The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

When Culture Meets Culture …
March 4, 2015, 6:25 am
Filed under: Comment, Culture, Education

Hey, I am not being a judgemental bastard, I was probably like them as a kid [and I would most certainly be like them as an adult] … the key difference is that way back when I was a kid, apart from that technology not being around, I wasn’t allowed to not be interested.

Yes, that’s right, I was made to appreciate what I was seeing/hearing/experiencing.

And how was I ‘made’ to do that?

Because my parents and teachers made it interesting for me.

It wasn’t a case of being dragged around a museum and told to “look at things”, my parents and teachers told me what I was seeing in a way I could relate to. The history of the work. The reason it should be seen and celebrated. Why I was lucky to experience it.

In other words, they found ways to make me care.

Now I don’t know what it’s like today at public schools – I guess I’ll find out in a few years – but what is seemingly apparent is that the whole purpose of education has got lost along the way.

Not just with students … but with teachers, parents and governments.

In the past, the role of public education was to help build a better society in the future.

It was not just about personal progress, it was about national progress.

As Malcolm Forbes said:

“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one”.

But that doesn’t seem to be the case any more.

Now it seems public education is evaluated on what it costs rather than what it delivers.

Built on minimum standards rather than maximum potential.

In short, it seems we have gone from valuing a society filled with educated people to one that celebrates average.

I would happily pay more taxes to help public education be improved.

To give students better facilities to let them experience more of it.

To give schools better infrastructure to let more people benefit from it.

To give teachers a better salary to ensure talent stays within it.

I would happily pay more taxes to stop parents thinking private education is the only way forward.

To stop universities acting like a business rather than a place of advanced learning.

To stop governments lowering standards so they can use the figures to pretend they care.

To stop councils selling schools because they care more about the value of the land than the value of education.

To stop kids going into a lifetime of debt for a degree that makes a mockery of what a degree used to be.

To stop business alienating against those who don’t go to university.

Quality public education should not be a gift … it should be a right.

Everyone benefits when everyone benefits and so we need to get away from box ticking and averages and get back to finding ways to make people care so they can be better than they thought they could be.

Not just because it will give them advantages in life further down the road, but because it will give advantages to everyone further down the road.

Public education is the last defence against a World of FOX News readers.

If anything should give you a reason to lobby government to treat public education with the respect it deserves, it’s that.


42 Comments so far
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Excellent post Robert, with the icing on the cake being the quote “educations purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” Excellent.

Comment by Lee Hill

Using the word “excellent” in each sentence is an act of the poorly educated.

Comment by Lee Hill

If you are poorly educated then I belong in the workhouse.

Comment by George


Comment by andy@cynic

Whatever your education level George, you belong in a workhouse.

Comment by DH

Reblogged this on The Richest Man in Town!.

Comment by ltflener

First it was defending the institution of the NHS, now it’s fighting for free, quality education. If I didn’t know better, I would swear you were preparing for political election. And I would vote for you Robert because you speak with passion in your blood while the politicians talk with carefully constructed, bland sound bites.
Otis is a lucky little boy.

Comment by George

the only reason campbell would become a fucking politician is because hes finally worked out they get more perks and more holidays than he has been able to fucking wrangle out of dan for the past five fucking years.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

It hasn’t been 5 years has it?

Comment by DH

In July it has Dave. Time flies when you’re on holiday.

Comment by Rob

You are going to make such a great teacher Rob.

Comment by Pete

not if hes teaching physical education.

Comment by andy@cynic

Double gold.

Comment by DH


Comment by northern

A teacher can only impart, it is said, 75% of what she or he knows. If its a lot, the trickle takes longer to happen, but it still happens. Ive been out of school over 50 years. I can see huge huge diffrences not only in the way kids are taught, and disciplined, but regarded. Not only in the way teachers have been turned into paper pushers and guardians of the child and his psyche, but in what they are allowed to teach vs. what they know enough about to even pass on the rudiments.

The trickle has become a torrent, and it ain’t gonna get better.

Dont get me started. =)

Comment by judyt54

We should never meet then Judy because we would talk about this situation for decades. Ha.

Comment by Rob

I agree. It might be fun =) ha. indeed

Comment by judyt54

the problem with education today is they think its about fucking teaching when its supposed to be about getting kids to fucking learn.

Comment by andy@cynic

Putting aside the use of vulgarity, that is a very good explanation of where things are going wrong.

Comment by George

im a fucking genius.

Comment by andy@cynic

That’s a very good point … I said something like this in one of the papers I wrote for my teaching qualification. And before you say it, I wrote it BEFORE you said this so you can’t take the credit.

Comment by Rob

Education is about learning how to learn. The end.

Comment by John

Rule #1. Don’t read this blog.

Comment by DH

It’s sadly not going to be solved by more taxes – even those on your massive income. The problem lies with the educators. Seriously, there’s more nonsensical jargon and belief fiefdoms in education than there is even in marketing.

And that’s why people fall behind in the very early years of education and never recover. There’s no point arbitrarily declaring 50% of kids should attend university if a large swathe of the other 50% come out of school functionally illiterate and innumerate. In fact, there’s no point arbitrarily decalring 50% of kids should go to university. Period.

As for your museum photo. That’s not so much to do with education as new social norms, as was rightly highlighted in this article about behaviour change vis a vis texting while driving.

Comment by John

you want to know how fucking bad it is doddsy. campbell is soon going to be a fucking teacher. him. soon well look back on these days as the golden years compared to the queen quoting twats campbell will be churning out on to the fucking streets.

Comment by andy@cynic

We don’t need no thought control.

Comment by John

I know what you’re saying John but I do think we need to contribute more taxation money into education so that we can pay better salaries to attract better teachers as well as offer better standards to everyday kids as well as maybe getting university back to being something that doesn’t saddle people with a lifetime of debt … acknowledging the need to get back to expecting higher standards [both in terms of acceptance and graduation] so that the Government can’t con everyone into going to university and ultimately undermining the value of a degree and individuals hopes, ambitions and dreams.

Comment by Rob

The only way you get university back to how it was is to make it how it was and ration it to a very small segment of society. I’d vote for that, but not many people would.

Comment by John

You’re right … because public schooling has been downgraded to such a degree [excuse the pun] that university is seen as the only outlet to get the qualifications that can give you a chance in life. It wasn’t always like that. Not going to university didn’t mean not having a quality life … but it seems it has become that way, despite the fact the local village idiot could probably be accepted into your average university these days.

Comment by Rob

I don’t know that I buy the second part of that argument. It seems to me that the lust for degrees was stimulated by the exapnsion of university places by new Labour and is all part of their certification obsession. After all, nurses are now “graduates” – even though they’re not. And, of course, this all leads to this idea that they and other students should only do graduate jobs for graduate pay. The usual trick of equality by dumbing down.

Comment by John

Spot the new dad.

Comment by Bazza

Watching youporn is educational.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I wonder what you’re WK underlings believe you’ve taught them

Comment by northern

I am guessing ‘how not to do the job’. If they follow that, they’ll go far.

Comment by Rob

I suspect they’ve learned a lot more than that, and not just about the job.
And I don’t just mean how not to select your music preferences
I always imagined your usage of the guitar in WK towers a little like this

Comment by northern

But less tuneful.

Comment by John

Except I sing about Forest, not dead Princesses.

Comment by Rob

Always a lurker first time poster.

I did a planning job a while back for an agency in Amsterdam that worked for the museum. They said one of the problems they found was kids visiting were occupied with their phones. So I instead of fighting this I suggested to have them use their phone for the visits purpose.

Kids can borrow iPods from the museum or can use their own device with the app. The app has a puzzle that takes them from painting to painting. So maybe in this instance they were absorbed with the painting and art and not with their social media app.

There is a small competition element that tries to keep them to focus on the museum.

Comment by Chris

Hi Chris. Are you saying the pic in this post is from the museum that you developed your idea for?

Comment by Pete

Indeed. I don’t know the date of the picture or if they are using the app but it could well be.

Comment by Chris

The link to the app. It is under family quest. There is also a teacher student class edition.

Comment by Chris

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