Education, Education, Education

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Probably just as well that this teacher wasn't armed.

A County Down school principal who was harassed for over a year by a parent of two pupils has described her ordeal as the man responsible was sentenced.

Julie Thomas told a court she was repeatedly verbally abused by the man, who took photos of her outside school and once showed up outside her home.

On another occasion, he allegedly shouted at her: "If this school was run by a man it would be better."

Gerard Knight, of Cayman Drive, Bangor, was given a suspended sentence.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-43149646
 
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At the very least the teachers were indifferent to the pupil's suffering.

A council has been told to apologise after a school pupil on a foreign trip had to be bandaged after being so badly sunburned.

The unnamed pupil, from the Moray Council area, needed a wheelchair as the sunburn was so severe - and then faced a 36-hour trip home on a coach.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) said staff should have explored other options to get the pupil home.

Moray Council said it accepted the report's findings.

The secondary pupil - known only as Child A - was taken to hospital with sunburn while on the trip abroad with a school which has also not been named.

The SPSO found a full risk assessment had been carried out but that the child's legs were burned after being allowed to wear shorts with no sun protection for half an hour.

The pupil ended up bandaged from thigh to toe.

The ombudsman said that while staff kept the child's family informed of the situation they ought to have explored with them other options for getting the youngster home more quickly.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-43153818
 
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I think some of the members of the FTMB have suffered at the hands of the new style management at third level & FE institutes.

Cisco and Microsoft — Their Part in My Downfall; or, the Lost Ethics of Higher Ed; or, Maybe, a Sob Story
By Toby Miller

Back to the fall of 2017, and getting 86’d as director. My sacking took the initial form of a three-line Decanal email proposing that I “step down.” No reason was given. I had not received any formal or informal evaluation of my work over the two and a half years of my time there.

The dean provided some detail of the poverty of my performance three weeks later, during a meeting I asked for with him and the president of our union local.

I was described in person as “woefully inadequate.”

I’ve been looking for antonyms of “woefully.” I can’t find any. Not really. Once that adverb’s been applied, you’re shit out of luck finding a binary opposite.

This dean — the man who by contrast with me is ipso facto superordinately adequate — leveled the following charges (an advisory: please be seated when reading this):

As the dean enumerated this extraordinary set of failings, he warmed to his task — leaning ever further forward, as if sharing gossip with a group of intimates or inmates. Encouraged, no doubt, by a sense of rightness and righteousness, the faithful apparatchik’s eyes lit up like a chap embarked on a quest with like-minded souls. ...

The Brits got both sides of the neoliberal memo — redistribute income upward, as part of public proclamations of individual economic freedom operating under the invisible sign of socialism for corporations; and continue to regulate ordinary conduct and self-expression to the max.

Plus a creepy Orwellian doublespeak emerged in universities, derived from the mimetic managerial fallacy. That fallacy imagines corporations to be worthy and emulable models for public institutions. It has an entirely mad and maddening vocabulary of capitalist organizational clichés: check and challenge, light touch, sector norm, business-like, enterprise, world-leading, partnering, knowledge transfer, student-facing, create impact, metrics, thought leader, comfortable with, best practice, relaxed about, maker place, hot desking, work-ready graduates, start-ups, our community, industry-centered problem-solving, I am the lead on x, agree a catch-up, industry-facing, this is the available spend, schedule a one-on-one — student experience; on, and on, and on, ad infinitum. ...

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article...ost-ethics-of-higher-ed-or-maybe-a-sob-story/
 

Mythopoeika

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Still though, it is appalling that they can get rid of someone so easily* and on such spurious grounds.

*He is on "gardening leave" but he accepts that he won't survive in his post.
That little list of 'problems' wouldn't stand up in a tribunal. They're relying on him not going to tribunal because he wants to stay in the education industry.
 

Quake42

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Still though, it is appalling that they can get rid of someone so easily* and on such spurious grounds.

*He is on "gardening leave" but he accepts that he won't survive in his post.
I’m afraid this sort of behaviour is sadly common across private and public sectors. Once it’s decided your face doesn’t fit then it’s curtains. It’s always possible to dredge up some evidence of alleged poor performance. Certainly not unique to the educational sector although I know from friends there that it can be particularly petty and back stabby.
 
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I’m afraid this sort of behaviour is sadly common across private and public sectors. Once it’s decided your face doesn’t fit then it’s curtains. It’s always possible to dredge up some evidence of alleged poor performance. Certainly not unique to the educational sector although I know from friends there that it can be particularly petty and back stabby.
On a lighter note, at first I misread one of the complaints about him as "Refusing to use Cicero's Jabber".
 

Quake42

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That little list of 'problems' wouldn't stand up in a tribunal. They're relying on him not going to tribunal because he wants to stay in the education industry.
It can be dressed up as failure to follow a reasonable instruction etc, especially the refusal to use Outlook which is presumably the institution’s email system. In fairness I’m not sure my employer would put up with me refusing to use any of the corporate systems or IT equipment either.

Going to a tribunal is always a gamble and it won’t get him his job back even if he wins. And a high profile tribunal win would other employers in the industry wary of hiring him, as you say.
 
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It can be dressed up as failure to follow a reasonable instruction etc, especially the refusal to use Outlook which is presumably the institution’s email system. In fairness I’m not sure my employer would put up with me refusing to use any of the corporate systems or IT equipment either.

Going to a tribunal is always a gamble and it won’t get him his job back even if he wins. And a high profile tribunal win would other employers in the industry wary of hiring him, as you say.
Reading the article as a whole makes me think he bad mouthed Outlook and other software rather than refusing to use it. I got into trouble at work for bad-mouthing DEC hardware. They can be touchy about such things, especially when senior management are getting kickbacks (couldn't be proven though).
 

JamesWhitehead

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(NOTE: This line of discussion concerning education and curricula is transferred from the "Ignorance Is Bliss / ... Excessive News" thread.)

I genuinely believe media studies should be taught in schools to process the masses of information and opinion we're bombarded with.
Media Studies was once very popular at GCSE & A Level. In fact schools and colleges were once dedicated to it and named after it.

It tended to be rubbished by employers and was downgraded in the rush towards STEM subjects.

It does limp on, as one of those add-on subjects that private schools offer as a six-week crash course to their brighter candidates. No reason good English students shouldn't hack it in double-quick time.

Contemporary news items were once part of the mainstream English Language GCSE syllabus, when consideration of layouts and use of imagery were taken into account. There was, I recall, an extreme example, where one of the "texts" turned out to be the front page of The Independent. There was little or no text, just the image of a shrink-wrapped Morrisons swede! Teachers were horrified. Only the most thoughtful pupils were able to write about the way this contradicted every ordinary expectation of a front page with its lavish use of white space, drop-shadow and subdued colour-scheme. Most had very little idea of what a traditional front-page was like! :willy:
 
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GNC

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Thanks for the info! When I was in school back in the 80s, we had a curriculum that tried to give us a wider understanding of the world and our place in it, but would it be accurate to say that's been ditched to focus solely on qualifications for jobs the kids may or may not want?
 

INT21

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It always struck me that the idea was along the 'no child left behind' principle.

If they can't get their heads around physics and brain surgery, then give them diplomas in hairdressing and pedicures.
 

Cochise

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That was the original idea of the Attlee government. Three types of senior schools -

Grammar schools, for those whose inclination was book learning and might go on to Uni

Secondary Modern for those with maybe wider interests, but without the obsessive nature of the above, who were likely to achieve the many 'ordinary' roles in life, from nurses to accountants

Technical schools, for those whose attributes focussed on abililty to create, back then probably with their hands.

It is modern snobbery that thinks the first is better than the other two - in many respects it is inferior, especially in the ability to develop 'common sense'.

I know I'd cheerfully give up all my book learning to have been an ordinary civil servant and to have had two/three lovely children with my wife. But it was not to be, so I'm still an unrepentant combination of a geek and a bastard.
 
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Back in those days, there was a lot more respect for tradesmen.
Since the Blair government, the idea that 'everybody must go to university' has proliferated, pushing away funding for the trades.
We're well overdue for a return to the old ideas!
Probably not a need for 4 year apprenticeships though.
 

JamesWhitehead

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the 'no child left behind' principle.
So many initiatives! So many names! deployed, I have come to think, quite cynically.

Snake-oil, every last one of them, because they are never assessed. Failure to dance to their tune, however, could - and does - destroy careers.

So far as I recall, "no child left behind" had nothing to do with broadening the curriculum for the less academic.

Far from it. In the name of "no child left behind," we saw an unholy system of tracking brought in. Every child would be given a grid which had to be pasted into the front of their exercise books; assessed pieces were to be recorded here, along with predicted grades and progress.

It should be clear to anyone that such a scheme might motivate those for whom golden futures were foretold. Those who struggled, however, were predictably demoralised. Teachers were also tracked by these charts, so there was wholesale cheating. Who wanted to record a set of marks which indicated stalled progress by pupils or falling back? Since assessed essays were expected to be redrafted several times, there was room for a lot of intervention, including wholesale rewriting or even copied work. :mad:
 
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EnolaGaia

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It always struck me that the idea was along the 'no child left behind' principle.
If they can't get their heads around physics and brain surgery, then give them diplomas in hairdressing and pedicures.
So many initiatives! So many names! deployed, I have come to think, quite cynically. ...
So far as I recall, "no child left behind" had nothing to do with broadening the curriculum for the less academic.

Far from it. In the name of "no child left behind," we saw an unholy system of tracking brought in. ...

It should be clear to anyone that such a scheme might motivate those for whom golden futures were foretold. Those who struggled, however, were predictably demoralised. Teachers were also tracked by these charts, so there was wholesale cheating. ...
The American "No Child Left Behind" legislation and program was aimed at setting standards and imposing continuous evaluation of performance for individual students, teachers, and entire schools. The good intention was to implement a basis for identifying and improving problem areas nationwide so as to reasonably ensure consistency in providing kids the essential skills (e.g., reading / writing / basic math) expected to result from elementary / secondary education.

It didn't address longer term issues (e.g., more / less academic outcomes or life / career trajectories).

The devil, of course, was in all the details. The tracking / testing / evaluation requirements ended up being enough of a burden on education systems as to eventually prove unworkable.

There were problems from the start - some of which are alluded to in the quoted posts.

One negative side effect was to focus on the average student population to the extent of undermining or preventing attention to students at either end of the spectrum (i.e., gifted / challenged). In other words, it imposed something akin to industrial quality control tactics aimed at guaranteeing universal mediocrity.

The NCLB legislation was essentially dismantled in 2015 by terminating all federal aspects of the original plan and turning over whatever remained to the individual states.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Child_Left_Behind_Act
 
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GNC

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Meanwhile, in 1977...

Click that link for a terrific Archive Hour from tonight about the Faraday High School in East Acton that supposedly was closed down because of the controversy a Panorama episode caused about it. The presenter was a pupil at the school (who went on to produce for Panorama when she grew up - nice coincidence) and it illuminates that stresses over how teaching goes are nothing new. The conclusions they draw about whether they actually learned anything from school are very interesting.
 

JamesWhitehead

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a terrific Archive Hour from tonight about the Faraday High School
I caught it, quite by accident, on Radio Four. It managed to cover an amazing amount of ground in a nuanced way.

Probably the most startling aspect was the degree to which the school opened its doors to the BBC and the access they were given to staff and pupils. Unwise, in retrospect!

Today, teachers dare hardly talk to each other! :(
 

GNC

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The Archive Hour is one of the most underrated documentary programmes around, it's always excellent when I tune in (should do it more often, really).

But yeah, it seems the school were naïve at showing how laissez faire they were in their teaching, as if they believed everyone would think, my, how modern, the teachers talking to the kids on their level! Also, certain kids were obviously acting up for the cameras, like the one who used the F word while well aware he was being filmed.
 

Cochise

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I honestly think we are losing the plot. I don't mean that as a political comment, it is a comment on society as a whole which seems to have lost all its focus on what is actually important - bringing up children, educating them, having decent jobs for them when they grow up.
 
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Frideswide

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I honestly think we are losing the plot. I don't mean that as a political comment, it is a comment on society as a whole which seems to have lost all its focus on what is actually important - bringing up children, educating them, having decent jobs for them when they grow up.
I do see that it the media - but not when you look at reality. Well, maybe it's just the people I know!
 
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