Area for all other political discussion
:sunglasses: 100 %
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
 
By Malcolm Armsteen
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#582127
I think it's time we looked at this in detail.

The Guardian has a piece by Michael Rosen which needs sharing:
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2 ... hael-rosen
Let me put it this way: children with special educational needs are not a separate category. They aren’t a problem. They’re not an extraterrestrial event we have to make allowances for. They are not even a “they”. They are us. We exist as a totality of human beings in all our states of being, in all our various ways of surviving on this planet. When you or I talk of education, this can never exclude, marginalise, or downgrade any group because it has been prejudged as less worthy or less deserving. Yes, we talk of “special” needs, but really they are “our needs”, the needs of our society to be a society for all of us. I hope that’s the attitude of everyone at the Department for Education, and you, too.

When you talked of a “fresh look”, you and I know this was triggered entirely by what everyone knows is a crisis. There are reminders every week. A crisis in provision. And everyone knows this crisis has been caused by the preposterous idea that something you people call the “British economy” (as if all we British have equal parts of it and all get the same out of it) could be “saved” by stopping us having decent public services. Cynically and cruelly you people cut back where you thought there would be least resistance. Guess who that included? Children with special educational needs.
Special needs education breaking our budgets, warn councils
Read more

What “fresh look” did you need in order to find out what’s happened? You have armies of inspectors, accountants, testers, regional commissioners and performance monitors checking every time a child puts pen to paper and we are supposed to believe that you’re going to find out something you didn’t already know.

Nevertheless, you diverted a DfE squad on an expedition to discover something. What? That the hundreds of protests from parents, carers, teachers, teaching assistants and children are wrong? Or that we don’t really know that the provision has been cut? Or that families have not had to go to court to get funding for their child? Or that we weren’t reading the papers in 2010 when politicians announced they were going to cut public services?

Or is it that this whole charade of a “fresh look” and “best understanding” was so you could conjure up a lash-up intended to assuage the rage of people who have been petitioning and demonstrating, until they can petition and demonstrate to your successor?
followed by this letter, which to me sums up the problem completely:
I found Michael Rosen’s words (Education, 23 July) regarding children with special needs – “They are us. We exist as a totality of human beings in all our states of being, in all our various ways of surviving on this planet” – inspiring. But what hope is there of them affecting politicians raised on Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman?
John Davies
East Morton, Keighley
Boiler, Oblomov liked this
 
By Cyclist
Membership Days Posts
#589237
T Levels?

Seems a good idea, but implemented by this government? Where's the catch?
T Levels: what they are
T Levels are new courses coming in September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work.

T Levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... f-t-levels
 
By Oblomov
Posts
#589243
Cyclist wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:00 pm
T Levels?

Seems a good idea, but implemented by this government? Where's the catch?
T Levels: what they are
T Levels are new courses coming in September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work.

T Levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... f-t-levels
I expect they won't have input beyond the idea so it'll be chock full of pointless and demoralizing retail positions hosted by companies looking to pinch a few more pennies by not paying a workforce.
 
By Cyclist
Membership Days Posts
#636832
Is Leicester University drunk?

A university is facing growing anger over its plans to drop English language and medieval literature modules in favour of a "decolonised curriculum".

The University of Leicester said it was considering cutting subjects after a "drop in demand", and instead focusing on ethnicity, sexuality and diversity.

But the idea has been met with dismay by a number of academics and students.

Since the plans were announced, some university staff have also received abusive messages online.

Among those opposed to the changes is Professor Isobel Armstrong, a fellow of the British Academy, who has returned her honorary doctorate from the university in protest.

The Leicester branch of the University and College Union (UCU) said Prof Armstrong made her decision "in protest at the egregious attack on the integrity of English at Leicester and the attempt to eradicate 1,000+ years of language and literature from the curriculum".

An examiner for the university's English Studies MA, Professor Catherine Clarke, has also resigned.

Prof Clarke said: "This [is] either a cynical exploitation of the language of 'decolonisation', or genuine (and appalling) ignorance of the work medieval and early modern subjects can contribute to this endeavour."

She urged the university to "reconsider these proposals" as they "will diminish the experience of students at Leicester and limit their future opportunities"...


...Dr Shazia Jagot, who studied at the University of Leicester, said the changes could directly impact the education of students from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

In an article for Times Higher Education Dr Jagot, who describes herself as working class and "of South Asian heritage", wrote: "What happens when you remove the opportunity for students, particularly black and ethnic minority students, to read Beowulf, Chaucer and Milton?

"They are robbed of the chance to read texts foundational to the history of English literature and to engage in the rich, energetic work that is tackling racism, white supremacy and sexism in the discipline."

Final year English student Rhiannon Jenkins said: "We want decolonisation, the student body does want decolonisation.

"But we disagree that decolonisation is synonymous with redundancies, and we disagree that it's synonymous with getting rid of medievalism and early modern English literature."

The 21-year-old, who is the course representative for final year English students, said: "We think that [the university has] used this rhetoric of decolonisation to suggest that the English department haven't done any work towards it, and suggest that medievalism and early modern literature has no place for decolonisation in it."

Ms Jenkins also said the university would not allow the English department to poll first year students to find out what modules they were interested in.

The English Association, an organisation devoted to studying and teaching the English language, is based at the university. It said it was "shocked to hear of the proposed closure of English Language and Medieval Studies at the university"...


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-l ... e-55860810

The idea of decolonising is, to my mind, a Good Thing, but the ham-fisted way Leicester U is going about it will, at the very least, reinforce the classic Gammon view of universities being hotbeds of Britain-hating lefty liberals. Somebody needs to remove their head from their arse and have a little think about what they're proposing.
...A university spokeswoman said this means reconsidering how the subject is taught "to make it more inclusive and reflect emerging developments".

"For example, many reading lists are dominated by white authors," she said....

Who could possibly have guessed that Mediaeval Literature in general, and English literature in particular would be dominated by white authors?* Visit any library or bookseller anywhere in the UK and you'll see buildings full of books written mainly by white authors. :roll:





*I'm assuming from the specific mention of "Beowulf", Chaucer and Milton, that medieval (sic) refers to pre Industrial Revolution times, when not that many BAME people were actually writing in English**. "English Literature" - the clue is in the name.



**The likes of Confucius, Damodar Singh and Muhammad al-Idrisi were not writing in English.
oboogie liked this
 
By Andy McDandy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#636834
Agreed. Include more authors, rather than exclude. To a degree, the Gammons already think it's all Harry Potter and Ukrainian lesbians, but there's no sense in giving them ammunition.
By mattomac
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#636866
I made the argument that I thought things need updating, I assume there isn’t a BA in Medieval Literature and if there is?, no wonder it’s on the way out.

Sorry but people created a market in higher education, they aren’t updating Medieval Literature they are updating the course it sits on.

Maybe the problem is academically it is still mostly white, straight and male, the best moves on decolonisation of education is done by those who have broke the glass ceiling but I think Roehampton has a black woman in a high position in the University, I think she is one of 8 or 9 in the country. Having watched an audience of black students be absolutely inspired by Akala, this can’t be an argument just about decolonisation of education, the voices that matter to these kids are simply not being taught.

English Literature is the easiest to adapt and update, I took it as a module for 3 years on my degree, the concept and critiques are transferable.
By satnav
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#636869
I think the Mail did a bit of a hatchet job on Leicester university a couple of weeks ago. Billed as an investigation the journalists had clearly just done a Google search and then rehashed several articles written about the university over the last couple of years to paint it in a bad light.

My son is in his final year at Leicester University and from what I can see it is no different to any other university. Like most universities it is desperately trying to recruit as many foreign students as possible because they bring in a lot of money so it is not surprising that they are modernising courses to appeal to the widest audience possible.
 
By Malcolm Armsteen
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#636875
oboogie wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:17 pm
Never knew you taught Business Studies, Malcolm. How come the MA got through validation if it was no good?
I didn't, it was a series of meetings to finalise the validation of all courses. I was a student rep. The problem was that Business Studies lacked rigour and depth compared to other subjects, and was actually on a trajectory for a full rewrite.
 
By Andy McDandy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#636880
satnav wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:19 pm
I think the Mail did a bit of a hatchet job on Leicester university a couple of weeks ago. Billed as an investigation the journalists had clearly just done a Google search and then rehashed several articles written about the university over the last couple of years to paint it in a bad light.
Gammon "logic": Leicester = pakis.
Oblomov liked this
Shaun Bailey

Possibility Bailey withdrawn if elections delayed?[…]

Matthew Goodwin

It's the university who are pulling it down. The[…]

Poppy Day bingo

Might pop in for a pint, meeself. You'll be po[…]

SNP

https://scontent.flhr3-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/1[…]