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Rape of the school playing fields

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  • Rape of the school playing fields

    Britain's Daily Telegraph leads with a story about the country's school playing fields. Kudos to them for giving prominence to what many doubtless regard as a minor matter.

    Britain's Secretary of State for Education has five times overruled his own experts on this issue, being determined to cash in. And this is a so-called "conservative" administration.

    The sale of these assets began decades ago, but it seems we're not finished yet.

    I'm told the Secretray - one Michael Glove - thinks British education should be more like education in Korea. In particular it's maths education "scores" he hankers after. This limited view! As if people were "all head". My Dad was an academic in an engineering subject & remembers Korean students who'd add the date into a formula. No understanding; all by rote.

    That is what these narrow-minded people see as the futire of education I insofar as they think aboit education (and not balance-sheets) at all.

    And to think that the Ancient Greeks saw all education as beginning wuth music and gymnastic

    I just feel angry at such stupidity.

  • #2
    Humans don't need fields. Fields are for animals. The human's natural habitat is cold, concrete, and bricks.

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    • #3
      I have mixed feelings about this only because I have mixed feelings about how much of parents' responsibilities should be taken up by schools. As money/budgets get tight, I'd honestly rather have schools that churn out kids who can read and do at least enough math to figure out unit pricing in a grocery store.

      Humans need fields for sure. Humans need food, and the public schools here in many districts offer both a subsidized lunch and breakfast. There are x dollars. They have to be allocated. In the scheme of things, we really do need scientists more than we need football players.
      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

      B*tch-lite

      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
        I have mixed feelings about this only because I have mixed feelings about how much of parents' responsibilities should be taken up by schools. As money/budgets get tight, I'd honestly rather have schools that churn out kids who can read and do at least enough math to figure out unit pricing in a grocery store.

        Humans need fields for sure. Humans need food, and the public schools here in many districts offer both a subsidized lunch and breakfast. There are x dollars. They have to be allocated. In the scheme of things, we really do need scientists more than we need football players.
        Football players didn't screw up an entire generation by convincing everyone that the items in the categories of poison and food were in the wrong columns.
        In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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        • #5
          No, that would be the agribusiness/govt alliance who squash scientific findings time after time.
          "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

          B*tch-lite

          Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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          • #6
            The way I see it, our youngsters need the school fields to play on. I played football (soccer for you colonials) and cricket very badly but at least had fun. Kids also need to understand that there will be winners and losers. I learned to find something I can win at instead of whingeing about losing.
            Why use a sledge hammer to crack a nut when a steam roller is even more effective, and, is fun to drive.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bosnic View Post
              humans don't need fields. Fields are for animals. The human's natural habitat is cold, concrete, and bricks.
              lol

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              • #8
                If I were Queen of the World, govt budgets would always budget for children first, and schools would be the top line on my budget. Schools would be places conducive to learning and exercising healthy bodies. They would have small classes, teach music and art, have fields, and in the areas where needed, there would be healthy subsidized breakfast and lunches. The teachers wouldn't have to spend half their time on administrative tasks, i.e., they'd be able to teach, and wouldn't have to dip into their own pockets to get the little ones art supplies.

                It actually saddens me that children are so low on most govt to-do lists. Still and all, I feel that academics should be the top priority for school. Teach a child to read and not be flummoxed by mathematical concepts and s/he can go on to learn everything else on her/his own.
                "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                B*tch-lite

                Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                  It actually saddens me that children are so low on most govt to-do lists. Still and all, I feel that academics should be the top priority for school. Teach a child to read and not be flummoxed by mathematical concepts and s/he can go on to learn everything else on her/his own.
                  The very situation you decry exists only because children and education are so high on government's to do list. If you really care about children or education, you should do everything in your power to keep government away from them. Government has no more business in education than they do in food.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                    I have mixed feelings about this only because I have mixed feelings about how much of parents' responsibilities should be taken up by schools. As money/budgets get tight, I'd honestly rather have schools that churn out kids who can read and do at least enough math to figure out unit pricing in a grocery store.

                    Humans need fields for sure. Humans need food, and the public schools here in many districts offer both a subsidized lunch and breakfast. There are x dollars. They have to be allocated. In the scheme of things, we really do need scientists more than we need football players.
                    Yep, we'll need all those scientists to develop ineffective (but highly profitable) cures and products for those chronically ill generations that schools produced by feeding them subsidised poison and denying them the space to exercise. Science is part of the problem, not the solution. We need to de-think to survive. I thought this, at least, was something all PBers could agree on.

                    Total amount of physical education hours per week in my school schedule throughout my childhood: 2
                    Total amount of hours per week spent playing soccer/frisbee/tag etc out on the school playing fields: 7.5

                    It's a no-brainer.
                    My Journal: Englishman In Oz, Skinny to Muscle in a Primal Way

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                    • #11
                      We had a child - well, baby at that point - we saw the schools (we were living on Old Kent Road), we saw the students (a boy got stabbed through the skull at 4pm, waiting for the bus outside our flat). We left. Small boy is enrolled at Candlebark (world's largest campus - Google it) and will start full-time next year. This, to us, is more important than almost anything else in our lives. School makes or breaks almost as much as parents do. Education should be about growing and learning - a leading out, in full Prime of Miss Jean Brodie sense - but all governments want is fodder for the economy. Fuck that. My child will not be put through an 11-13 year mill to grind the economy's bread. My child will be valued and taught to think for himself.
                      My schooling had many failures and gaps, but without it I'd have zero knowledge of classical music and literature, two things that as an adult bring me great joy. Value to the economy: zero; value to the individual: priceless.
                      As you can no doubt tell, I hate this vocational drive. Gove and New Labour before him benefited from a classical education they seem hellbent on depriving children of now. State school = trade school in the UK.
                      *Gets off soapbox*
                      Last edited by badgergirl; 08-19-2012, 12:24 AM. Reason: butterfingers typing, as usual
                      I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by badgergirl View Post
                        School makes or breaks almost as much as parents do.
                        Research indicates that the biggest "make or break" factor when it comes to children is peer group. Far more important than parenting. Most important thing you can do as a parent is make sure your child socializes with a high caliber peer group. This Candlebark place sounds like it would attract a better than average lot, so you've already given him a leg up, but keep on it. The idea that friends are more important than parents is hard for many parents to accept, but to be the best parent you can be, you need understand and accept it. The best reason to get your kids away from government run schools is often not so much to get them away from the substandard educational programs as it is to get them away from the substandard kids that populate so many government run schools.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JWBooth View Post
                          Research indicates that the biggest "make or break" factor when it comes to children is peer group. Far more important than parenting. Most important thing you can do as a parent is make sure your child socializes with a high caliber peer group. This Candlebark place sounds like it would attract a better than average lot, so you've already given him a leg up, but keep on it. The idea that friends are more important than parents is hard for many parents to accept, but to be the best parent you can be, you need understand and accept it. The best reason to get your kids away from government run schools is often not so much to get them away from the substandard educational programs as it is to get them away from the substandard kids that populate so many government run schools.
                          Substandard families that make substandard kids, but yes. I agree. Particularly as our little one is a lonely only. His peer group will be incredibly important to him. Candlebark is amazing. Just amazing. And we are making all our family life decisions based on facilitating his education there. It's a huge burden, frankly, but worth it. There are schools in the UK that are equally amazing in different ways, but we're here now.
                          I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

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                          • #14
                            I think confusing science/scientists with the big businesses (pharma/agri) that control research in this country is a fine point that some people seem to be missing, but I don't want to derail this thread.
                            "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                            B*tch-lite

                            Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                              I think confusing science/scientists with the big businesses (pharma/agri) that control research in this country is a fine point that some people seem to be missing, but I don't want to derail this thread.
                              You wouldn't be derailing the thread Joanie, you'd be contributing to an interesting and worthwhile debate.

                              I do think, however, that in accusing "some people" of missing the point, you may be guilty of missing theirs a bit too. I'd be interested to know if you genuinely believe that by selling off school assets such as playing fields will actually improve the standard of education in the core curriculum? If so, you have way more faith in your US government than I do in our UK one. My view is that it won't lead to more scientists and less football players. It'll just mean that the scientists we produce will be fatter and in poorer health and the footballers will be of a lower standard. The demands of the industries will dictate the numbers, not the aportioning of funds or square-footage.

                              School playing fields (in the UK at least) get way more use during break times (when no-one is having lessons) than during teaching hours, so everyone suffers when they disappear, not just the jocks.

                              As for the scientists vs big business, I think it's too simplistic to lay the blame at the hands of the corporations and exonerate the scientists who allow their work to be misused, misinterpreted or misrepresented. If you work for the machine you're part of the machine. If enough professionals spoke out it'd be extremely difficult to suppress. I'm not confusing science with big business, I just don't think they're as separable as some people would like to believe. But hey, I guess I'm a dreamer. I actually think people should stand up for what they believe. That's an odd concept, I know!
                              My Journal: Englishman In Oz, Skinny to Muscle in a Primal Way

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