Sunday, 11 September 2016

Grammar, Comprehensive,Grammar?

Blog 2                                                                                        11/09/2016




There is no doubt brighter children can be thwarted in their aspirations by disruptive behaviour in class. All very well the maxim “education for everyone”! With the higher school roll of the Comprehensives they were to give specialist equipment to six forms and more choice at that level. Pupils were given a feeling of ‘belonging’ by divisions into Houses ‘smaller groups’. Choosing subjects and streaming at an early stage became (some people believe) as divisive as the 11+ had been. Both systems because of rigidity were unlikely to cater for the student who developed later and required a new direction.
 If we refer back to a previous system -that of Grammar; the philosophy behind it needs to be recalled: that being, the more practical pupil would be catered for in a Secondary Modern to where he/she could develop their skills.
Governments change and where there is polarized difference sympathy for a particular ‘system’ by one of them could not be looked upon favourably by the other. It probably is a natural inclination when things generally are not going too well for the rest of the country to focus on ‘education’. After all the feeling could be ‘let us get it right next time. Next time would be well after that particular government ‘left office’!
It must be agreed children require stability within the processes of their schooling. My inclination also is they need some form of sanctity- protection from the outside world- whilst they are developing. Publishing results, focus by media; although some cope well, I believe it must stress many more. Add this to promotion of self-image on social media, especially  before the ‘self’ has been developed my inclination is to believe these are factors in the rise of suicide and depression amongst our young.
Grammar schools were always respected as being successful. It was in the context that there was accommodation for the practical rather than the academic. Academic learning has little significance to many especially when younger. Some require to investigate a need for certain knowledge and a reason for it prior to any wish to learn. Sadly: regarding Grammar School they were well funded whereas the Secondary’s weren’t. This was one reason the latter school became very much a second class option.
This is a great sadness; apart from the lack of fluidity to move later (after 11+) between the two systems – it is/was a philosophy which could have been successful. There still is the tendency to rate ‘the academic’ above the ‘practical’. It is done in every walk of life. It is presumed a person with a whole lot of letters behind their name is in possession of superior knowledge. Empirical knowledge again and again is dismissed.
This continued emphasis in education has created too many failures, too many drop outs, too many semi-literates, too many frustrated lost lives. One hopes the situation is better than it was fifty years ago.
People have potentially more to contribute if they continue their learning and inquiry throughout life. Those who purely learn for position and sit back often keep their knowledge in a time bubble, unrelated to the present have a limited contribution to the whole.
In a world of uncertainty not catering for the practical, not making education enjoyment pleasure and achievement is a curtailment of tomorrows for many. People make systems successful or not and amendment can be successful. Blame on systems usually amounts to failure within ‘ourselves’ at all levels.


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