A Good Education

When I was away last weekend, I discussed my time at school with a friend who I met there, 58 years ago. That discussion has prompted me to reblog this post. A tribute to my education, originally posted in 2012.


I confess that I know little of the school system today. I am aware that many teachers are unhappy, that exam results are possibly being manipulated, and Department of Education targets seem to be the driving force behind teaching. I also see that standards of spelling, literacy, numeracy, and general knowledge have fallen, and students rely heavily on the Internet for information that they might once have learned. University degrees have lost their status and potential graduates now have to face the prospect of years of debt ahead of them. Things have changed, of that there can be little doubt. There is a distinct lack of Historical knowledge, and little regard for the relevance of the subject. Geography, and geographical awareness, has reached a low, to the extent that many young people could not place themselves on a World map.

I do not have statistics to support these claims, but…

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12 thoughts on “A Good Education

  1. The quality of American education has dropped off a cliff as I have been writing about…..it is so sad…..at least I have helped my granddaughter get a good look at our history…..the system here in Mississippi sucks as bad as the one in Texas. chuq

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “I also see that standards of spelling, literacy, numeracy, and general knowledge have fallen,” – People have been complaining about this since forever. So I doubt that it’s true.

    What IS true is that the government’s commitment to a good education for ALL students has gone by the wayside (too expensive, we must have cuts). The Tories obsess over grammar and punctuation and standards but fail to support the education for children that would actually make a difference to literacy and numeracy. Tories believe in linguistic table manners for children and ignore the realities of what education is all about.

    And forget the Arts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Josie. I do believe that the use of spellchecker apps and ‘text speak’ has seriously affected overall knowledge of spelling and grammar. There is a great deal of evidence of this to be found by reading blog posts. I have also recently seen a 30 year-old person use a phone calculator to add the numbers 16 and 9.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As someone who started as an English teacher in 1970, I beg to differ. If anything, standards have risen. What has not changed is the right-wing policing of the ways we use English and the Tory obsession with the one right way and absurd notions of correctness.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that I feel education standards have fallen since my school days but, as with you, I don’t know what the comprehensive answer is [no pun intended! 😀 ]. We always had tests & exams, but I do feel education now is almost exclusively results-driven, especially if it is linked to funding. Although it would be very different from ‘my day’ [which wasn’t perfect, but I think I came out of it quite well], I think there should be more emphasis now on a well rounded education, which doesn’t ignore subjects like managing finances, social responsibility, and working independently, rather than exclusively academic subjects, most of which are only really useful if one takes them to a higher level targeted at employment. Education always seems to be playing catch-up [but lagging up to a generation behind] with an ever-changing world. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I wrote this in 2012, I was thinking about my step-children. They learned little about history, (one asked me if I had served in WW1) and their geographical knowledge was so poor that they thought Bulgaria was next to Spain. (We were on holiday in Bulgaria and they asked if we could take a trip to Ibiza.) At the time they were 14. When I was 14 in 1966, I knew a great deal more, which I am convinced was down to more dedicated teachers.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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