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Old 2nd January 2013, 07:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
There are two ways to be a 'free thinker':
1. Learn what is already known, and try to understand it, while noting difficulties and contradictions. See how it can be improved and extended, if necessary by revising some of it, but remaining humble and subject to annoying details such as the genuine results of well-designed experiments.
2. Remain ignorant and indulge in wild speculation unhindered by facts.

Only the first type of free thinker is useful. Successful scientists are often free thinkers of the first kind, despite being regarded by non-scientists as conformists.
Well said. Like music, knowledge is a social phenomenon. You have to be part of the milieu before you can stand out from it.

There are far fewer opportunities now to be outstanding. The churning of practical applications of the already known occupies the lives of most scientists and musicians.

Freedom has no meaning outside politics and religion. It's just a euphamism for social irresponsibility.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 07:25 PM   #22
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I teach in a tech college and the standard from schools is woeful.

It's totally corrupt too. Useless.

Years ago you managed an A, B, C,D etc these days, in maths for instance, there is a higher and lower paper, one has a C minimum and the other a C maximum, but they aren't really the same "C".

It was brought about as many students were failing to hit the C grades to get into college. So now we have to take them as it says C on paper.

They have unrealistic grades AND the attitude that we'll do the work for them.

Don't blame schools the fault lies squarely with the government and it's funding structure. League Tables. While financial reward is directly linked to results it will be forever crooked. Sad but true.

"Sit down shut up and pass" is the motto at colleges these days. I go off script at work all the time to tell them what they need to know rather than the bare minimum.

Many two year courses are now one year, universities dumb down to mop all the aimless students up (bums on seats = ) and so you have it.

As for the GCSE fiasco, the grades are set each year you see, largely by volume taken, so the overall pass rate keeps going up so that exam board looks good, and there you have it. Remember the news headlines "A Level Exam Results Highest Ever" don't be surprised if you hear it again. Soon it ill will be 100% and why have a test that everyone passes, the nation didn't all of a sudden get brighter.

As for the standard of question then yes it's largely as difficult as it always was. You just need less of them to pass.

Cunning what they did there.

The government is at fault. The institutions have given all the power to the kids and parents and the teachers get it in the neck all the time.

But it's easier to blame them so it all carries on. Ad infinitum.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 07:29 PM   #23
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Mind you I think the tide is slowly, slowly, turning.
Thank God.

PS Functional Skills was for kids with lower than C. It begs the question though, and remember they've been at school 13 years before we get them, and the come to us unable to read or write. Wtf are they doing at school?

Last edited by nathanjh13; 2nd January 2013 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 08:52 PM   #24
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It all started to fall apart when they stopped beating them.

I remember an old black-and-white film, one of the characters said something like, 'A good man was never spoilt by an unjust blow'.

God alone knows, I got a few unjust blows, Scotland was a savage place in the '60s, but at least the rabble could be intimidated into silence for the benefit of the rest of us.

We had an English teacher, 'Wee Fluff'.

She said, 'You are the 'A' stream. Therefore you are capable of learning to spell. One of the belt, for each spelling mistake after the first. 20 words every time you see me.' They came from a spelling textbook. Graded words for each educational year. I never had another teacher who used corporal punishment in a purely educational context, but I knew, and admired more than one who kept discipline using the tawse (belt). Tawse:- Tawse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I could learn 20 words in seconds. I didn't often get the belt, it was mostly for inattention. Daydreaming, or being so fixated on something that it had become hard to get my attention.

I used to admire countries (still do) that had no corporal punishment in schools, but I think the UK introduced it at the behest of the European Union when the country was insufficiently civilized for it to work effectively. I didn't go through the American education system.

Interesting.

Last edited by counter culture; 2nd January 2013 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 09:15 PM   #25
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You know, having said that, we had some crazy teachers.

Guys who didn't match up to the challenge. The occasional sexual pervert. Everybody knew. You just didn't linger when he put his arm round you. There was never any question of prosecution, but then - nothing ever actually happened.

One guy chased a pupil all round the top floor of the building with a stool. He would have done him serious injury if he'd caught up. Everybody knew. He didn't get the sack though. He just couldn't understand why everybody wasn't as interested in geography as he was. And he used to spit when he got excited. But everybody knew that the kid had a talent for being infuriating.

And ev'ry body kent that 'The Gub', coud'nae 'draw' (really hurt you with) the belt.

Bah!

Christmas. Humbug.

Last edited by counter culture; 2nd January 2013 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 09:20 PM   #26
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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I studied Engineering from 1969 to 1978 . State University plan had 56 courses in 6 years + 1 extra "Pre University" year (which you could study on the double during 3 months Summer Vacation and pass the exams, if qualified).
I studied at Catholic University which added 9 extra courses, Religious or Social, which raised the total to 65.
State University had a full Mo/Fri class schedule; Catholic had also classes on Saturday or time would simply not have been enough.
Besides our own Labs, we had monthly special classes at "real world" Labs: at the Public Works, Gas, Water, Electricity, or in real factories: Ford, Chrysler, Coca Cola bottling plant, etc.
Now my Son is also studying Engineering ("like Dad"), his full career lasts 5 years, grand total of 40/42 courses, many 2 year ones were compressed into a single yearly one (as in: Thermodynamics + Thermal Machines > plai Thermodynamics or "Fluid Mechanics + Hydro Machines > Hydraulics" and so on.
Plus we actually made experiments, divided in groups of 4 to 6 students; now a bored teacher rushes through it, mumbles, and says: "did you see it"?.
Many times my Son can't tell me even what the h*ck the experiment was about or what it was trying to prove.
No wonder the Chinese and Indians are going to run the world and we'll be their cheap slaves.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 09:41 PM   #27
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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I have no idea what schools are like now, as I went to school in the 1960's and 70's. Back then we were claimed to be the laziest, least disciplined, most poorly taught, illiterate group of heathens that had ever come thru the school system. Not stupid, mind you, just poorly taught with no skills, knowledge, morals or discipline.

Wonder if they tell that to all the kids.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 09:54 PM   #28
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Wonder if it might be true?

What if our civilisation really is declining, even as our technical knowledge (but known by only a few) is expanding?
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Old 2nd January 2013, 09:58 PM   #29
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Time_Machine
&
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marching_Morons
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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/


That's why we hang out here, isn't it?
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Old 2nd January 2013, 10:00 PM   #30
jcx is online now jcx  United States
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Default youngsters today...

baby boom stress on public school resources, sexual revolution, drug culture, civil rights and war protests... heck even the concept of "youth culture" all made the 60's-70's something truely different from the 40's-50's
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