Wednesday 9 July 2014

Educational Euphemisms

Forget spelling "buttercup", learn morality
More quotes. What is the "character" boarding schools give your child?

“Learning good values allows students to "distinguish the good from the bad and the true from the false" and develops their character.” (Richard Walden, chair of the Independent Schools Association)

Character is associated with judgement and honour. Personality favours boldness and entertainment.” (Sarah Sands, Independent on Sunday, Feb 2012)

Character” means integrity and a sense of duty, according to the Wikipedia entry on Cyril Connolly and prep schools. According to Tristram Hunt on BBC Online, February 19 2014, it means the ability to concentrate, self-control and resilience: “Wellington College has taught resilience as a timetabled subject since 2006.”

@LKMco thinks character means “being able to defer gratification”.
Grit, zest, optimism, social intelligence, gratitude, curiosity and self-control.” (Deputy head Emma Orr defines character in 2014.)

“Professor Guy Claxton of the Bristol University Graduate School of Education who said that, ‘If we design an education system from which 40% of young people emerge with little but a sense of failure, there is a fault not in them, but in the system. I think they, and we, know what they need. It is not knowledge, but character; not certificates but courage and confidence to face whatever life throws at them.’” ( Classic bait and switch. And if a school claims to induce an indefinable quality called "character", its claims can't be tested, unlike claims that it will help your children pass exams.)

Confidence is like character and personality, it’s code for having remade yourself to society’s requirements. (Lorraine Pascale on ITV)

“The focus on league tables and attainment levels distracts teachers and effectively disables them from providing children with a more rounded and enriching education – one that will give them the moral compass they need for life.” (Richard Walden, chair of the Independent Schools Association, May 2014)

 “Many people tell me they [visit Eton] and their prejudices are shot to pieces because they see people who are rounded and just incredibly accomplished and bright and hungry.” ( millionaire and public schoolboy Brent Hoberman, The Times 22 March 2014)

“Unless you prioritise well-rounded students, the functionally literate and numerate thing is worthless.” (Hey Miss Smith’s blog)

“[Mayor Boris Johnson] spoke of the need for academic selection, which he renamed as ‘academic competition’.” (The Guardian, November 2013)

Some time in the 80s educationists decided that teachers shouldn't be didactic, i.e. teach. So they have to include exercises that the children can do in couples and groups. (JL)

[Schools] getting better all the time is what happens when my party is in government; ‘grade inflation’ when it’s yours.” (Mike Green, New Scientist 16 March 2014)

More here, and links to the rest.

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