Western education

The state of education across the world

Re: Western education

Postby Mike » 17 Nov 2013, 10:26

Paul wrote:Mike, I'm utterly astonished that you said 'the discipline problems don't seem that bad..........

My goodness, what are you used to? You did say 'by comparison with today'. I feel for you. How have you not had a meltdown - on day one?


Ah...because I teach at a selective school!

I've dealt with the sort of behaviour you can see in that video in the past, though. It was probably a bit worse for me because I was younger and very inexperienced then, not to mention uncomfortable with the mantle of authority that comes with being a teacher (my personal opinion is that 22/23 is a bit too young to begin one's teaching career, for precisely that reason).

Believe me, by today's standards at a comprehensive school in a rough area (here in Oz at least, and it's probably even worse in the UK), that video would be considered pretty mild, on the whole.

Rachel wrote:They still had head teachers doing some of the lessons then. I am very surprised to hear from Mike that headteachers in Australia don't teach or take an active involvement.


Do you mean headmasters, or head teachers? The latter these days is the term for the heads of the individual departments (English, Maths, Languages, etc.), and they still do plenty of teaching, although many of them slyly manage to avoid teaching junior classes (my head teacher, who's excellent, is an exception in that regard). But the headmasters/principals at government schools certainly don't do any teaching. As Paul says, they are virtually glorified accountants these days, and an ignorance of the real purpose of education is almost a requirement for people who want to advance up the bureaucratic ladder.
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Re: Western education

Postby Paul » 17 Nov 2013, 11:51

Ah yes Mike, that's a wise move, being selective.

I would agree that 22 or 23 seems too young for teaching adolescents. There were quite a few 'old boys' (previous pupils at the school) on the teaching staff at my school but the youngest would be about 28 I would say. It's hard to get respect when one is only a handful of years older I would think. A dozen years or more seems better. Younger teachers than that are probably better off beginning with juniors and infants and may be able to relate more (be more comfortable) to/with those ages and vice-versa. Of course I'm no expert.

I think that teaching from a vocational sense is a very good thing and would be very rewarding - in a sane world. I can see the appeal. I do like to instruct people about things I know (skills), especially the young but only if they are prepared to listen and learn. I have very little time for the obstroculous and the argumentative.

I just don't understand how teachers in mainstream state schools can cope with the job, not even it now seems to me, in 1976. It can't be good for one's mental health and these days the fear of stepping outside ridiculous laws makes it all the worse. Give me bruises and burns any day!
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Re: Western education

Postby Mike » 10 Jan 2014, 08:23

A friend linked me to this, I thought it was worth sharing here:

Why Tough Teachers Get Good Results
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Re: Western education

Postby Connor » 28 Feb 2014, 07:07

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a new low in left-wing campus thought:

Let's Give Up on Academic Freedom in Favor of Justice

That's the actual sub-heading of this article...and it's in The Harvard Crimson. That's the main campus publication of Harvard, which is the most prestigious University in the United States (perhaps even the world).

Go on and read it. It's not a parody in the "Modest Proposal" vein. This person is serious.

Here's a quote that captures the main argument:

If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of “academic freedom”?

Instead, I would like to propose a more rigorous standard: one of “academic justice.” When an academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue.


So what is this "academic justice" that's so important that it should trump free inquiry in every situation? The writer never even attempts to give a definition. I think we can all guess what this "justice" entails though: a support for anything that conforms with the progressive, multiculturalist party line, and an irrational hatred for anything that does not.

Could this kind of attitude really become the default positoin of academia? Or are we already there? It's a frightening thought.

As usual, the comments section under the article slightly restores my faith in humanity, as there are many sane views there worth reading. Sometimes I really wonder if Disqus will be remembered as the Samizdat of the 21st Century. But perhaps that's being a little too optimistic...
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Re: Western education

Postby Travis » 06 Mar 2014, 14:17

So what is this "academic justice" that's so important that it should trump free inquiry in every situation? The writer never even attempts to give a definition. I think we can all guess what this "justice" entails though: a support for anything that conforms with the progressive, multiculturalist party line, and an irrational hatred for anything that does not.


Conservatives have been fighting a slow retreat for the last two hundred years because they're chasing the mirage of free inquiry. Let's all sit down like adults and sort this out; and if the country goes completely totalitarian then oh well! - at least we had a civilized debate about it!!!

I'd be perfectly happy using coercive force to eradicate every liberal thought out there. You want to think like a socialist? Fine, you can think that way in prison.

It's simply too dangerous to be tolerant of totalitarianism. Fascism and Islam and Marxism and the rest clearly capture people's souls in a way that conservatism simply can not. Two minutes with the average liberal will tell you that no amount of facts will ever shake them from their beliefs. I don't know why we pretend like free inquiry at the macro level is going to accomplish anything.
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Re: Western education

Postby Connor » 14 Mar 2014, 05:45

Hello Travis,

Sorry for the delayed response, but I'd like to meditate on the following comment:

I'd be perfectly happy using coercive force to eradicate every liberal thought out there. You want to think like a socialist? Fine, you can think that way in prison.


Is this really the solution? Should people who are ideologically left-wing simply be imprisoned? I mean, even if we momentarily cast aside the morality of such an action, I just don't think it's a feasible plan. Any attempt at implementing this "coercive force" would most likely result in a full-blown Civil War (regardless of which country we're discussing).

You also mentioned that you believe it's "too dangerous to tolerate totalitarianism." Yet, isn't what you're advocating above a totalitarian program? I believe it would qualify as such.
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Re: Western education

Postby Lindsey » 14 Mar 2014, 17:14

I'd be perfectly happy using coercive force to eradicate every liberal thought out there. You want to think like a socialist? Fine, you can think that way in prison.

This is a shameful comment that is not at all reflective of what conservatism represents, it is as pointed out ,the very essence of what makes totalitarianism itself so repulsive. You need to remember on forums such as this, that it is attached the name of an individual, regardless of whether it is affiliated with that person or not, views such as this can be assumed by passing internet traffic to be the ideology of Dalrymple, which they most certainly are not. It can cause casual harm no matter if there is a disclaimer or not.
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Re: Western education

Postby Jonathan » 14 Mar 2014, 21:57

Lindsey wrote:
I'd be perfectly happy using coercive force to eradicate every liberal thought out there. You want to think like a socialist? Fine, you can think that way in prison.


This is a shameful comment that is not at all reflective of what conservatism represents, it is as pointed out ,the very essence of what makes totalitarianism itself so repulsive.


I certainly agree that it is not reflective of what conservatism represents, and you are quite right to point out its totalitarian odor.

However, if a poster is to be castigated for making a shameful comment, we must first be sure in our mind that it was presented as a serious argument, rather than just tossed out in a fit of frustration. In the latter case, it might perhaps be more just to deplore it as ill-advised, than to condemn it as shameful.

And while it is right and proper to remind each other of the self-restraint we expect from each other while posting on this forum, we must also remember not to exceed the just degree of censure when correcting a lapse.

In any case, I think these lines have been addressed fully and sufficiently - I would not have posted except for fear that a third post in the same vein would cause a snowball effect.
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Re: Western education

Postby Travis » 15 Mar 2014, 15:28

You also mentioned that you believe it's "too dangerous to tolerate totalitarianism." Yet, isn't what you're advocating above a totalitarian program? I believe it would qualify as such.


Imprisoning leftists would be an authoritarian measure to be sure. I don't see how it's Totalitarian though. One can be ruthless without necessarily being totalitarian.

And there are times when a state needs to be ruthless to restore public order. Anyone who spent time in New York City in the early 90s knows the city was in complete and utter chaos. Order was restored only because there was a mayor and police department willing to break the rules. Police went into the tough neighborhoods and started manhandling (or worse) anyone who gave them problems. Innocents were killed. The homeless and panhandlers were rounded up, thrown in buses, and dropped off in the middle of nowhere upstate. Ridiculous fines were handed out for minor offenses like J-walking...

...but eventually order was restored.



Conservatives need to look at our society for what it is - one that is completely disfunctional and chaotic. We talk plenty about social decay but then go on about our daily business. Our views are completely removed from the public discourse and yet, here we are, defending a leftists right to remove our views from the public discourse!

It's suicide to go about things in this way. We need to make it not-ok to utter a single leftist thought. This has happened to conservatives already. You can actually be terminated by your employer for expressing a conservative view now. And yet we tolerate it as though this sort of thing is a completely natural evolution of free and open debate. As if the reverse is going to happen even though the society has been moving in a leftist directionfor the last hundred years. It would be laughable how accommodating we are in our own defeat for it wasnt so serious.

Like, do any of us even really believe in what we think and say?

We need to accept that pretty much everything of limited government, free inquiry, open debate, impartial courts - in sum, everything handed down to us in the English tradition of governance - is gone. All this debating on these sites and the sermonizing of folks like TD is just a eulogy over the corpse of conservatism. We regret that it's gone forever, but feel like we should say a word or two out of respect for the deceased!

Again, do any of us really believe in what we think and say anymore? Or should Marxism and Islam be given a chance to present their case?

We need people that that are actually willing to DO things to bring order, moderation, and decency back to our society because it isn't ever going to happen while leftism is tolerated as being an acceptable belief. It needs to be snuffed out just like Fascism was.

Authoritarian? Yes, absolutely. I'd rather take morally questionable (if not contemptible) measures to give posterity something actually worth inheriting than I would wake up when I'm 80 and congratulate myself for having lived a life where I was completely tolerant of and never harmed the people who produced the wasteland my grandchildren came to inherit.
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Re: Western education

Postby Travis » 15 Mar 2014, 18:06

Lindsey wrote:This is a shameful comment that is not at all reflective of what conservatism represents


Then continue supporting the Pillsbury Doughboy version of conservatism.

For my part I'm ready for someone that's going to play rough. Stuff the ballot boxes, throw people in prison, burn popular leftist entertainment (rap, pornography, etc) - you name it!

That we firmly believe there's some kind of honor in losing - so long as we play by the rules! - goes to show just how emasculated conservatives are - even in how we've come to view ourselves.
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Re: Western education

Postby Gavin » 15 Mar 2014, 19:00

It's a view, sure enough. I can understand your frustration, Travis. Maybe it's at least jumping the gun a bit to throw people in prison for espousing Leftist views, harmful though they often are, though?

If we could at least get some conservatives into the likes of the BBC and academia, that would be a good start at redressing the balance. And some into British institutions such as the Royal Academy of Arts - most have been fully compromised by left-wing thought now. I would advocate this happening by force since things are so unequal (perhaps "corrupt" is a better word) now.

I might also support the fining of music companies for peddling delinquent trash. Something along those lines anyway. Also the criminal trial of judges who repeatedly let off offenders or hand down absurd non-sentences. I appreciate your point that things are very bad indeed now (just read this forum) and that something needs to be done.

The first priority, at least here in the UK, seems to be not to vote for the LibLabCon party. Even if that means Miliband is elected - that may even be a good thing in a strange sense since it will probably lead to societal and economic collapse, then the problems will be undeniable and repair can begin in earnest.
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Re: Western education

Postby Mike » 15 Mar 2014, 22:49

Travis wrote:We need people that that are actually willing to DO things to bring order, moderation, and decency back to our society because it isn't ever going to happen while leftism is tolerated as being an acceptable belief. It needs to be snuffed out just like Fascism was.


You do realise that what you're proposing is tantamount to the reintroduction of fascism?
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Re: Western education

Postby Travis » 16 Mar 2014, 00:41

Gavin wrote:The first priority, at least here in the UK, seems to be not to vote for the LibLabCon party. Even if that means Miliband is elected - that may even be a good thing in a strange sense since it will probably lead to societal and economic collapse, then the problems will be undeniable and repair can begin in earnest.


I thought this myself for awhile - the quicker we drive off the cliff the quicker we can get down to business and start fixing things. It is true that economic disaster can bring on social upheaval, but if you look at Russia and China and those places, they all had a well established revolutionary network prior to the economic disaster. It wasnt as if the Bolsheviks just suddenly showed up in 1917. They had been agitators with a fanatical following for decades before that. Can conservatives say the same now?

Even if there were some kind of collapse they'd be ill prepared to respond. I'd guess what would follow would be an even more extreme version of leftism because they're better organized anyways and know how to close ranks. They don't accuse each other of "fascism" or "totalitarianism" for suggesting ruthless measures against the opposition. On the contrary they gleefully promote the idea.

I agree that - at this point - we should focus solely on attracting a core group of intelligent, serious people and start the long-process of invading academia, television, etc. Only if this phase were successful would we be able to adopt ever more aggressive policies.

The liberals have been way more successful in attracting intelligent, successful, and serious believers than conservatives have been. Any radical movement needs respectable people at it's core. It may be true that many lawyers, doctors, scientists, etc (like TD) are conservatives but only the Pillsbury Doughboy brand of conservatism. Ruthless, unfair, and dirty tactics make them weak in the stomach.

On the other hand there are many lawyers, doctors, scientists, etc. that are complete true believers in leftism. I know several intelligent, disciplined, professionals that are fanatical liberals - like, these people are completely gone mentally. They wholeheartedly support all kinds of repressive measures. Kicking conservative professors out, firing people for in-PC views, vandalizing Churches, suppressing conservative magazines, the degradation of art and music - they support it all. And yet in the day time they're out delivering babies and building bridges.

Conservatives need to find a way of attracting the same level of devotion out of these same types of quality people.
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Re: Western education

Postby Travis » 16 Mar 2014, 01:12

Mike wrote:You do realise that what you're proposing is tantamount to the reintroduction of fascism?


Our society has been absolutely destroyed from the inside out by leftist policies. They've destroyed every society they've ever touched. Oh, but really, let's hear them out just one more time. The Islamists too, they should have an equal chance to present their case.

For the life of me I can't understand why we pretend like Marxism and Islam should be treated with respect. I think what it does is show just how far socialism has wrapped itself around our minds. Even self-described conservatives seem unable to see their ideas as anything more than one culturally relative idea amongst many others.
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Re: Western education

Postby Jonathan » 17 Mar 2014, 21:12

For the life of me I can't understand why we pretend like Marxism and Islam should be treated with respect.


Because if you treat an idea by locking up the people who believe it and try to propagate it, you establish a precedent which will eventually consume you.

One day the 'wrong' people will be in power, and will lock you up using your own arguments.

Even if your party maintains power indefinitely, as you might be fondly tempted to believe, internal power struggles within the party will use this precedent to get rid of you (e.g. Trotsky's fate).

Even if there are no such power struggles, then the definition of forbidden thought will slowly expand to include more and more ideas. Tacitus described this process in Imperial Rome - the crime of Maiestas was first applied to the practice of black magic and/or divination (it is not perfectly clear what Marcus Scribonius Libo Drusus was charged with doing), and wound up claiming the lives of people who walked into a public toilet with a coin in their pocket (the coin contains the divine image of the divine emperor --> sacrilege --> death).

In modern times we see this happening with the concept of Racism. It is now so wide that it is risky to point out differences between two individuals who obviously self-identify with different groups.

The habits and customs of a free republic need to be preserved in the face of its enemies, not cast away in order to get rid of those enemies.

For the utterly unscrupulous (without imputing such a characteristic to anyone here), there is a further reason for caution - suppressing an idea can sometimes boost its growth more than anything else. The Blood of Martyrs, etc.
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