, how would anyone have any clue who was on the right track? How would anyone understand the potential ramifications of what various candidates for office were proposing?

And without a strong knowledge of history, how can anyone understand where they are, how they got there, and how much more fortunate they are than what they could have been. Without that historical context everyone would think no one has ever had it tougher than they've got it.

For my money history is one of the most important subjects someone can be taught. Reading, proper Engligh, math, and History (including government/civics classes) - those subjects should always be the core of any child's education.
B5Erik is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.