Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Stepford Classroom

"It's a great lie that children hate to compete. Teachers may complain, but kids relish the win-or-lose logic of The Apprentice

The only folks truly distressed by SATs are the teachers, since this is the only occasion they endure a cool external scrutiny. If only they'd admit this and stop perpetuating the great lie that children hate to compete.

The fortnight in the run-up to SATs, the preparation, mock tests, comparing scores with friends, has been the only bit of Year 6 my son has enjoyed. Before Easter he'd come home daily literally bored to tears. SATs are a challenge, a mission.

He loves a race, a rugby tournament, trouncing me at ping-pong, plays Monopoly standing up, the better to oversee his property portfolio. He has wised up - like all modern children - to the “all shall have prizes” shtick, scorning those medals these days awarded for coming fifth or just showing up. It incenses him and his friends that the school refuses to have a football team. An Australian parent - baffled by our crazy co-operative ways - quizzed the governors and was met with astonishment. Couldn't she see it would discriminate against those who weren't picked?"

This frank and honest piece would have seemed shocking only 20 or 30 years ago. We can assume that the author's son is a fairly typical boy of his age; do they all really spend almost every minute at school bored to tears? What are the teachers being paid for, if not to mentally stimulate these children?

When there is a clear consumer demand for a football team, how can the teaching staff possibly justify not having one? I suppose there would be no point anyway. It would rarely get to play a game, in a country in which the school sports day is cancelled because the grass is damp; where parents are not allowed to attend in case a paedophile secretly joins the crowd to ogle the children; where even if the parents could get in, they wouldn't be allowed to take pictures for the family album in case they 'fell into the wrong hands'.

What insanity have we let ourselves in for? This madness is the mark of a nation in terminal decline.

What on earth has happened to our education system? A simple answer: it is now under the control of left-wing middle-class women.

Before I am accused of misogyny, I insist that all three of these elements are important. Conservative middle-class women would run things differently. Middle-class left-wing men would probably at least allow the boys to play football. The Dystopian absurdity that is our current education system is the result of a peculiar nexus of leftist ideological dogma, filtered through the lens of female psychology. The situation described above is the state of play in our dumbed-down, boy-hating, feminised, therapised, medicated, Stepford classroom.

Bored to tears, under-stimulated, many boys will abandon education at the first opportunity. Maybe that is part of the hidden agenda. Many others will become disruptive. The disruptive ones will probably be put on medication to keep them quiet.

It has taken over a decade for this educational regime to take power, step by step. A key factor was the flight of male teachers from the classroom. The devaluing of the teaching profession in the eyes of the wider society, together with the feminist-led false accusations pandemic, and the cold shoulder treatment in the increasingly female-dominated staffroom, has caused men to flee the education system in their thousands.

The result of this is not just that boys now often lack suitable role-models, although that is bad enough. It is also about the takeover of sentimental thinking.

What perverse priorities are at work. We can't risk the poor little thing crying because he wasn't picked for the football team (not that he would), but it's OK to destroy his educational chances and systematically drug him on a daily basis to stop him complaining about it. Which do you think is the greater harm? The female teachers don' t want to see him crying. It will tug their heart-strings so. And maybe someone will ask questions, and they will have to do something about it. This way, at least if they catch his eye and see his Ritalin glaze they can tell themselves that he feels OK, and he is under control, and that is all that matters. Because feelings trump everything else.

It is also about the takeover of spineless, ineffectual management.

What headmaster would cancel the sports day because the grass is damp? Thirty years ago we were sent out running in shorts and T-shirt in the middle of a Scottish winter. We may not have liked it, but it probably did us some good, and certainly did us no harm. I didn't particularly like learning maths either, but it had to be done. What is the alternative? Should we all just curl up in the foetal position, suck our thumbs and wait for death? Adult life is sometimes uncomfortable. It is sometimes disappointing. Only a female-dominated profession, and one dominated by immature, over-emotional attitudes, would attempt to molly-coddle and cosset the children's feelings to the exclusion of all else.

What headmaster would decree that parents are not allowed to attend a school play or sports day in case a paedophile turns up? Even as I write this, I can barely believe that it is not something from a Monty Python sketch. You have an issue with perimeter security? Fine. Do some perimeter security. To throw up your hands in panic and hold the entire event in camera is weak, weak, weak. Security only seems like an issue in the first place because of decades of feminist-inspired anti-male propaganda. There simply are not paedophiles lurking outside every school gate. This is just another bogus instrument being used to disrupt and cripple the lives of men and boys from cradle to grave.

Would the last one to leave Britain please turn the lights out.


tiredofitall said...

Just wait, in 20-30 years time the pendulum will swing in the opposite direction, and women will be screeching for men to be macho again.

How could they not after feminizing the "breeding stock" for the last (by then) 70+ years?

Anonymous said...

Heretic - what part of Scotland was your school.


Deadbeat Dad said...

Excellent stuff, Heretic. A whole generation of children -- girls included -- has been betrayed by the mediocracy which presides over British state education.