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don_quixote
10-03-2010, 07:09 PM
anyone see question time last week?

only two more days to view it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00r7npn/Question_Time_London/

carol vorderman reaches amazing levels of stupidity

four_five_one
10-03-2010, 08:14 PM
I was in the pub at the time this was shown, making almost word for word the same argument Will Self made about the Bulger killers... I was shouted down, of course, whilst Self was applauded. The argument that perhaps the murder of a child and the murder of an (equally innocent) adult might be equally reprehensible. The murder of a child is always far, far worse apparently.

Plus, I just find it astonishing how many people still believe in this idea of 'intrinsic evil'. It's infantile. A moral fantasy...

Seems like Carol Vorderman is pretty 'unsavory' and, well, 'kooky' is the word that came to mind.

don_quixote
10-03-2010, 08:36 PM
it reaffirmed my belief in the awesomeness of will self. god i would much prefer him as a public intellectual media darling than stephen bloody fry.

Corpsey
10-03-2010, 09:06 PM
Seems like Carol Vorderman is pretty 'unsavory' and, well, 'kooky' is the word that came to mind.

Nah, she's intrinsically evil.

four_five_one
10-03-2010, 09:12 PM
it reaffirmed my belief in the awesomeness of will self. god i would much prefer him as a public intellectual media darling than stephen bloody fry.

Stephen Fry is just nice harmless and safe. I always see him being clever or 'quite intelligent', but never intellectual as I understand it. His ubiquity is one reason I never just sit down and turn on the TV, I'm always afraid I might find him on there being dull.

The QT audience was up for 'being challenged' and were able to think about what Self said and then applaud. But most people find Countdown enough 'cognitive stimulation' for one day. This is why Vorderman is thought to be intelligent even though she only got a third class degree and wouldn't be allowed to teach in our schools according to her political party. I know a couple of mathematicians but neither of them can do neat trix like times 437 by 5 and then divide it by 18 (in their head!), so I guess they wouldn't be considered as smart as Vorderman. I'm terrible at Countdown so I supposed I'm biased against that 'type of smart' though.

four_five_one
10-03-2010, 09:14 PM
Nah, she's intrinsically evil.

Probably make exceptions in some cases...

don_quixote
10-03-2010, 10:22 PM
as some who is good at mental arithmetic, i object yer honur

mixed_biscuits
10-03-2010, 11:00 PM
Plus, I just find it astonishing how many people still believe in this idea of 'intrinsic evil'. It's infantile. A moral fantasy...

If being good comes about because of our inborn fellow feeling, then not having the capacity for fellow feeling might lead one inevitably to act badly... = psychopaths?

I thought Vorderman was good on the Mandelson point but otherwise bad. I'm a bit worried about the Conservatives turning Maths teaching into a massive arithmetic fest. Maths teaching, at least at the primary level, has been heading in the right direction, as far as I'm concerned - there's a good balance.

don_quixote
11-03-2010, 06:20 AM
at the bottom end, kids are absolute horseshit at times tables though.

mixed_biscuits
11-03-2010, 07:16 AM
Yeah, everyone's got to nail their tables, for sure.

grizzleb
11-03-2010, 04:41 PM
Will Self can be a bit of a self-regarding fud (pun not intended) but he was pretty spot on last week. Thought the audiences questions were some of the most perceptive I've seen on QT also.

Looking forward to tonights bit of political theatre.

Edit - lol at Carol Vorderman. Reminded me of how much I wanted to die when I seen Davina McCall on it a few years ago.

craner
11-03-2010, 04:51 PM
Cool, I'm going to watch this now.

john eden
11-03-2010, 05:01 PM
Voderman outed herself as an absolute arse, but then she is scum in most people's eyes already for doing those debt consolidation ads, surely?

One question which nobody seems to be asking is how come the tories were allowed two representatives on the panel that night? If I was in the Green Party I'd be livid (or maybe I wouldn't, I'd be all mellow and niiiiiiiiiiiiiice, ha ha).

That said it was a more entertaining prog than usual. I don't really like Will Self that much but he was spot on, as people have pointed out.

vimothy
11-03-2010, 08:37 PM
Aaaaarrgggh--Vordeman is making me cringe. This is almost impossible to watch.

vimothy
11-03-2010, 08:40 PM
Please shut up, Carol.

craner
11-03-2010, 09:03 PM
Adonis is the worst here. No wait, Shirley is.

Boris and Will are slugging out the champs crown.

I still enjoy Shirley getting merked by Hitch. Slapdown! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEVA4EAP_S0)

vimothy
11-03-2010, 09:23 PM
"Lord Adonis"--I mean, really.

PeteUM
11-03-2010, 09:40 PM
"Lord Adonis"--I mean, really.

Not seen the QT but this is the snow tsar right? I guess there is some literary term for ironic names?

grizzleb
11-03-2010, 10:05 PM
I loved those acid trax that he put out. Boris has some excellent lines but he's pretty contemptible. Bullingdon Club as was pointed out. Carol is a bellendah.

Mr. Tea
11-03-2010, 10:21 PM
"Lord Adonis"--I mean, really.

Stone cold quim magnet with a name like that, guaranteed.

Until, er, you look at him.

grizzleb
11-03-2010, 10:21 PM
Stone cold quim magnet with a name like that, guaranteed.

Until, er, you look at him.
I always like to imagine him absolutely destroying cunts.

don_quixote
11-03-2010, 10:30 PM
he's a prat.

still, at least he's not vorderman

don_quixote
11-03-2010, 10:47 PM
monty don <3

mrfaucet
11-03-2010, 11:01 PM
Reminded me of how much I wanted to die when I seen Davina McCall on it a few years ago.

This was the worst.

Tentative Andy
12-03-2010, 12:27 PM
Yeah this was a worthwhile watch, cheers dq.
Prob the last person in the world to say this - but it's amazing how far Boris J has managed to get on the ticket of being 'sort of a nice bloke'. When you listen to him on this, he's even worse than your average politico at not giving a straight answer to any question.
He constantly avoids the point by waffling, telling bad jokes and directing semi-humorous insults at the other panelists. I couldn't tell you if it's a deliberate strategy of evasion or just general stupidity/ignorance, but either way, the man's a total vacuum for ideas...

Edit: In fairness, even though it was obv motivated in part by a 'the others are just as bad' tactic, I did kind of admire how open he was about the issue of non-dom donations, basically saying upfront that all the parties receive them and will continue to do so. Also, I don't know much about Shirley Williams, but what she said about the specific case of Lord Ashcroft seemed to make a lot of sense.

Woebot
12-03-2010, 01:22 PM
The argument that perhaps the murder of a child and the murder of an (equally innocent) adult might be equally reprehensible. The murder of a child is always far, far worse apparently.

Hmm. The thing is I bet ten-to-one you and Will Self don't actually have children. Not that this is a criticism as such - but I promise you'll find yourself in quite a different mind-set once you actually do. I used to spout just the same kind of things. That says something about the bias of BOTH parties (those with and without children) not something about the clarity of vision of those without.

William Burroughs used to have a classic put-down whereby he said that an artist/writer/musician was essentially a con-man - and that the greatest con was to pretend you were Death. With a capital "D". The thing about claiming you were Death was that you were susceptible to someone blowing the whistle on you - calling your bluff. Because no-one is Death....

If you'll forgive me, I'd like to call your bluff, because it strikes me that the card you and Will Self are playing is that of Death. When and if you have one (and I hope I'm not putting you off :p) you'll see that actually children are life. The death, almost inconceivably worse the murder, of a child renders our humanity and existence as a transparent charade - not just because they rely on "grown-ups" to protect them but because YES we all die, but it's all about our right to a decent life while we're shuffling about and as a child you've not lived long enough.

It's like (or should be like) the Police and their attitude to people who kill Policemen. It's biased but at least it's honest about what is at stake for that organism (the Police Force).

craner
12-03-2010, 01:29 PM
I can see what you're saying here, Matt, but when children kill children, the point is somewhat complicated, no?

Also, Will Self does have children, doesn't he?

STN
12-03-2010, 01:39 PM
He has four children, I think. he certainly has some, anyway.

vimothy
12-03-2010, 01:41 PM
Yes, the comparison that Self made was not between the murderers of children and the murdereers of adults, but between children who murder and adults who murder. That Bulger's murderers were uniquley evil because they--the murderers--were children whereas this stuff (term of life sentences e.g.) is acceptable (i.e. ignored) on a day-to-day basis if the murderer is an adult--this is the inconsistency. It is a good point and was well made. I admit that I was surprised to see actual insight on QT, but there you go.

vimothy
12-03-2010, 01:46 PM
Er, so what I mean is (with respect) you seem to be massively missing Self's point here Woebot. Not that I disagree with the sentiment expressed, but it is something of a non sequitur. I can't parse four_five_one's post but it seems like s/he is making the same mistake.

john eden
12-03-2010, 01:49 PM
Yes, the comparison that Self made was not between the murderers of children and the murdereers of adults, but between children who murder and adults who murder. That Bulger's murderers were uniquley evil because they--the murderers--were children whereas this stuff (term of life sentences e.g.) is acceptable (i.e. ignored) on a day-to-day basis if the murderer is an adult--this is the inconsistency. It is a good point and was well made. I admit that I was surprised to see actual insight on QT, but there you go.

Exactly. The unpopular point that they may have not known what they were doing, because they were kids.

john eden
12-03-2010, 01:51 PM
Er, so what I mean is (with respect) you seem to be massively missing Self's point here Woebot. Not that I disagree with the sentiment expressed, but it is something of a non sequitur. I can't parse four_five_one's post but it seems like s/he is making the same mistake.

Also in agreement with this. It's not clear to me if everyone has actually seen the QT being discussed, because some of the stuff here isn't what happened?

matt b
12-03-2010, 02:04 PM
Yesterday's QT was a bit depressing too, with glimpses of hope.

Main conclusion (reaffirmed): McKenzie is a hateful piece of shit.

This case more in relation to Bulger puts our frenzied bloodlust to shame:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/correspondent/803151.stm

vimothy
12-03-2010, 02:31 PM
For me the most basic and overlooked fact in amongst all the self-serving media hyperventilation is not even that the obvious one that children have diminished responsibility, but that a child who murders is no more the demonic spawn of satan than an adult who murders. Even if you think that "life should mean life", this is not relevant to the Bulger case specifically. It's a generic point.

four_five_one
12-03-2010, 05:41 PM
Yes, the comparison that Self made was not between the murderers of children and the murdereers of adults, but between children who murder and adults who murder. That Bulger's murderers were uniquley evil because they--the murderers--were children whereas this stuff (term of life sentences e.g.) is acceptable (i.e. ignored) on a day-to-day basis if the murderer is an adult--this is the inconsistency. It is a good point and was well made. I admit that I was surprised to see actual insight on QT, but there you go.

Ah, when I saw it the first time and heard him say 'child killers' and 'adult killers' I assumed he meant people who killed children vs people who killed adults. Maybe he does mean that, but watching that part again, it seems you're right.

To rewrite my first post, at the time QT was shown, I was in the pub. When I got home and watched it, I was surprised to learn that Will Self had made exactly the same argument as I had (so I thought). But anyway, having made the point about children not having the same moral responsibility as adults, I then went on to say that the murder of a child and the murder of an equally innocent adult is morally equivalent. And I stand by that.

If you were to say "Is it just as evil to kill an innocent adult as it is to kill an innocent child?" It'd seem strange if you said the two murders weren't equally evil. Like if someone broke in at night and murdered my poor old Grandmother, this to me seems _just as evil_ as the murder of a child.

don_quixote
12-03-2010, 06:08 PM
kelvin mckenzie made me so angry last night. the man is a complete and utter bastard. i can't believe how much i'm fuming at the comment of him saying that "gordon brown is a compulsive liar". i know you are allowed opinions but that is out and out slander, but mostly extremely rich coming from him.

thought the panel was pathetic at standing up to him last night and did monty don actually get a word in edgeways after the bulger discussion?

Mr. Tea
12-03-2010, 06:39 PM
The thing that gets me about the baying-mob mentality that always surrounds these cases of child offenders is that people seem unable to appreciate that the perpetrators most probably have had a pretty appalling upbringing themselves for them to have gone so badly wrong at such a young age. Case in point: the brothers who tortured those two younger boys in the recent high-profile case. Their mother couldn't cope with them at all and had repeatedly pleaded with social services to intervene; they were well known as trouble-makers in the neighbourhood, so they must have been known to local authorities...but of course nothing was done. Then something happened, and everyone's like "Why was nothing done?".

Anyone know any background on the Bulger kids? I can't quite believe two kids who weren't already quite fucked up would have done something like this after seeing one violent horror film, though I could be wrong. Of course, exposure to video violence at a young age could be one of the things that sends someone down that path in the first place.

Naturally this argument applies to adults, too. Baby P's mother was horribly abused as a kid, and the mother of the little girl who starved to death recently had had horrible things done to her, or witnessed horrific violence at any rate.

mixed_biscuits
12-03-2010, 07:50 PM
Where's the evidence that children are born not-evil?

Mr. Tea
12-03-2010, 09:19 PM
If one has no choice but to be evil, then one isn't truly evil. Right? Ethics 101.

[there will now ensue a debate about Free Will...]

mixed_biscuits
12-03-2010, 09:42 PM
The only thing stopping babies from harming others is that they're weak - an omnipotent baby would quite happily vaporise anybody getting between it and its momma's mammaries.

craner
12-03-2010, 10:15 PM
Vince Clortho, Keymaster of Gozer.

muser
13-03-2010, 05:14 AM
the whole concept of "evil" is ridiculous western/chrisitan bollocks.. "Evil" has been abused as an easy way out of difficult/complex results of an over complicated society. Politicans love evil (maybe more secretively now) because it doesn't reflect on anything other than some abstract force as opposed to generations of fucked up behaviors that have been allowed to progress to the point of complete psycho/socio paths.

Allways think its stupid when i hear people fuss about the killing of animals that are in their infancy considering they are on the whole as defenseless to humans as there fully grown counterparts. Thats never/very rarley the case regarding humans to infantile humans so it is totally different.

baboon2004
13-03-2010, 10:16 AM
Vince Clortho, Keymaster of Gozer.

Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you...

Woebot
14-03-2010, 09:16 PM
Also in agreement with this. It's not clear to me if everyone has actually seen the QT being discussed, because some of the stuff here isn't what happened?

:o

(i'll get my coat)

jtg
15-03-2010, 05:19 PM
If you were to say "Is it just as evil to kill an innocent adult as it is to kill an innocent child?" It'd seem strange if you said the two murders weren't equally evil. Like if someone broke in at night and murdered my poor old Grandmother, this to me seems _just as evil_ as the murder of a child.
There are at least two reasons why it can be said to be worse. Firstly, because your poor old Grandmother has lived a long life, whereas a child hasn't. Ask the question, would you rather someone murdered you when you were 90 or when you were 10? Of course it is worse, from the victim's perspective, to be murdered at 10. Therefore the murderer of the child is more culpable.

Secondly, there is the innocence and vulnerability of a child. I think there is something worse about picking a vulnerable victim -- mugging a poor, defenceless old lady who can barely walk makes the mugger more culpable in my mind. If your Grandmother is vulnerable, then the difference between her murder and a child's mightn't be exceptional, but the difference between murdering a healthy adult and a 10-year-old would.


Exactly. The unpopular point that they may have not known what they were doing, because they were kids.
Is there any reason at all to believe this? From every account I've read of this, it seems 100% clear that they knew exactly what they were doing. They even tried to cover up what they'd done my trying to make it look like he'd been killed by a train. It seems very odd that someone's first reaction would be to try and make excuses for the murderer without any evidence or justification. They were found guilty and so found to have the mens rea for murder. I see no reason to question that decision.


The thing that gets me about the baying-mob mentality that always surrounds these cases of child offenders is that people seem unable to appreciate that the perpetrators most probably have had a pretty appalling upbringing themselves for them to have gone so badly wrong at such a young age. Naturally this argument applies to adults, too. Baby P's mother was horribly abused as a kid

Especially with adults, such as Baby P's killer, I fail to see how this is relevant. The adults in that case were late 20s to early 30s: why should they not be responsible for their actions? I can see that the reason they're such fucked-up people is because of their upbringing, but the idea that this in any way justifies the deaths of innocent people strikes me as absurd. The aim of the law should be to deter people from committing these crimes and punishing them when they do. Saying "well, you can kill anyone you like because you've had a terrible upbringing" is contrary to the interests of everybody else. It should be no more of an excuse than the fact that you don't like Mondays.

baboon2004
15-03-2010, 05:22 PM
i watched highlights on youtube last night. Vorderman was chilling. Will Self went up 1000x in my estimation.

jtg
15-03-2010, 05:22 PM
Also, why is Shirley Williams wearing a Kimono?

vimothy
15-03-2010, 05:31 PM
Is there any reason at all to believe this? From every account I've read of this, it seems 100% clear that they knew exactly what they were doing. They even tried to cover up what they'd done my trying to make it look like he'd been killed by a train. It seems very odd that someone's first reaction would be to try and make excuses for the murderer without any evidence or justification. They were found guilty and so found to have the mens rea for murder. I see no reason to question that decision.

I don't know about this. It's not the argument that I was making, but surely 10 year olds are still children. To put it another way, aged nine they would not have been prosecuted, "mens rea" or not--clearly an arbitrary distinction.

jtg
15-03-2010, 05:47 PM
I don't know about this. It's not the argument that I was making, but surely 10 year olds are still children. To put it another way, aged nine they would not have been prosecuted, "mens rea" or not--clearly an arbitrary distinction.
I agree it's arbitrary -- same as the ages of consent, drinking, driving, &c. It's difficult to think of a much better solution, though, than a simple age limit. At least it provides certainty, is predictable and is the same for everyone. In this case, I think it would have been worse had they not been prosecuted, if they had been under the age of criminal responsibility. Yes, it is a shortcoming of the law that this could easily happen, but I don't see a better solution.

vimothy
15-03-2010, 05:58 PM
The fact that a distinction is made is not the biggest problem IMO (though obviously problematic in certain respects)--I was just addressing the slight circularity of your argument. I'm not actually that convinced that ten is the correct age for criminal responsibility. Although wtf do I know.

Mr. Tea
15-03-2010, 06:17 PM
Saying "well, you can kill anyone you like because you've had a terrible upbringing" is contrary to the interests of everybody else. It should be no more of an excuse than the fact that you don't like Mondays.

Oh come on, that's pretty lame. Where did I say anything that indicates "you can kill anyone you like"? I'm not saying someone like Baby P's mother should simply be allowed to walk away free with no repercussions at all, and neither is anyone else. That would be ridiculous, obviously. What I'm saying is that someone who's had extremely traumatic things happen to them, especially in childhood, could very probably be considered mentally ill or at least damaged in some way, and that it's therefore reasonable to apply a different standard of culpability when they in turn commit terrible crimes, compared to someone who'd had a more or less normal upbringing (or at any rate, hadn't been beaten/raped/neglected) but just happened to have a severe sadistic streak and no regard for the rights or welfare of others.

And I'm not saying that having had a traumatic upbringing is an absolute get-out-of-jail free card, either, since it clearly doesn't morally absolve someone absolutely. There are loads of people who've had terrible things happen to them and don't turn into monsters, after all. But at the same time, there is a well-known correlation between being a victim of severe abuse and the likelihood of going on to become a perpetrator.

Edit: having said that, I agree (largely) with your other point, that children who these things are aware of what they're doing and know it's wrong. I'm saying that there may be tangible reasons why they have sadistic urges in the first place, or why they lack the impulse control or empathy that would otherwise prevent them from acting on those urges. Tangible reasons that someone who hasn't had those kinds of traumatic early like experiences, which I expect and hope includes you (and certainly includes me), can't really appreciate on any kind of subjective level.

mixed_biscuits
15-03-2010, 08:02 PM
I don't think that imprisonment should constitute anything more than a period of enforced exile from society, with the protection from the criminal that this affords. This is with the proviso that conditions in prison should be no better than those enjoyed by the most deprived non-homeless in our society, so that prison is not likely to offer an escape from want (not so much a deterrent as a non-attractant).

Given that imprisonment then becomes segregation rather than punishment (there is no idea of retribution or 'justice') the guilt or otherwise of the criminal, beyond the bare facts of the case (proximal rather than distal guilt), becomes immaterial: one would be as justified in imprisoning those who, through no fault of their own, due to neurological damage sustained during a poor childhood, for example, will remain highly likely to commit a crime for the rest of their lives, regardless of the rehabilitative programmes to which they may be submitted.

There is an upside for those who appear doomed to be unable to function in normal society, however: as the comparative comfort of prison has less influence on their actions (ie. would not have served to attract them), they can expect to be allowed better living conditions once inside. In other words, homicidal nutters are in for life but get to smoke cuban cigars and play canasta.

Children under 10 would be unlikely to be imprisoned at all, or at the most only for a few months, because, in their early stage of development, it is taken that they would they respond essentially to suitable rehabilitation (truly, a 're-forming').

Mr. Tea
15-03-2010, 11:28 PM
Children under 10 would be unlikely to be imprisoned at all, or at the most only for a few months, because, in their early stage of development, it is taken that they would they respond essentially to suitable rehabilitation (truly, a 're-forming').

The solution to youth crime has been under our noses all the time!

http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/flashpoints/theater/images/clockwork_big.jpg

Woebot
16-03-2010, 07:54 AM
I was in the pub at the time this was shown, making almost word for word the same argument Will Self made about the Bulger killers... I was shouted down, of course, whilst Self was applauded. The argument that perhaps the murder of a child and the murder of an (equally innocent) adult might be equally reprehensible. The murder of a child is always far, far worse apparently.

Plus, I just find it astonishing how many people still believe in this idea of 'intrinsic evil'. It's infantile. A moral fantasy...

Seems like Carol Vorderman is pretty 'unsavory' and, well, 'kooky' is the word that came to mind.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5StCxzD-jQ

Watched this and find it extremely difficult to fathom how you've come to the conclusion that:

"The argument that perhaps the murder of a child and the murder of an (equally innocent) adult might be equally reprehensible. The murder of a child is always far, far worse apparently. "

Will Self isn't saying any such thing! He's saying that it's wrong to assume there's a difference in the character of an adult murderer and a child murderer - that the idea of a child murder being "super-evil" is fallacious. He also makes a quite valid point that the children might not have been fully aware what they were doing - which is very possible.

How you get from Will Self's point to yours I have no idea at all?!?!?!?

Voderman = Standard Daily Mail business.

matt b
16-03-2010, 11:11 AM
There are at least two reasons why it can be said to be worse. Firstly, because your poor old Grandmother has lived a long life, whereas a child hasn't. Ask the question, would you rather someone murdered you when you were 90 or when you were 10? Of course it is worse, from the victim's perspective, to be murdered at 10. Therefore the murderer of the child is more culpable.


You could just as easily argue that it is worse to kill an 80 year old who has so much experience and wisdom etc thatthey have contributed/ contribute to society, rather than a small child you have contributed nowt.

john eden
16-03-2010, 11:17 AM
You could just as easily argue that it is worse to kill an 80 year old who has so much experience and wisdom etc thatthey have contributed/ contribute to society, rather than a small child you have contributed nowt.

Going down that road gets you to a discussion of the relative merits of individuals and their worth.

Is murdering a doctor worse than murdering a street sweeper?

matt b
16-03-2010, 11:23 AM
Going down that road gets you to a discussion of the relative merits of individuals and their worth.

Is murdering a doctor worse than murdering a street sweeper?

Quite. The age of the victim is irrelevant.

I'm more concerned with people's views of the purpose of prison...

john eden
16-03-2010, 11:30 AM
Quite. The age of the victim is irrelevant.

I'm more concerned with people's views of the purpose of prison...

Well obviously prison is there to punish people for doing BAD THINGS, because if you punish people HARD ENOUGH then they will never ever doing anything BAD ever again. And if they do you need to punish them EVEN HARDER.

Mkay?

baboon2004
16-03-2010, 12:29 PM
Going down that road gets you to a discussion of the relative merits of individuals and their worth.

Is murdering a doctor worse than murdering a street sweeper?

Not if it's Dr Fox.

Mr. Tea
16-03-2010, 12:42 PM
You could just as easily argue that it is worse to kill an 80 year old who has so much experience and wisdom etc thatthey have contributed/ contribute to society, rather than a small child you have contributed nowt.

OTOH, plenty of old people are ignorant grumpy old racist twats, so fuck 'em.

Mr. Tea
16-03-2010, 12:47 PM
I'm more concerned with people's views of the purpose of prison...

I think the only purpose that can't be argued about (in terms either of ethics or efficacy) is that at the very least it serves to keep the public protected from criminals for the duration of their sentence. (Ignoring of course crime bosses who continue to order their affairs from inside prison, but violence organised in this way is most likely directed at other career criminals, not the generally-law-abiding public).

baboon2004
16-03-2010, 12:54 PM
In Austria, you can punch old people with complete abandon. They're sure to have been complicit in war crimes.

baboon2004
16-03-2010, 12:56 PM
criminals

people who've committed a crime. Branding people as though crime were part of their very identity is one of the mistakes of most punitive systems.

matt b
16-03-2010, 01:12 PM
I think the only purpose that can't be argued about (in terms either of ethics or efficacy) is that at the very least it serves to keep the public protected from criminals for the duration of their sentence. (Ignoring of course crime bosses who continue to order their affairs from inside prison, but violence organised in this way is most likely directed at other career criminals, not the generally-law-abiding public).

Obv.

The other purposes are a more interesting point of discussion (esp. the PUNISH THEM. HARD bit ;))

matt b
16-03-2010, 01:14 PM
OTOH, plenty of old people are ignorant grumpy old racist twats, so fuck 'em.

ah, but the young are potential ignorant, grumpy, racist, twats.

Lets get minority report on their ass.

Mr. Tea
16-03-2010, 01:21 PM
people who've committed a crime. Branding people as though crime were part of their very identity is one of the mistakes of most punitive systems.

OK, that was slack on my part - I'm not trying to imply that there are two non-overlapping sets of people, the criminal Them and the law-abiding Us. But it is nonetheless the case, isn't it, that the vast majority of crime is committed by people who've committed crime in the past and will probably continue to do so even after a stretch inside? So if you'd rather say "people who've committed a crime", fair enough, but by the time someone is actually looking a prison sentence, chances are they've committed not "a" crime, but many crimes - isn't it? Remembering how many crimes go unsolved or even unrecorded in the first place, of course.

I appreciate that prison does not seem to be a particularly effective deterrent for those who've been released from it. And also that this is a subject close to your heart - do you have any stats to hand on the effects of prison on the likelihood of re-offending, or things like that? I'd be interested in seeing some hard figures on this.

massrock
16-03-2010, 01:30 PM
I dare to wager that even you, Mr. Tea, have broken the law on at least, two occasions.

massrock
16-03-2010, 01:31 PM
Two is an arbitrary figure.

baboon2004
16-03-2010, 01:32 PM
OK, that was slack on my part - I'm not trying to imply that there are two non-overlapping sets of people, the criminal Them and the law-abiding Us. But it is nonetheless the case, isn't it, that the vast majority of crime is committed by people who've committed crime in the past and will probably continue to do so even after a stretch inside? So if you'd rather say "people who've committed a crime", fair enough, but by the time someone is actually looking a prison sentence, chances are they've committed not "a" crime, but many crimes - isn't it? Remembering how many crimes go unsolved or even unrecorded in the first place, of course.

I appreciate that prison does not seem to be a particularly effective deterrent for those who've been released from it. And also that this is a subject close to your heart - do you have any stats to hand on the effects of prison on the likelihood of re-offending, or things like that? I'd be interested in seeing some hard figures on this.

wasn't being critical, sorry if it came off that way! Just think it's an important point, and stigmatisign people will be one factor in ensuring it's difficult to escape a life of crime (eg lack of firms who will take on ex-prisoners etc, though the list is more impressive than one might think, from one perspective).

Number of people who go thru any women's prison, or a YOI like Feltham in any one year, is massive. 11,000 women in any year, but only 4,000 at any one time. Loads of short sentences for criminal acts that are minor in the scheme of things, and prison spells break up families, have little if any rehabilitative effect, etc etc

baboon2004
16-03-2010, 01:33 PM
I dare to wager that even you, Mr. Tea, have broken the law on at least, two occasions.

greta point,a nd the one Will Self made the other day on QT, much to his credit, regarding how easy it is to get recalled.

Mr. Tea
16-03-2010, 01:38 PM
I dare to wager that even you, Mr. Tea, have broken the law on at least, two occasions.

Yeah, but not actual crime crime! Oh come on... ;)

massrock
16-03-2010, 01:40 PM
Crime crime, cr cr cr cr cr, sex crime.

/eurythmics

baboon2004
16-03-2010, 02:01 PM
Sex dwarf
Isn't it nice
Luring disco dollies to a life of vice

Soft Cell

massrock
16-03-2010, 02:42 PM
You don't know what it's like, you don't have a clue. If you did you'd find yourselves doing the same thing too!

Mr. Tea
16-03-2010, 02:47 PM
You don't know what it's like, you don't have a clue. If you did you'd find yourselves doing the same thing too!

Fucking TUNE. :D

http://minnesotaindependent.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/beavis_and_butthead1.jpg

craner
16-03-2010, 05:17 PM
Is someone actually saying that the very idea of punishment is flawed?

In schools these days, kids don't get punishments they recieve "consequences".

The hard nuts find this laughable. They understand what's going on, and it demeans the authority of teachers even further - do-gooder fools don't have a clue about us or our motives.

In my old school we had punishments like "the early call" - 100 laps of a rugby pitch at 6am, no fun during Breconshire winters. In my first two years the junior house head was a biology teacher who'd make us do a 100 skin diagrams if we fucked around too much. 100 of these, if you imagine:

http://www.cancerindex.org/medterm/medtm5.gif

We tended to fuck around a lot less.

This did have the happy result of a black market in pre-drawn skin diagrams sold by one enterprising soul for 10 pence a diagram - he made a fortune! He wasn't a boarder either, so in later years he developed great little ploys - like selling toasted sandwiches during breaktime for a quid. Sliced white bread, cheep cheese, margarine, his parent's sandwich toaster, a hordes of starving boarders. He made massive profits. In the summer term he'd walk around with a backpack filled with ice packs and cans of coke. 50p a can. All this money he made went to feed a massive appetitite for hi fi technology and drugs.

The difference in shcool today is that 1. kids see teachers as below contempt and 2. hey have no ingenuity.

Case, er, closed.

baboon2004
16-03-2010, 05:24 PM
What would happen if you refused to do said punishments?

Ah, sorry, reading on - lot easier to impose these kind of things at boarding schools.

Teachers don't get the respect they deserve from anyone, in my view.

craner
16-03-2010, 05:36 PM
The problem with discipline in schools, from my hard experience, and my experience in school all those years ago -- is a general lack of respect for teachers as teachers per se. We are generally laughable idiots, however good we are. The ones who escape this are the old timers and old skool who have equal contempt for the doctrinaire practice of contemporary PGCE/OFSTED mandated teaching practices. As far as I've seen, kids are sick to death of powerpoints and interactive white board wizardery - they go through the motions, but it largely has the dual result of kids taking the piss out of our earnest attempts to "engage them at their level" as well as constantly expecting to do "fun stuff". Things like hot seating and IWB shit have shattered a hole in the heart of English teaching, as far as I can see. I can barely understand what the subject is about at times.

baboon2004
16-03-2010, 05:44 PM
Yeah, my parents lost faith in teaching (though it was steadily eroded down the years) when:

(i) Discipline became an absolute joke;
(ii) The words 'Key Stage' were first breathed.

And that was in Physics. As you say, in something like English it must be even worse.

"Engage them at their level" - must be a source of priceless stories...

Mr. Tea
16-03-2010, 06:20 PM
To Craner, M_B and anyone else with teaching experience here: how long do you think it'll take before things start to swing back, with regard to teaching practices in this country? I mean, surely it's pretty obvious to just about everyone - teachers, parents, kids, education policy experts, whoever - that some pretty major ideological cock-ups have been made in the last couple of decades. And how much of a genuine break from the New Labour paradigm would there be with a Tory govt?

craner
16-03-2010, 09:47 PM
I doubt it will, ever -- Tory plans are based on the econonmics and freedom of schools, but they can't destruct or deconstruct the OFTSED or PGCE base. The philosophy and practice and programmes of training and, crucially, the "free market" exam boards (the HELL of AQA literature specs, for example) are too fundamental and entwined and entrenched in schools and assessment and, in fact, the Tory's started off the whole thing with the National Curriculum. But it's become a nightmare. And it has ruined subjects, especially, I think, English.

Lesson plans are proscribed now - starter, first activity, main activity, plenary. Plenary is obviously important, but the whole "starter" mania is, in my opinion, seriously misguided.

The QTS standards are absurd. But it's a structure so powerful, it's impossible to dismantle.

I don't know how it is in private schools, but as far as I know, they are slaves to exam boards and OFSTED so have the same shit enforced on them.

That's the thing about Gove's plans: more freedom for schools, setting up schools, choosing schools, but they still have to teach AQA's "multi cultural poetry" unit and they still get OFSTED'd and still do shitty starter activities that kids hold in contempt or get bored and weary with, so what's the difference?

It's a maze of malice and madness.

vimothy
16-03-2010, 10:05 PM
It's the audit culture, innit. Learning is a side effect of the real task of churning out grades. At least, that's how it looks from the side lines.

craner
16-03-2010, 10:18 PM
Seriously, the idea of demoting marks for mistakes is so alien to current assessment as to be laughable...like Roswell. So children who can't spell or write get Grade Bs for...vaguely making a relevant point. It's fucking depressing...not just marking this shit, but being instructed how to mark it UP.

The flipside of "consequences" is "credits". I've seen teachers teaching bottom set anarchic classes giving "credits" to pupils just for giving an answer in any vague relation to the topic. It "boosts" them, right, in theory; in reality, it's a piss-take, they fall about laughing. "Miss, credit please!" The whole system is totally devalued. It's a mess. It's making things worse, far worse.

craner
16-03-2010, 10:18 PM
Not just laughable...but "damaging".

mixed_biscuits
16-03-2010, 11:16 PM
It's fucking depressing...not just marking this shit, but being instructed how to mark it UP. The whole system is totally devalued. It's a mess. It's making things worse, far worse.

Our first lecture on teaching English on the Cambridge PGCE course was a lesson in empathising with the 'victims' of marking down. The lecturer displayed a short essay that had been corrected in red ink and pleaded, How would you feel if you had spent all this time only to...etc.

The irony is that if one were to follow the lecturer's guidelines, no student would ever be in the position to understand that very same lecturer's long-winded academic essays on their own disenfranchisement. Such actions, supposedly taken in the service of working class empowerment, have an utterly counter-productive outcome.

There are PRIMARY school children in private schools who do not make grammatical or spelling errors. Why? Because the bar is set high and they rise to the challenge.

And because the bar is always high and involves difficult work that requires attention, then that is what they have to pay in class - attention. If learning is made too easy in the name of accessibility, then everyone coasts and academic work is demeaned.

craner
16-03-2010, 11:19 PM
Yep, I've been in schools that mark in green ink - because red is too "aggressive"!

I am not joking. First Placement.

vimothy
16-03-2010, 11:24 PM
Policy makers have basically orientated the system towards producing statistics. Teaching and learning is not the real goal. This seems true at all levels of the education system, even HE (though to a lesser extent perhaps).

vimothy
16-03-2010, 11:28 PM
And since the tail is wagging the dog in terms of assessment, none of the statistics produced actually mean anything. People running degree programmes can't rely on grades--they don't know if an A grade student is actually good at the subject or if they just picked the easiest modules and retook them until they got top marks.

mixed_biscuits
16-03-2010, 11:29 PM
Yep, I've been in schools that mark in green ink - because red is too "aggressive"!

I am not joking. First Placement.

It's a joke because the colour green just comes to signify everything that red did.

In any case, there is sense to making being wrong unpleasant - things are easier to remember if accompanied by strong emotional reactions. This is why it's best to replace informal revision exercises by short formal tests + accompanying trouble-shooting.

craner
16-03-2010, 11:29 PM
It's not just policy makers, though, it's a sick symbiosis of policy makers and educational academic theorists...and the latter provide a lot of material for the former. Have more power in fact. It's a weird match of left-ish academics/teachers-with-MAs and right-ish government agencies, all making things worse for everyone.

craner
16-03-2010, 11:32 PM
I'm off to bed, anyway. Got 'Of Mice and Men' powerpoints for 9N tomorrow. The joy!

mixed_biscuits
16-03-2010, 11:36 PM
And since the tail is wagging the dog in terms of assessment, none of the statistics produced actually mean anything. People running degree programmes can't rely on grades--they don't know if an A grade student is actually good at the subject or if they just picked the easiest modules and retook them until they got top marks.

Testing should be organised by those about to receive the testees: A-levels should be set by universities (it is in their interests that the data they get is meaningful and that students are ready for advanced study), primary school SATs carried out in the second week of Year 7 (crammed skills do not survive the school holidays, properly embedded skills do).

vimothy
16-03-2010, 11:40 PM
Absolutely. I worked for someone a couple of years ago who interviewed all the main players for an ed research project--all the school effectiveness school improvement types and the politicians who loved em. Other than that it's just been these maths projects, so I've probably got quite a skewed view, but I can't help but conclude that the whole thing is dysfunctional in institutional terms. It's like the Wire. What you think should be happening, isn't happening. That thing happens by chance. Instead, you get this whole game of assessment and of stats production.

vimothy
16-03-2010, 11:45 PM
Testing should be organised by those about to receive the testees: A-levels should be set by universities (it is in their interests that the data they get is meaningful and that students are ready for advanced study), primary school SATs carried out in the second week of Year 7 (crammed skills do not survive the school holidays, properly embedded skills do).

Sounds sensible to me. The unis should definitely be more involved in A level curriculum and assessment development.

don_quixote
17-03-2010, 06:20 AM
i mark in green















my red pen is broken

matt b
17-03-2010, 09:57 AM
To Craner, M_B and anyone else with teaching experience here: how long do you think it'll take before things start to swing back, with regard to teaching practices in this country? I mean, surely it's pretty obvious to just about everyone - teachers, parents, kids, education policy experts, whoever - that some pretty major ideological cock-ups have been made in the last couple of decades. And how much of a genuine break from the New Labour paradigm would there be with a Tory govt?

The New Labour policies were a continuation of Tory (Thatcher) ones on the whole. Now that teaching and results have become politicised, it will be difficult to make any major changes as the media would have a field day if success rates went down.

The biggest driver of change is OFSTED (see their recent focus on Every Child Matters and 'canvessing student voice')- their obsession with integrating ICT into lessons has seen the installation of shite electronic whiteboards everywhere. We now have moveable traditional whiteboards in most classrooms, that we wheel in front of the 2k white elaphant to write on.

I think Oliver and Mixed Biscuits are over egging the case, mind- you still have a lot of freedom in lessons as long as your results are good.

EDit: Would anyone mind if I moved this whole derail onto the teaching thread?

matt b
17-03-2010, 09:59 AM
Testing should be organised by those about to receive the testees: A-levels should be set by universities (it is in their interests that the data they get is meaningful and that students are ready for advanced study), primary school SATs carried out in the second week of Year 7 (crammed skills do not survive the school holidays, properly embedded skills do).

That makes the assumption that A levels only exist to sift and sort for universities, which they don't. Also I doubt you would get any consensus from the universities as they are looking for many different things.

matt b
17-03-2010, 10:09 AM
Our first lecture on teaching English on the Cambridge PGCE course was a lesson in empathising with the 'victims' of marking down. The lecturer displayed a short essay that had been corrected in red ink and pleaded, How would you feel if you had spent all this time only to...etc.

The irony is that if one were to follow the lecturer's guidelines, no student would ever be in the position to understand that very same lecturer's long-winded academic essays on their own disenfranchisement. Such actions, supposedly taken in the service of working class empowerment, have an utterly counter-productive outcome.

There are PRIMARY school children in private schools who do not make grammatical or spelling errors. Why? Because the bar is set high and they rise to the challenge.

And because the bar is always high and involves difficult work that requires attention, then that is what they have to pay in class - attention. If learning is made too easy in the name of accessibility, then everyone coasts and academic work is demeaned.

Not demoting marks for mistakes is a non-issue, on the whole- theystill only get marks for right stuff. Admittedly it has a negative affect on student's ability to construct arguments and write essays, but they have to do that at A level (where there is no marking down of mistakes) and they learn how to in the end.

The advantage private schools have is a) small class numbers b) more resources c) no national curriculum, which are far more important than any percieved dumbing down.

The only social class issue here, is that relating to how the education system as a whole benefits the wealthy.

mixed_biscuits
17-03-2010, 10:55 AM
The advantage private schools have is a) small class numbers b) more resources c) no national curriculum, which are far more important than any percieved dumbing down.

Private schools tend to follow the NC and also (primary, at least) take SATs (to display on their website/advert to 'prove' that they are better than the state alternatives/private competitors). If they were to deviate too far from the state default, then it would make parents nervous.

(I think that the NC is, in principle, a good idea - there needs to be agreement as to what is to be taught, in order to facilitate continuity. Otherwise, those children who are shuttled around from school to school risk having a highly incoherent education.)

You can have as many resources as you want (private schools, often restricted to ageing premises with a small footprint, can be surprisingly badly resourced), but if the will isn't there to push the students to the limit, then under-performance will result. And the will comes about because teachers are under special pressure from all sides - from the clued-up parents who closely monitor their children's progress; from a headteacher keen to bag scholarships; from children who are pushed to worry about their own performance - to raise their game. And 'gamed' results don't count: they may come out with Level 5s but if they can't do long division or explain the concepts they have been taught (the parents will check!) then the school has failed.

From my experience, you can't compromise in private schools: the smallest detail has to be perfect, from the school newsletter to the Christmas panto. Some of the state school plays I have seen would have private school parents storming the head's office, so undemanding were they on both actors and audience.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if the pushy parent cohort were forced into the state system. Maybe state school parents should be taught how to be pushier.

vimothy
17-03-2010, 11:01 AM
That makes the assumption that A levels only exist to sift and sort for universities, which they don't. Also I doubt you would get any consensus from the universities as they are looking for many different things.

A levels are the main route into HE. The universities are the most significant user of A levels.

It is true that the universities are all looking for different things. But the veil of non-commincation between HE and college that exists at present is not helpful. I don't know about the other subjects, but the fact that most universities administer their own maths A level to students as soon as they get there tells you something is not right.

vimothy
17-03-2010, 11:03 AM
if the will isn't there to push the students to the limit, then under-performance will result. And the will comes about because teachers are under special pressure from all sides - from the clued-up parents who closely monitor their children's progress; from a headteacher keen to bag scholarships; from children who are pushed to worry about their own performance - to raise their game. And 'gamed' results don't count: they may come out with Level 5s but if they can't do long division or explain the concepts they have been taught (the parents will check!) then the school has failed.

This is very Bourdieu!

mixed_biscuits
17-03-2010, 11:07 AM
That makes the assumption that A levels only exist to sift and sort for universities, which they don't. Also I doubt you would get any consensus from the universities as they are looking for many different things.

Granted, but it is best that it is assumed that A-level students are considering continuing their studies (it would be bad to force A-level entrants to make a non-Uni/Uni track choice, for instance) and thus that their learning is organised in such a way as to anticipate difficulties and ease their future progress (ie. so that uni students aren't hit with a dispiriting slew of remedial courses in their first year).

One might also expect universities to be less politically motivated than the government and their examinations to be more resistant to grade inflation (as inflation reduces university entrants' level of preparedness and makes judgements on comparative preparedness more difficult).

As it is, A-levels' quality is decreasing and degree courses are having to respond in kind (remedial work has limited efficacy).

mixed_biscuits
17-03-2010, 11:14 AM
It is true that the universities are all looking for different things. But the veil of non-communication between HE and college that exists at present is not helpful.

I asked my PGCE Maths lecturer how primary Maths concept X* might be best taught so as to tie in with, ease the teaching of, secondary Maths concept Y. He replied, 'Oh, we don't have to worry about that, it's nothing to do with us.' :mad:

* I find it annoying that trainees aren't given a booklet of empirically-tried and trusted concept explanations (this is kind of what the Strategies attempted to do, but failed to due to lack of focus). We don't even go into the nuts and bolts of subject explanation on post-training courses; instead we fiddle with endless quirky starters. *heroically* I shall start a blog to share concept explanation 'scripts' that can be depended on.

vimothy
17-03-2010, 11:37 AM
The maths educationalists that I work with are big into very slow teaching of concepts (not procedures), where the students direct the learning (to a degree), make lots of mistakes and then explore why those mistakes are mistakes. The procedures are only ways into the concepts, after all. We only saw this open style in one college that was in such a poor area, no one gave a fck about league tables.

matt b
17-03-2010, 12:03 PM
One might also expect universities to be less politically motivated than the government and their examinations to be more resistant to grade inflation (as inflation reduces university entrants' level of preparedness and makes judgements on comparative preparedness more difficult).

As it is, A-levels' quality is decreasing and degree courses are having to respond in kind (remedial work has limited efficacy).

There has been research conducted that suggested that grade inflation also exists in universities too- it's worth about 1 classification since the mid-1990s iirc (students as customers etc).


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7511601.stm
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/7332452/The-university-professor-who-stood-up-against-dumbing-down-of-degrees.html

vimothy
17-03-2010, 12:14 PM
That rings true as well. I remember being told about a lecturer at an institution that shall remain nameless being fired for failing over half his class because they had failed...

vimothy
17-03-2010, 12:26 PM
BTW: No university places for 50,000 with good grades (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article7064771.ece) (austerity measures already kicking in)

matt b
17-03-2010, 12:44 PM
BTW: No university places for 50,000 with good grades (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article7064771.ece) (austerity measures already kicking in)

Also caused by recession- more applications last year and this year. Lots of failed applications last year re-applying

vimothy
17-03-2010, 01:05 PM
No doubt. Think we are def offering less places overall here though.

matt b
17-03-2010, 01:07 PM
No doubt. Think we are def offering less places overall here though.

Yep. Will be the toughest competition ever for places this year.

Hearing rumours of clearing lasting an hour!

mixed_biscuits
17-03-2010, 02:21 PM
The maths educationalists that I work with are big into very slow teaching of concepts (not procedures), where the students direct the learning (to a degree), make lots of mistakes and then explore why those mistakes are mistakes.

This sounds like Maths teaching in Far East primary schools.

The thing that I think is crucial is ensuring that the procedures that come out of this exploratory phase (the exploratory phase in my teaching is normally Socratic reasoning-style and thus perhaps not as flexible as it could be) make sense - that there is a logical connection. For instance, value added investigating dividing by large numbers may then be lost if one settles/has to settle on using the traditional long division algorithm (which I would imagine is very hard to explain 'properly' ie. what is 'really' happening?).

I'll put something up somewhere to show how I settled on teaching long division (unlike the traditional procedure, we seemed to end up with a procedure that made intuitive sense and could be mastered by children two to three years 'early').

don_quixote
17-03-2010, 06:30 PM
i don't think there's been major mistakes, maths classrooms are 90x better than they were when i was at school. there's so many brilliant new things that can be done. and i'm sorry but interactive whiteboards are a gazillion times better than normal whiteboards once you know what you can do with them. if you just use them as a normal whiteboard, yes, they are not as good. but they can be used for so much more!!


* I find it annoying that trainees aren't given a booklet of empirically-tried and trusted concept explanations (this is kind of what the Strategies attempted to do, but failed to due to lack of focus). We don't even go into the nuts and bolts of subject explanation on post-training courses; instead we fiddle with endless quirky starters. *heroically* I shall start a blog to share concept explanation 'scripts' that can be depended on.

strategies were full of good ideas though. most textbooks have empirically tested stuff in them, but for the real don try doug french - teaching and learning algebra. that book is basically the king of teaching all algebra.


The advantage private schools have is a) small class numbers b) more resources c) no national curriculum, which are far more important than any percieved dumbing down.

d) the ability to bully kids into long hours with parental support

vimothy
17-03-2010, 06:53 PM
i don't think there's been major mistakes, maths classrooms are 90x better than they were when i was at school. there's so many brilliant new things that can be done. and i'm sorry but interactive whiteboards are a gazillion times better than normal whiteboards once you know what you can do with them. if you just use them as a normal whiteboard, yes, they are not as good. but they can be used for so much more!!

Maybe--there is certainly a lot of new technology, but the maths teaching is driven by the assessment.

don_quixote
17-03-2010, 07:36 PM
oh yeah sure, i have a scheme of work which is basically the gcse syllabus but i teach in a school which is yr 10 upwards, so it's just examsexamsexams (lol sex lol)

seems to me the problem with maths is there's so damn much of it.

mixed_biscuits
17-03-2010, 07:49 PM
strategies were full of good ideas though. most textbooks have empirically tested stuff in them, but for the real don try doug french - teaching and learning algebra. that book is basically the king of teaching all algebra.

Aye, that's true, there is lots of good stuff in the strategies. The problem is that there is perhaps too much of it and the more interesting or innovative teaching strategies don't look easy enough to implement so teachers just ignore them and take refuge in their textbooks. Haven't looked at it in a while tho', so may be talking out of my proverbial, however.

Will check out Doug French - sounds good.

There's a strand within pedagogy in the US called 'Direct Instruction', which has produced books and schemes of work based on empirical research (teaching as science rather than art). Apparently our Strategies were influenced by DI, but basically chickened out of chucking out the chaff and prescribing how best to administer the wheat.

mixed_biscuits
18-03-2010, 01:06 PM
I'll put something up somewhere to show how I settled on teaching long division (unlike the traditional procedure, we seemed to end up with a procedure that made intuitive sense and could be mastered by children two to three years 'early').

The idea is that there is enough there for anyone to print it all out and try it out immediately in the classroom. The scriptedness also makes precise tweaking and criticism easier.

don_quixote
18-03-2010, 05:14 PM
yeah, it's known as chunking i think. i'd never teach the bus shelter method. everyone prefers chunking.

don_quixote
18-03-2010, 05:21 PM
along those lines the box method for multiplication is something i was never taught

mixed_biscuits
18-03-2010, 06:25 PM
along those lines the box method for multiplication is something i was never taught

Yeah, I taught them both the traditional method and box method for multiplication last time round. I think I prefer the latter as it ties in nicely with dot arrays and obv revises finding areas. Parents don't seem familiar with chunking (they saw the trad long division algorithm as the pinnacle of primary maths and I wasn't aware of any alternatives, hence the wheel reinvention :D) or area multiplication so that can be an issue.

Dunno what might be lost by not using the bus shelter for division at all... Converting common fractions to decimal fractions may be tricky without it (eg. sth like 2/7).

Do you get many year 7s using Napier's Bones?

don_quixote
18-03-2010, 07:49 PM
i don't teach year 7, i do year 10 upwards

the box method is bloody brilliant because it applies later on to multiplying out pairs of brackets. so much easier than that old smiley face eyebrows method.

don_quixote
18-03-2010, 07:52 PM
bus shelter method is also used for polynomial division at a-level. essentially it can be left for 14+ if you want to. i've no idea what napier's bones is btw.

mixed_biscuits
18-03-2010, 08:10 PM
bus shelter method is also used for polynomial division at a-level. essentially it can be left for 14+ if you want to. i've no idea what napier's bones is btw.

It looks something like this:
http://history-computer.com/CalculatingTools/NapiersRods/Gelosia_multiplication.jpg

The last method I know is Vedic cross-multiplication, which is what 'professional' mental calculators tend to use. The two rows of dots are standing in for numbers:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/flowofthoughts/VedicMaths/UT5.gif

Apparently, at the mental calculation world champs competitors are given 8 x 8 digit multiplications which have to be solved without writing any workings. They can, however, jot down their answer as they get it, making them feasible by cross multiplication. You can just imagine what 8 x 8 digits would end up looking like using the column or area methods.

don_quixote
18-03-2010, 08:15 PM
oh for some reason i know that as the 'chinese box method'. god knows why

mixed_biscuits
18-03-2010, 08:18 PM
oh for some reason i know that as the 'chinese box method'. god knows why

Heh, since posting that, I've found it also described as the 'galley,' 'Elizabethan' and 'lattice' method.

I've probably picked the one name it doesn't have.

grizzleb
19-03-2010, 02:15 AM
It's expectation that really makes private schools perform better, if mummy and daddy expect 5 A A levels then that will be whats coming. If you are in a household that can afford to send you to a private school then education is already held in high regard within that family. Well, that and just pure teaching for exams grade-grubbery. Or cheating. A guy I sit next to in a class was telling me about how his old school (private) used to give the questions out before resits etc. Shit like that. Means you get 98% pass rates etc.

Hmmmm...

cobretti
01-04-2010, 11:46 PM
It's expectation that really makes private schools perform better, if mummy and daddy expect 5 A A levels then that will be whats coming. If you are in a household that can afford to send you to a private school then education is already held in high regard within that family. Well, that and just pure teaching for exams grade-grubbery. Or cheating. A guy I sit next to in a class was telling me about how his old school (private) used to give the questions out before resits etc. Shit like that. Means you get 98% pass rates etc.

Hmmmm...

That's definitely food for thought, but I don't think you can apply it across the board; my bird's wee sister (youngest in the family, and the only one to go to a private school) certainly got a ribbing from her parents for the exact reason you mentioned at first, they expected straight As, and let's just say she didn't deliver. From my experience though, private schools produce both tremendously apt people and those who are so inept you cant believe they made it through school let alone got in to uni, fuck knows how they do it (maybe cheating as you'd said) but they do seem to be much better at getting good grades out of potential dunces, even if they perhaps don't do as much for someone who could have fared well in a state school to begin with. Maybe I'm treading old ground here, didn't read the previous page or anything.

Anyway, was anyone watching tonight? I only caught the last half hour, but thought the Lib Dems got a bit of a pasting (good lols at the double teaming they got for being "a party that never actually has to do anything", "they can promise the world knowing they'll never have to deliver"), and that Coren bird from the Guardian came off well, even if she did seem to have a habit of making a few too many shite jokes in what was maybe an attempt to warm the crowd to her. I don't see the point in having that Daily Mail guest on though; maybe it's a liberal bias in me, but Coren didn't seem too partisan in that she was happy to give the tories credit where credit's due, and was equally comfortable sticking the boot in to Blair, Brown and Alan Johnson. On the other hand, that Daily Mail chap (didn't catch his name) was just a one dimensional twat who didn't really have an awful lot of constructive stuff to say for the Tories, but was really keen to give the Lib Dems and Labour a dressing down at any opportunity. He brought absolutely no balance to the show whatsoever.

mistersloane
02-04-2010, 12:57 PM
Anyway, was anyone watching tonight? I only caught the last half hour, but thought the Lib Dems got a bit of a pasting (good lols at the double teaming they got for being "a party that never actually has to do anything", "they can promise the world knowing they'll never have to deliver"), and that Coren bird from the Guardian came off well, even if she did seem to have a habit of making a few too many shite jokes in what was maybe an attempt to warm the crowd to her. I don't see the point in having that Daily Mail guest on though; maybe it's a liberal bias in me, but Coren didn't seem too partisan in that she was happy to give the tories credit where credit's due, and was equally comfortable sticking the boot in to Blair, Brown and Alan Johnson. On the other hand, that Daily Mail chap (didn't catch his name) was just a one dimensional twat who didn't really have an awful lot of constructive stuff to say for the Tories, but was really keen to give the Lib Dems and Labour a dressing down at any opportunity. He brought absolutely no balance to the show whatsoever.

Question Time's just essential watching at the moment, I thought Victoria Coren (is she Alan Coren's daughter?) was excellent, a new Burchill in waiting there I reckon. Richard Littlejohn was foul.

crackerjack
02-04-2010, 02:17 PM
(is she Alan Coren's daughter?)

Yes, and giles' brother, which gives me an excuse to p;ost this again (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNTaH_QxNVQ)

I met her once and we bonded over a mutual love of John Cooper Clarke so she's alright by me

crackerjack
28-05-2010, 10:38 AM
So the coalition pull out of QT cos they're scared of Big Al.
(http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/may/27/government-boycott-question-time-alastair-campbell?&)
What's that about?

samdiamond
29-05-2010, 05:19 AM
So the coalition pull out of QT cos they're scared of Big Al.
(http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/may/27/government-boycott-question-time-alastair-campbell?&)
What's that about?

Yeah that seemed nuts at the time, but as David Laws was apparently pencilled in as the coalition minister, after his expenses shit (which i can't make my mind up btw) which may or may not have been clear to the government before the press, maybe alastair campbell was used as a last minute excuse? This might be FAR too much speculation.

crackerjack
29-05-2010, 09:43 AM
his expenses shit (which i can't make my mind up btw).

Cos of the gay angle?

I think we should be past that now, there are plenty of gay MPs and of all parties, the LDs and their voters should be the least homophobic.

This looks like fraud – unlike, say, flipping, it's not covered by generous HoC expenses rules. In fact, there are clear parallels with social security, where it's an offence to claim for HB when your landlord is in fact your partner.

He's a goner.

samdiamond
29-05-2010, 11:51 AM
Obviously completely agree that it is fraud and he should go, but I can't help but think that theres something tragic in going to such lengths to avoid coming out.

Sectionfive
18-11-2010, 11:06 PM
If it needs to be said. Kelvin MacKenzie is some dickhead.

matt b
19-11-2010, 11:47 AM
If it needs to be said. Kelvin MacKenzie is some dickhead.

That's one of my personal mantras

grizzleb
19-11-2010, 03:33 PM
He's a pretty impressive character though. Kind of like a Bill O'Reilly type guy, smarter than he lets on but even more of a scumbag for it. Takes a certain type of person to be that odious.

crackerjack
20-01-2011, 03:15 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/question_time/9366830.stm

enjoyed the Heseltine-Prescott one at the end. Good to be reminded of the old Tory stance on the minimum wage.

But they should really have had Brian Cox (the thesp) ripping Starkey a new one from last year.

Sectionfive
20-01-2011, 11:07 PM
Raucous

baboon2004
21-01-2011, 12:10 AM
Victoria Coren

Youtube:

"I must admit the last thing I expected was to be engrossed in my own thoughts imaging this posh lass getting biffed by three hung black men in a seedy corridor at Oxford uni, whilst she cums out loud x 3."

"I must concur she is very enchanting. I wonder if she takes it up the arse ?"

My mind boggles, as I don't even find her in the least attractive. Is it a posh blonde thing?

don_quixote
08-08-2011, 07:43 AM
vorderman has finished.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/aug/08/maths-taskforce-gcse-split

yes, lets make maths more boring for underachieving kids

:mad:

don_quixote
08-08-2011, 07:45 AM
"In my view, it is pointless for most 14-year-olds starting their GCSE courses to be force-fed mathematical topics which they will never use, when what they desperately need is to become more comfortable with numbers including percentages and fractions used in the world of finance."

:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad: