Saturday, September 11, 2010


Lecturer Peter Gumbel, whoever he may be, on the French education system :

"Although the French with their national curriculum have maintained standards and avoided being dumbed down, their system focuses on the transmission of knowledge and doesn't even remotely address the child or their wellbeing."There is more to school than getting good marks, and in Britain schools are not just a about your brain but about sport and arts and finding lots of different ways of excelling. The British system may focus less on results, but it nurtures self-esteem, personality and character".

French schools concentrate on 'the transmission of knowledge', do they ? The swine - call the Emotional Intelligence Police !

You have to wonder what planet he's living on, until you read :

Gumbel, 52, who also works as a journalist, has lived in Paris since 2002 and was prompted to criticise French schools, colleges and universities after putting his two daughters, now aged 10 and 13, into the education system.
In other words, he and his daughters have no experience of UK state education.

UPDATE - Anna Raccon reports that Guardianista Emily Barr finds her poppet similarly trumatised by French education.

ANOTHER UPDATE - could be worse - they could be in a Chinese school :

When my children were 6 and 8, taking tests was as much a part of the rhythm of their school day as tag at recess or listening to stories at circle time. There were the “mad minute” math quizzes twice each week, with the results elaborately graphed. There were regular spelling quizzes. Even today I have my daughter’s minutely graded third-grade science exams, with grades like 23/25 or A minus.

We were living in China, where their school blended a mostly Western elementary school curriculum with the emphasis on discipline and testing that typifies Asian educational styles. In Asia, such a march of tests for young children was regarded as normal, and not evil or particularly anxiety provoking. That made for some interesting culture clashes. I remember nearly constant tension between the Asian parents, who wanted still more tests and homework, and the Western parents, who were more concerned with whether their kids were having fun — and wanted less.

I still have occasional nightmares about a miserable summer vacation spent force-feeding flash cards into the brain of my 5-year-old son — who was clearly not “ready” to read, but through herculean effort and tears, learned anyway. Reading was simply a requirement for progressing from kindergarten to first grade. How could he take tests and do worksheets if he couldn’t read the questions?


Bloke said...

Do you need a link in there Laban?

Laban said...

I do believe so. Ta.

JuliaM said...

"The British system may focus less on results, but it nurtures self-esteem, personality and character""

Too much (and inappropriate and undeserved) self-esteem, a few personality disorders, and bad chracter, in a lot of cases....

SgtTroy said...

"The small print of Knight's press release shows that the number of students with five good passes in subjects that include maths, English, science and a modern language stands at 26% - a fall of four points in four years. In the postmodern world, of course, this can be explained away by the comforting thought that children are learning "soft skills" and developing "emotional intelligence". In truth, there is a reality gap between Tony Blair's vision of Britain as the hub of the knowledge economy and events on the ground - the dumbing down of the science curriculum and the plunging numbers of children taking modern languages. These trends suggest that we will soon be the hub of a lack of knowledge economy."

Incidentally there has been great fun on CIF over New Statesman Islamist Mehdi Hasan

Posting this youtube is verboten

It's a speech by Allah's ranting little imperialist with no other input, and comments have been disabled

However cif censors delete immediately, sometimes whole posts are removed entirely. Quite a bit of fuss on Hasan's latest thread. Naturally they have given him a pulpit.

God I hate Graun liberals

Brian said...

Anna Raccoon wrote a post about the similar experiences of Guardianista Emily Barr's little thick'un.