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What is the purpose of education?

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What is the purpose of education?

Post by Ivan on Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:50 am

First topic message reminder :

“Why, mummy?” “What’s that for, daddy?” How many parents feel like tearing their hair out when confronted by an endless stream of questions from a toddler, yet at the same time knowing they must satisfy the child’s natural curiosity? But what happens to that enquiring mind? How many adults question what's going on around them? Shouldn’t an important purpose of education be to prolong the natural curiosity of the child into adulthood?

I remember two teachers in particular from my schooldays. There was a brutal English teacher, who would hit you if you made the same spelling mistake twice. At least I don’t make many spelling mistakes. On the positive side, I remember a brilliant History teacher who taught you to question everything. He started by giving us the same news story as reported in ‘The Daily Mail’ and ‘The Guardian’, asking us to account for the differences, then he did the same with articles written by different historians on the same topic. He produced photographs (I remember in particular an Edwardian alley scene) and asked us to look for the unwitting testimony in them. His idea of education was to continually ask the question “Why?”

Writing in his blog, Mark Berthelemy has argued that schools today take children - who are literally "born learners" - and educate the ability to learn out of them, by forcing them through the sausage-machine that is our "education system". Lou McGill asks: “How can we expect people to be creative, if we expect them all to achieve certain set targets, and disparage certain areas of learning as less important than others?” Berthelemy went on to say that education should be “about encouraging the creative minds we're born with, and developing them - not stifling them”, and “looking out for injustice and not accepting it”.
http://www.learningconversations.co.uk/main/index.php/2011/02/09/what-is-the-purpose-of?blog=5

In the latter part of the nineteenth century, teachers were remunerated under a scheme known as “payment by results”, which politicians boasted would either be efficient or cheap. One inherent weakness in that arrangement was that teachers only taught children to the level of passing the test and failed to develop their full potential. But have we reverted to that system of teaching now? The introduction of the National Curriculum in 1988 brought with it a plethora of tests as children moved from one level to another. At a recent debate to launch Compass’ e-book ‘Education For the Good Society’, Leicester University lecturer Dr. Katy Layton-Jones spoke of the emergence of "a terrified generation" who had been brought up on education for the test and were frightened to engage with ideas.
http://www.compassonline.org.uk/news/item.asp?n=13891

Josie Fraser, a social and educational technologist, has argued that a fundamental purpose of education should be “to acknowledge the inevitability of change, celebrate the value of life as a thing in process, and promote an awareness of other ways of doing things - of discoveries yet to be made and solutions yet to be invented". She continued: “The purpose of education should be to expand expectations, not to confine them - to support our learners in understanding the impact they can have on their world".
http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6075468

Others will argue that the purpose of education is to provide what the economy needs. Some of us will reply that the best thing for the country is if as many people as possible achieve their potential and at the same time create something. Berthelemy concludes that the purpose of education in our current society is to become better than other people, but that instead it should be about achieving our individual potential. It should be about helping each other to find out what we are good at, and developing those skills/gifts/talents. Not to be better than someone else, but to be as good as we can get.


Last edited by Ivan on Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by boatlady on Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:51 am

Another effect will be to give children more information about work than they would get from family members - might even encourage some social mobility, via children becoming motivated to gain qualifications that will enable them to join occupations that their parents can't aspire to.
Can see why the right wing might see that as a bad thing.

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:53 am

What is the purpose of education?

To the casual observer, the purpose would seem to be to act as a springboard for the slimy Gove to propel himself into the running for Party Leader.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by boatlady on Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:48 pm

Had a conversation yesterday about the purpose of education - proud mum moaning that her clever graduate son has chosen to work as a reedcutter - waste of an education etc etc ---
Don't see it that way myself - what's wrong with having inbtelligent educated reedcutters, binmen and street sweepers for that matter.
Of much more concern is having innumerate, arrogant and ignorant government ministers.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Shirina on Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:22 pm

what's wrong with having inbtelligent educated reedcutters, binmen and street sweepers for that matter.
The only issue I have with this is that an intelligent, educated reedcutter, binman, or street sweeper can find higher tier jobs. Sure, sometimes its inevitable that a recent university graduate might have to be a reedcutter for awhile until a better opportunity comes along.

However, if educated people choose to become reedcutters, two things happen.

First is that the educated reedcutter takes away a job from someone who couldn't be much else other than a reedcutter, binman, or street sweeper. Someone who is intelligent and educated has far more opportunities than someone who isn't, and that means someone who truly needs a reedcutter job is now unemployed.

Secondly, this can have the unintended consequence of raising the qualifications for reedcutters and similar jobs. This means that, over time, employers can start demanding that even reedcutters have a minimum education level that is beyond the realistic reach of traditional holders of those jobs. People with less ability and less opportunity end up displaced by more educated and more intelligent workers who *should* be doing something else.

This has actually become a problem here in the US with even low paying jobs now requiring two and four year degrees. Traditionally, those jobs were held by high school kids and adults with limited ability and education. Without those jobs, the lesser skilled people end up in a bread line. In the US, this unfortunate turn of events was caused by a massive 20% unemployment rate for recent university grads, forcing them to take jobs they ordinarily would never have taken. The result is employers realizing that can get educated people to work for peanuts yet still avail themselves of the workers' education. It's a big freebee for the employer who would ordinarily have to pay educated workers far more.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by tlttf on Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:42 pm

Very true Shirina and the rot starts when you begin to take kids of 5 around the workplace. Very Happy

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:33 pm

The military have always accommodated clever people who could normally be expected to be Officers, but who decline the BS which automatically goes with that territory. That's why they have "Technician" grades for people who have a necessary skill but never want to be Guard Commander, thank you.

(There are a surprising number of Privates in the Army Intelligence Corps).
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by egginbonce on Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:41 am

Depends whats meant by 'education'......its such a helpful- soounding word, that im plies some sort of betterment, due to the imparting of useful information.
Perhaps this can be so, but it has the potential to further anothers cause,all the while masquerading as the above.I spent years in 'higher education,only to find that I had to throw out most of it in order to work effectively,and all it had done was to serve that arrogance/ignorance of my mentors.
I went to sunday 'school', only to soon find that that had another agenda,and that there was no information imparted-just fantasy.
I used to thnk that people who said thyd been to 'the school of life', were just being bolshie and making up for not having had a 'proper' education(that word again), but having tried both, I quite like the school of life.
'School of life'.an expression used to justify cynicism, often as not.its a waste of a good education, to embrace cynicism, and so in this respect, to some extent. in the school of life, one is self-educated,directing ones own learning,and is mostly responsible for the results (exam grades???)
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:52 pm

"....in the school of life, one is self-educated,directing ones own learning,and is mostly responsible for the results...."

Which came first, egginbonce, the platitude or the cliché? Just askin'.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by egginbonce on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:29 pm

ahhhh..often wrong...........youve caught me up to my neck in both, it seems...............but tell me...do platitudes have substance on some occasions, or are they always empty?
Cliches are little gems for the amusement of all,(apart from the unwitting deliverer of same cliche!)
I dunno.all that insightful, fluent post, and all that happens is my illiteracy pointed out....................all the benefits of a university education..wasted Mad
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:34 pm

In the midst of all this eloquence, may I just mention that I have always valued my ignorance and the associated benefits of knowing very little, or often nothing, about quite a lot... Shocked
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by tlttf on Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:17 am

Surely nobody at this forum is surprised?

Labour admits to 'great crime' on education: Tristram Hunt says previous Government failed to push children to excel and dumbed down exams

Tristam Hunt, shadow education secretary, says Labour failed pupils
Said children were not pushed to achieve beyond C grades at GCSE
Admitted 'grade inflation' had made exams easier in recent years

By Gerri Peev

'Great crime': Tristram Hunt says his party created a culture of low expectations for state school pupils

'Great crime': Tristram Hunt says his party created a culture of low expectations for state school pupils

Labour created a culture of low expectations for state school pupils, Tristram Hunt, the shadow education secretary has admitted.

He said it was a ‘great crime’ that the last government had failed to pushed children more than simply aim for them to achieve a C grade at GCSE level.

He also admitted that exams had been dumbed down in recent years, saying ‘yes, there are elements of grade inflation’.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2538260/Labour-admits-great-crime-education-Tristram-Hunt-says-previous-Government-failed-push-children-excel-dumbed-exams.html

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Ivan on Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:34 am

tlttf. I’m sure nobody on this forum is surprised that you’ve been grubbing around at 6am in ‘The Daily Mail’, as you’ve done so many times before. Ever thought of reading a reputable newspaper for a change?

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk/t915-should-the-daily-mail-be-banned-under-the-obscene-publications-act

I’m sure nobody on this forum is surprised that you’ve said the same thing four times in your latest missive, either because you’re too bloody lazy to check what you’ve posted, or because in your ‘Daily Mail’ brain you think that the more times you say a thing, the more valid it becomes.

I’m sure nobody on this forum is surprised that once again you are out of your depth and post about a topic of which you know nothing, as you proved previously with your absurd comments about history teaching. Exam boards are private companies which have been competing against each other for grades since the 1980s, thanks to Thatcher. I do know what I’m talking about, since I’ve been a GCSE examiner. I was at a meeting once when the chief executive of the company told us not to be mean with the grades, since if we were the schools would go elsewhere. Yes, there has been grade inflation and that’s what caused it – the free market competition which extreme right-wingers like you love so much.

If the Tories hadn’t started the practice of publishing league tables, schools wouldn’t have developed the obsession with getting as many pupils as possible over the C grade line. League tables are generally meaningless, since a school in somewhere like Kingston-upon-Thames will always achieve higher grades than an inner-city school in Liverpool, regardless of how good or bad the teachers are.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Bellatori on Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:54 am

Ivan wrote:tlttf. I’m sure nobody on this forum is surprised that you’ve been grubbing around at 6am in ‘The Daily Mail’, as you’ve done so many times before. Ever thought of reading a reputable newspaper for a change?

Thank you Ivan for another 'Its the Tories' rant. I note that you carefully avoided commenting on the actual thrust of the tlttf's comment which was what Tristan Hunt said. Are you saying that he did not say these things? The Daily Mail quote is

"In a startlingly frank admission, Mr Hunt said: ‘The great crime was an awful lot of effort being put on kids getting a C at GCSE, then not going further. There should be no limits - the system should be saying how far can this child go?’"

You give a polemic about the Daily Mail and avoid the real issue which are the words of Tristan Hunt.  You deride the Tories under Thatcher (well we all enjoy doing that don't we) and completely ignore the fact that subsequently Labour was in charge for a decade or so. If the  policies were so wrong then why did Labour not change them?

If you want to challenge tlttf I would look at the detail of Hunt's words and then the comments he made on the annual Ofsted report viz...

“By allowing unqualified teachers into our classrooms and having no strategy for school collaboration - which succeeded so well in London following Labour’s London Challenge programme – David Cameron is damaging school standards and hurting children’s life chances. “Labour would ensure high standards in all schools, with rigorous local oversight, effective collaboration and properly qualified teachers.”

Being rude and dismissive and appealing to wrongs of 20+ years ago do nothing for your argument. Frankly I thought the whole thing was somewhere between pointless and petty. This is a shame really because I actually think that Hunt has something worthwhile to say. See here for a synopsis.

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:08 am

".... the company told us not to be mean with the grades, since if we were the schools would go elsewhere."

Aye, there's the rub. Once introduced, the profit motive over-rides any consideration of academic rigour, and you're down on the floor grubbing for market share.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Bellatori on Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:30 am

oftenwrong wrote: ".... the company told us not to be mean with the grades, since if we were the schools would go elsewhere."

Aye, there's the rub.  Once introduced, the profit motive over-rides any consideration of academic rigour, and you're down on the floor grubbing for market share.

I taught for 25 years and remember a grading meeting in the mid 80s. Using criterion referencing we should set the pass mark at 47% however this would mean that there were fewer grade Cs than the previous year. Using norm referencing which would give the same proportion as the previous year required a mark of 45%. The chief examiner therefore determined, without any reference to the group of teachers and with the veiled threat of - you won't be on the board or marking list next year - that the pass would be 44%.

The press the following weeks were full of Xth consecutive year of improvements. The protests at the time by those teachers present were very muted as, I think it fair to say, we were all too poor to afford to argue. My family were still receiving 'red cross' parcels from my in-laws and parents  Smile 

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:48 am

I wonder if, in years to come, the nation might be treated to a Tory version of the crimes they committed.  This would presumably have to come in several large volumes.

Or could it be that no Tory politician would ever bring themselves to consider ( or admit) they may have been wrong on anything...     Shocked
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Heretic on Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:19 pm

Bellatori wrote: The chief examiner therefore determined, without any reference to the group of teachers and with the veiled threat of - you won't be on the board or marking list next year - that the pass would be 44%.  

Back in the good old days when we had 'O' levels we (my classmates and I) were told that the proportion of students that received each grade remained constant in order to compensate for variabilities in the difficulty of exams from year to year and changes to the curriculum. [It's funny what you remember from schooldays ]

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Bellatori on Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:09 pm

Basically that was norm referencing. It made the assumption (incorrectly by the by) that each years cohort was the same. What that meant was that some years a marginal good student got an 'A' when in another year they might have got a 'B'. The problem with criterion referencing is that it requires far more effort in setting and marking exams. For a private firm this is too much trouble and expense and back in the O-level days they were only interested in creaming off the top so really they were not that worried about those who just passed or just failed because of the vagaries of norm referencing.

The irony is that the original drive behind the National Curriculum was to give a true criterion referenced system. Oh what dreams we dreamed...  Very Happy

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Ivan on Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:02 pm

Bellatori wrote:-
Thank you Ivan for another 'Its the Tories' rant.
....made in response to the endless stream of tabloid crap served up by a Tory troll, with either the explicit or implicit message that everything that’s wrong in this country is “all Labour’s fault”. The "wrongs of 20+ years ago" caused the current issues, and I didn’t “carefully avoid” them; they were grade inflation and the obsession with reaching Grade C for as many pupils as possible because of league tables, both of which arose from Tory policies.

actual thrust of the tlttf's comment
There was no “comment”, just the usual glib and fatuous remark designed to mislead or irritate people. He rarely makes any attempt to discuss issues, preferring instead to dredge up trash from the most unreliable ‘newspaper’ (for want of a better word) in the country. Maybe if you’d been here for longer than just three months you might also have grown impatient and become “rude and dismissive”. Oh, but look, you have – only your comments are directed at me! Isn’t that what you call hypocrisy?  scratch 

Unlike you, I don’t take what ‘The Daily Mail’ says at face value. Tristram Hunt follows me on Twitter and I’ve written to ask him if he was reported accurately. Not that that would bother our Tory troll; when something which he posted about Margaret Hodge turned out to be libellous and was retracted by the newspaper concerned, he was too bloody arrogant to post an apology on here, I had to do it for him.

P.S. If you are answering the most recent message on a thread, there is no need to quote it in full. We only need to read messages once. Thanks.

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by tlttf on Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:06 pm

Ivan wrote:tlttf. I’m sure nobody on this forum is surprised that you’ve been grubbing around at 6am in ‘The Daily Mail’, as you’ve done so many times before. Ever thought of reading a reputable newspaper for a change?


Thank you Ivan for another 'Its the Tories' rant. I note that you carefully avoided commenting on the actual thrust of the tlttf's comment which was what Tristan Hunt said. Are you saying that he did not say these things? The Daily Mail quote is

"In a startlingly frank admission, Mr Hunt said: ‘The great crime was an awful lot of effort being put on kids getting a C at GCSE, then not going further. There should be no limits - the system should be saying how far can this child go?’"


Thanks for that Bellatori, I've pretty much stopped posting on the forum because of Ivan's obsessive hatred with anything "not labour". It makes debate difficult as my posts are usually deleted (such power to be had by an individual).

My apologies Ivan for preparing for work at 6am.

On the positive side, I still read the forum and yourself, Dan and heretic are a definite + to the place.

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:44 pm

I view with regret the reluctance of the Tory fans to post on the board. It is always enjoyable to see them seeking to justify the unjustifiable and to enter into contortions to absolve their heroes from the blame for anything - ever!

The usual Mail- and Sun-inspired views are faithfully regurgitated with a loyalty which leads one to believe that those who offer them actually give them credence. Long live the Tory Trolls - what an irreplaceable target they provide...!  Very Happy
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Ivan on Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:33 pm

tlttf wrote:-
my posts are usually deleted
What a whopping lie! How many of your 1,000+ posts have been deleted? Ten, twelve, fifteen maybe? And you call that "usually"? That's what too much reading of 'The Daily Mail' can do to you, it makes you exaggerate and distort the facts.

How many of your deleted messages had racist undercurrents? How many were just snidey attempts to derail threads? ("Aren't there too many links in that post, Steve?", "Isn't your message illegal, Ivan?") Of course, most of them are not your messages at all, just the latest rantings of rabid right-wingers like Redwood, Oborne, Liddle or Hitchens.

I wrote to you on 21 May last year after the staff had discussed your various violations of the house rules:-

- Posting a story which, when it turned out to be libellous, you refused to retract.

- Posting deliberately misleading material, such as two stories about the Miliband brothers.

- Breaking our copyright rules on a number of occasions.

- Posting adverts for ‘The Daily Mail’ on several occasions, despite being told about it.

- Posting messages which amounted to purely personal attacks, containing no reference to the thread topic.

- Starting a thread eulogising Enoch Powell, an inflammatory racist who would be in jail if he had been around to utter his filth nowadays.

- Posting complaints on threads on numerous occasions, despite being told not to do so several times.

The deletion of some of your messages, and the occasional temporary bans which you received, have come about because you persistently break the rules - nothing to do with your political views. Still, you must be happy today, your trolling has succeeded in diverting this thread off topic.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:35 pm

I think what landy meant was that he wishes his posts were 'usually deleted' so a self-pitying bleat could be justified!

A little more practice is obviously required before the poor chap can compete with the level of distortion which he aspires to copy from his Daily Mail mentors...     Very Happy
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Bellatori on Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:38 pm

Ivan wrote:
Bellatori wrote:- Thank you Ivan for another 'Its the Tories' rant.
....made in response to the endless stream of tabloid crap served up by a Tory troll, with either the explicit or implicit message that everything that’s wrong in this country is “all Labour’s fault”.
Whereas repeatedly saying it is all the Tories faults is OK  Very Happy 

Ivan wrote:The "wrongs of 20+ years ago" caused the current issues, and I didn’t “carefully avoid” them; they were grade inflation and the obsession with reaching Grade C for as many pupils as possible because of league tables, both of which arose from Tory policies.
...which were immediately revoked during the decade plus of Labour government?  sarcasm 

Ivan wrote:There was no “comment”, just the usual glib and fatuous remark designed to mislead or irritate people. He rarely makes any attempt to discuss issues, preferring instead to dredge up trash from the most unreliable ‘newspaper’ (for want of a better word) in the country. Maybe if you’d been here for longer than just three months you might also have grown impatient and become “rude and dismissive”.
He brought to everyone's attention a quote by Hunt

Ivan wrote:Unlike you, I don’t take what ‘The Daily Mail’ says at face value.
Again rude and dismissive. I would not be so presumptuous to say that particularly if you read what I wrote properly you will note that I asked if you were questioning whether he (Hunt) had indeed said that.
Ivan wrote: Tristram Hunt follows me on Twitter and I’ve written to ask him if he was reported accurately.
...which is exactly what you should have done before you laid in to tittf. Can you trust a politician to give you an honest answer? There's a problem for you. Daily Mail... no, obviously  Smile  any Labour politician you support ... yes?!  Very Happy 


Ivan wrote:Oh, but look, you have – only your comments are directed at me! Isn’t that what you call hypocrisy?
No... Its called analysis and response. Hypocrisy would be if I expected to be treated differently or made a distinction between how I treated other posters. As an administrator you have to ensure fair play and you are clearly allowing your prejudices to show in what might be construed as a bullying manner.


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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:35 pm

Is there any chance that the crypto-fascists might withdraw to from whence they came before the gloves have to come off?

Just askin'.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Ivan on Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:17 pm

Bellatori wrote:-
As an administrator you have to ensure fair play and you are clearly allowing your prejudices to show in what might be construed as a bullying manner.
Having re-read your recent posts, it would appear that the person doing most of the bullying around here is you. If you wish to make a complaint about the administration of this forum, it must be done through the personal messaging system to one or more of the three administrators, not on a discussion thread.

Tristram Hunt is the shadow education secretary. I wrote to him earlier today to ask if ‘The Daily Mail’ had reported him correctly. I’m sure he has more important things to do than to reply to me instantly, but if and when I receive a response from him I shall post it here.

Now do tell us, what should be the purpose of education? Personal fulfilment, or to provide wage slaves to create surplus value for the capitalists?  Evil or Very Mad
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by tlttf on Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:00 am

The purpose of education?

To supply a person with the tools required that enhance his/her worth to society. Supply an individual with the tools that allow an enquiring mind to further his/her need to explore using their own idea's and methods.

Ivan, do you really believe it's this simple?

(Now do tell us, what should be the purpose of education? Personal fulfilment, or to provide wage slaves to create surplus value for the capitalists?)

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by boatlady on Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:29 am

on the basis that we each have only one life, perhaps the goal and purpose of education is simply to give every individual the opportunity and the tools to reach her or his unique and irreplaceable potential, which will then contribute to the rich tapestry of our communal life.

Workplace skills are not the only skills and economic value is not the only value. If we 'educate' only towards creating value for the financial world, we will inevitably impoverish our society by depriving ourselves of the skills and the real value of those who may never become productive drones within the economy, but have other valuable skills and attributes (creative people, ethical thinkers, born carers , excellent parents, dreamers, gardeners etc,etc)

For me, Ivan's question has adequately expressed the real dilemma facing education and perhaps gives some indication of why, in a rational society, education would not be subject to market forces.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Bellatori on Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:45 am

Ivan wrote:Having re-read your recent posts, it would appear that the person doing most of the bullying around here is you. If you wish to make a complaint about the administration of this forum, it must be done through the personal messaging system to one or more of the three administrators, not on a discussion thread.

Really? Where have I critiques someone for posting at 6:00am?  scratch On topic? Where have I critiques someone simply for drawing our attention to something Tristram Hunt said?  scratch You may not like tittf which is your prerogative but to use the forum to express that is bullying. That he does not care boots for nothing.

Ivan wrote:Tristram Hunt is the shadow education secretary. I wrote to him earlier today to ask if ‘The Daily Mail’ had reported him correctly. I’m sure he has more important things to do than to reply to me instantly, but if and when I receive a response from him I shall post it here.
Which basically says your critique was based on animus and not substance. We are all busy with our own affairs but if he does get back to you then yes, I would like to know whether he thinks he said what is quoted. I am sure his memory will be exact or at the very least exactly what he wishes to remember as we all tend to do.

Ivan wrote:Now do tell us, what should be the purpose of education? Personal fulfilment, or to provide wage slaves to create surplus value for the capitalists?  Evil or Very Mad
A sudden desire to get back on topic. In the film 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' she explains that education comes from the root e-duco meaning 'to lead out from' in other words it is a drawing out process. The obsession with grade performance and the learning (more accurately memorising) of facts is to the detriment of a true learning. Life is one long education and the most important kick start schools can give is teaching children how to learn. Those who do can leave school and make informed decisions whereas those who don't, cannot.

Well that's 08:45. An acceptable time for posting?  Smile

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:07 am



I was struck by this picture of Hampshire Cricketers keeping fit in the gym by playing bubble football.

What a lesson all of us might learn about our rightful place in Society if one day a month we each had to wear such a device to remind us how far our personal sphere of influence extends, and where the personal space of another begins.

Perhaps more significantly, it might show the vain and self-satisfied how silly they appear to others.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Ivan on Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:27 pm

Recent postings on this and the ‘scroungers’ thread made me think of how the ridiculous and unnecessary First World War started. Austria had issues with Serbia, Russia intervened on the side of Serbia, Germany supported Austria and had a pop at France, and before you knew it, we were involved as well. How much better it would have been if everyone had butted out of things that didn’t concern them and simply minded their own business?  Mad
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Heretic on Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:47 pm

Ivan wrote:Now do tell us, what should be the purpose of education? Personal fulfilment, or to provide wage slaves to create surplus value for the capitalists?  Evil or Very Mad

The fact is that education was only rolled out as quickly as the industrial machine could make use of it and only as deeply as the industrial machine required. I think that this model continued as the Industrial Revolution swept over the globe, most recently in China.

What we recognise today as education was only available to a minority until relatively recently (Although it has slipped my mind when it occurred.) I didn't get the opportunity to got to University after I reached 40 and then it was only one of those 'jumped up' Polytechnics that we desperately need again, doing what they used to do - Train our Engineers and Technicians to a high standard while they were on apprenticeships. Other higher education was available as part-time evening courses and was at the kind of level that gave a thorough and professional introduction to most topics or subjects.

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Dan Fante on Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:53 pm

Ivan wrote:Recent postings on this and the ‘scroungers’ thread made me think of how the ridiculous and unnecessary First World War started. Austria had issues with Serbia, Russia intervened on the side of Serbia, Germany supported Austria and had a pop at France, and before you knew it, we were involved as well. How much better it would have been if everyone had butted out of things that didn’t concern them and simply minded their own business?  Mad
Not really a great recipe for a discussion forum though.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:11 pm

There's probably better ones elsewhere, if you want to look for them.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by snowyflake on Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:41 pm

Hi OW

I thought the idea of a discussion forum was to invite people to discuss and hopefully they would stick around to continue discussions. But what I'm seeing here is people being chased off for the simple reason of having a difference of opinion. Surely that's not what this forum is about is it?

Or has Cutting Edge become exclusive?
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Ivan on Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:03 pm

I’m not sure if oftenwrong is referring to other recipes for discussion or other forums, but it doesn’t really matter either way; the First World War analogy, intended as a subtle hint, clearly fell on deaf ears. The point of a discussion forum is to discuss the issues on the threads, not for members to publicly and repeatedly attack the staff and even demand apologies from them.

Cutting Edge is not an exclusive forum and I spend a lot of time trying to recruit new members. What is unacceptable is when a couple of Johnny-come-latelies ignore all the house rules, bully other members, inflame a long-standing issue between the staff and a recalcitrant member, and try telling us - not by personal message, but on public threads - how to run the place. If a member of staff decides to lock a thread temporarily, you don’t immediately start an identical one unless you’re looking for trouble. I think you’d be hard pushed to find any forum, exclusive or otherwise, which was prepared to accept such behaviour for any length of time.

Having another of my “sudden desires to get back on subject”, I'll ask again - what is the purpose of education? Preparing students for a specific career? Teaching students lifelong values, discipline, and the ability to explore new ideas and to think independently? Maybe a little more ‘discipline’ (i.e. abiding by the house rules) might be useful for some of those who want to post on discussion forums.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Heretic on Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:22 pm

snowyflake wrote:Hi OW

I thought the idea of a discussion forum was to invite people to discuss and hopefully they would stick around to continue discussions. But what I'm seeing here is people being chased off for the simple reason of having a difference of opinion. Surely that's not what this forum is about is it?

Or has Cutting Edge become exclusive?

Cutting Edge says on the box that it is a left of centre discussion board. I have no qualms about this, it was up front about it.

It was fairly clear that 'left of centre' wasn't the only view here as Mr JP Cusick seemed to be evidence of. But Mr JP Cusick disappeared as soon as he realised that he was only allowed to be here if he remained the token (far)right loony.

A discussion board is all about debate and the basic rules of debate have been around for a long time. The school I attended had had a debating society for over 250 years. The managers of a site like this are meant to act impartially whatever their views may be, they can can express those views in any way they like as long as their actions are impartial.

I would far rather talk about the various topics than message board 'internal politics' but I would ask the various managers to consider carefully what other posters have said and let us know the outcome. I know there is a rule about talking about this kind of thing through the private messaging system but since it is already in the public domain as it were I thought this post would not cause further damage.

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:45 pm

What is the purpose of education?

Even a cursory look at the results of NOT having an education provide an answer to the question. Adolescents who bunked-off school rapidly discover how unsympathetic the capitalist ethic can be to those not contributing to the common wellbeing. Without cash to flash, a low-status life can be boring and pointless. Crime offers an alternative for a short time until they get locked-up or are eliminated by competitors.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Ivan on Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:12 pm

Heretic. I’m trying to get this thread back on topic. There’s no reason why you couldn’t have put your remarks in a personal message.  headbang 

Your comments about Mr Cusick are both out of order and way off the mark. He wasn’t “only allowed to be here as a token right-wing loony”; he was, and still is, welcome here. Ironically, the reason he hasn’t been around for a while is that he felt he was being bullied by the newcomers on the religion board.

The issues that have arisen recently have been nothing to do with left and right. They are about people who repeatedly flout the house rules – most of which are prescribed by the site owners – and who throw their weight around and arrogantly assume they know how to run this forum better than those of us who’ve been doing it since 2011. When it reaches the point that a staff member feels she's being bullied, I’m going to step in.

We are impartial, and I resent your implication that we might be otherwise. The staff do discuss all moderated messages in a staff room which is invisible to ordinary members, but we’re certainly not going to “let you know the outcome” on open threads like this one. I have no intention of playing along while you try to present the staff, rather than those who have shown contempt for the service which we provide, as the villains. The occasional transgression (such as this latest one by you) will usually be overlooked, but anyone – on this or any other forum – who continually ignores the rules will eventually get sanctioned. That’s the issue here.
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by Ivan on Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:11 pm

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Re: What is the purpose of education?

Post by boatlady on Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:59 pm

I wish something like that had been prominently displayed in my grammar school - education might have turned out to be a much more positive experience
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Re: What is the purpose of education?

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