Data Data Everywhere...

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Data Data Everywhere...

Post by Lesley » Sat Jul 24, 2004 8:17 am

This article was flagged up by Reading A to Z this month.

The parallels between the No Child Left Behind Act and The Primary National Strategy are obvious and many.

The gap between rhetoric and reality, the phoney concept of "choice," the huge amounts of money being thrown at the problem in the hope that something might stick, the obsession with data collection (weighing the pig doesn't make it fatter!) and the supposed return to the systematic teaching of phonics.

We know it all amounts to a pile of beans if you haven't got a well-trained teacher who delivers daily sessions in synthetic phonics to the children, and who does not promote the mixed methods/searchlight model when their pupils pick up a book to read.

Wonder how many dollars it would cost to provide a copy of the Jolly Phonics handbook to every Kindergarten and Grade School teacher in the US?

We can dream, can't we?



Post by Guest » Sat Jul 24, 2004 11:17 pm

Sweet Lesley, I got back (a difficult taask currently on BUSHINTERNRT.COM net surfers).

Two middle class paarties, Republican and New Labour, have announced the priority of "education, education, education", because it accords with the m. class recognition of rationality as the means of progress in EVERY area of human endeavour. It is, tragically, an intellectual recognition only, which is accompanied by an emotional socialist/christian (stupid) attitude among the more "empathetic" members of the class that typically enter ed. depts. and join teacher unions that different standards from the normal, human ones must be applied to any kids living in sub-m.class circumstances.

This essentially pre-scientific do-gooding stratum of the dominant class will continue to frustrate the rational impetus that brought it into dominance as long as it fails to recognise the long-term advantages FOR A NATION of harvesting ALL the intellectual capital born to it - a RATIONAL enough proposition.

What would prevent such a reconition? Only sub-rational beliefs such as socialism and christianity, both of which have entered deep into pedagogy. Both are in practice essentially paternalistic, because in place of the recognition of innate human potentiality there is substituted an external force: historical destiny or "God's will".

Only science holds the truth for rearing kids: science asks what works, what allows them to acquire literacy and become fully human - and works out the reasons afterwards, in humble subnmission to evidence and logic. Science assumes all kids to be fully human and therefore rational, and to want to acquire the means to self-realisation.

Science assumes that human kids are born to an inheritance of extreme receptiveness, sensitivity and logicality - wherever they are born - and that if this heritage is frustrated individuals will knock the hell out of ignorant but well-meaning educators.

Etc. etc.



Post by Guest » Sun Jul 25, 2004 12:14 am

You may ask: if this guy is so keen on rationality, why didn't he proof-read this message?

I say: because it was driven by emotion, interestingly enough - but emotion informed, nay dictated, by intellectual conviction. Not your average fuckwit socialist/christian educationist's beliefs. All right?


Lesley Drake
Posts: 704
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2003 12:01 am
Location: London

Post by Lesley Drake » Sun Jul 25, 2004 12:51 am

Dear Grasshopper,

I was all set to reply when your second posting arrived!

Don't ever worry about typos - for me, emotion wins out over accuracy every time - except in KS2 SATs, where you would have been marked down on spelling, sentence structure and punctuation, but might have saved yourself in the composition and effect department.

I agree with all that you said about science, but I'm worried about the socialism, being a bit that way inclined. The appliance of science can't happen in a vacuum, and surely it is the capitalist system that writes off so many people because it only needs a certain proportion of educated workers, and the rest to sweep the streets?

In theory at least, socialism has more going for it than that, "From each, according to his needs etc ..." and you would think that science would have more of a chance to enable all children to flourish under a system where supposedly people come before profit.

I know you're going to say that the former socialist countries didn't have a very good track record where scientific and academic freedom were concerned. But in theory...

Another thing that muddies the water is that all sorts of idiots call themselves socialists - especially the sort that end up in the education departments of universities and the teacher unions ( eg STA, CDFU etc).

Perhaps we could start a new political movement - "scientific sort of socialists for a better world" and get debbiehep elected as PM.

Naaah! Can't be done without breaking into cockney. You will need to come up with a better working title than that, until normal glottal stop service is resumed!

I'm rambling - its late, and in solidarity I am not spellchecking this!

Mistress L

K Nowers
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2004 8:06 am

Re: Data Data Everywhere...

Post by K Nowers » Sun Jul 25, 2004 8:10 am

Lesley wrote:
Wonder how many dollars it would cost to provide a copy of the Jolly Phonics handbook to every Kindergarten and Grade School teacher in the US?

We can dream, can't we?

If only it was this simple. Jolly Phonics handbooks and materials are already in a HUGE number of British primary schools. Unfortunately only a relatively small number actually READ the handbook and use Jolly Phonics as a programme. Most simply use some of it's materials to introduce some of the letter-sound correspondences as part of a National Literacy Strategy programme. All the while they teach the High Frequency word list as sight words etc. When a portion of the kids struggle they conclude that these kids don’t ‘suit’ phonics and instead of giving more phonics support they drive these children down a whole word/look say approach.

What we need is for research and reason to replace the emotion and ideology that characterises education debate. We could also do with more teachers and schools who truly understand and successfully use systematic synthetic to stand up and shout about it and to offer training to other teachers and schools. Maybe then we will start to get somewhere.

Best wishes