Neoclassical economics has become an unquestioned belief system and treats those challenging the creed as dangerous
In October 1517, an unknown Augustinian monk by the name of Martin Luther changed the world when he grabbed a hammer and nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. The Reformation started there.
The tale of how the 95 theses were posted is almost certainly false. Luther never mentioned the incident and the first account of it didn’t surface until after his death. But it makes a better story than Luther writing a letter (which is what probably happened), and that’s why the economist Steve Keen, dressed in a monk’s habit and wielding a blow up hammer, could be found outside the London School of Economics last week.
Every day our little darlings pass through the hands of experts: the doctors, party entertainers, nit nurses, teachers and nannies. But behind the warm smiles, how do they really feel about our kids – and about us, the parents? Assured of anonymity, they reveal all
Our whole ethos is to make children feel comfortable, as if they’re having their hair done. We use a treatment to kill living lice and then dehydrate eggs using heated air. Then we nit comb and forensically remove everything. We need to see the kids twice, a week apart, because after the first time there will be eggs left over that no one can see.Continue reading...
Ministers are being urged to fine schools that are informally excluding poorly performing pupils, amid mounting evidence that some institutions are attempting to game the exam system.
Hundreds of cases of children being removed from schools on tenuous and potentially illegal grounds have been reported to a charity offering legal advice to parents. Experts blame the rise of so-called “off-rolling” on schools that are under pressure to improve performance.Continue reading...
Emeritus professor at Brunel University was best known to the public for presenting long-running BBC2 series
Heinz Wolff, the scientist who presented BBC2’s long-running show The Great Egg Race, has died aged 89.
The German-born inventor and social reformer suffered heart failure on Friday, his family said in a statement released through Brunel University London.
Amanda Spielman tells of ‘venomous’ tweets and emails after accusing schools of resisting legal and moral duties
The head of Ofsted has received threats and abuse after accusing private faith schools run by religious conservatives of “deliberately resisting” British values and equalities law.
Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools in England, said she had received some “pretty venomous stuff”, including “nasty tweets” and threatening emails from what she believed to be a “mixture of Islamic extremists and the hard left”.
We’re expected to offer endless support to students unwilling to take responsibility for their own learning. It’s time to look beyond targets
It’s a Saturday morning in May, and while most schools are empty, mine is open for year 11 revision classes. Teachers are expected to attend, no questions asked. Students are too, although they have a choice and not all of them do. Similar sessions are held throughout half terms and Easter holidays.
What began as sessions for only the core subjects of maths, English and science quickly extended to every subject where a handful of students were either willing or able to attend. The teachers taking these classes have no choice about whether they want to be involved. Those who refuse face a backlash from the senior leadership team. Some even suspect they’ve been passed over for promotion.Continue reading...
I’m thinking of teaching in Spain or Italy, but I’m wondering whether employers recognise any value in working abroad
Every week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it’s up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday’s paper.
This week’s question:Continue reading...
Simon Jenkins (Universities are bastions of privilege. That has to change, 14 December) takes aim at almost everything about universities and even manages to claim both that post-16 technical education is poor and that we should stop some young people from going to university. How could closing the only route many young people have to develop high-level skills be considered a positive step that will help them?
How many universities has Jenkins actually visited? Judging from the article he might say “both of them”. But we are a diverse sector. At the University of Portsmouth we embed real-life work experience in most of our courses as well as the latest technology. For example, some of our students experience “virtual field trips”. The division between science and the humanities is also becoming obsolete – as is suggested by our own School of Creative Technologies. Indeed, in a world in which technology is challenging ethical and social norms, we need the humanities more than ever – and I say that as a professional engineer.Continue reading...
Conservative MP David Morris questions stories of rickets and hungry children, saying claims are from schools ‘with links to leftwing group Momentum’
A row is brewing between a Conservative MP and some of his Lancashire constituents after he suggested that claims by teachers about extreme poverty at local schools were untrue.
A report by ITV earlier this week went viral after it showed schools where teachers said they had to wash their pupils’ uniforms because their families couldn’t afford to pay the electricity bills.Continue reading...
There are more ways into broadcasting than your careers advisor will tell you. I started in an east London chicken shop
At university I always felt like I was studying for two degrees. “You’d better not be submitting any of that Chicken Shack, Amelia,” my tutor would say during seminars, much to my embarrassment. Chicken Shop Date, as it’s pronounced, is the name of the YouTube channel that I started during my first year studying fashion journalism at Central St Martins. It was the cause of both my tutor’s continual annoyance and my intense workload.
I went on my first chicken shop date when I was 17 years old. The show started life in 2011 as a column in a makeshift youth magazine called The Cut. I would ask a friend to come along and take photos while I did deadpan Q&As with London grime artists.Continue reading...
In France they’re banning devices from classrooms. But British students face a confusing web of different approaches depending on where they study
This week the French government announced a ban on students using mobile phones in schools, following through on a pledge made by Emmanuel Macron during his presidential election campaign.
The new law will allow phones to be brought into school, but prohibit their use even during breaks. The French education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, said the measure was a “public health message to families”. Though not everyone agrees.Continue reading...
Schools must encourage young people to question gender norms and behaviours, and ensure that sex education goes beyond biology
In this context, discussions about gender equality take on a fresh relevance. We need to look at the gender norms that suggest men are worth more than women. A recent study found that children around the world are “straightjacketed” into gender roles in early adolescence, led to believe that girls are vulnerable and boys are strong and independent. Girls are taught to emphasise their physical appearance and are seen as potential targets and victims, while boys are viewed as predators.Continue reading...
A shortened degree course could save students money – and it could give them the chance to enrich their lives, and the lives of others, through volunteering
- David Reed is director of Generation Change
University education has hardly changed in 50 years: most three-year degree courses still resemble the public boarding model, where students move away from home, that used to serve only a narrow few. Now that students are being asked to shoulder the full cost of this experience themselves, it may be time to ask whether there are more cost-effective higher education models.
The universities minister, Jo Johnson, has set the ball rolling, saying that a two-year degree course could save students a whopping £25,000 in student loans and tuition fees. Considering that for many courses, exams and essays in the first year do not count towards a final grade, it could make sense to consider cutting the length of a course down.Continue reading...
As part of the government’s plan to improve social mobility through education, we’re launching a consultation on teacher career progression
- Justine Greening is secretary of state for education
During a visit to Oakwood High School, my old comprehensive school in Rotherham, I was reminded of the role great teachers play in unlocking children’s talents. It meant a lot to me to see some of my old teachers, and the visit underlined how important it is to keep more teachers in our classrooms. But to do that it is vital that teachers feel supported to progress and develop throughout their career.
Yesterday I published an action plan for improving social mobility through education. At the heart of this was a commitment to providing additional support for teachers – especially those working in more disadvantaged areas – as the key to improving our schools.Continue reading...
My bullying supervisor damaged my mental health. But when I stood up to him, I received no support from my university
I was awarded a prestigious fellowship in 2015 and moved my family across the country to take up a postdoctoral position at a world-class biomedical research institute. Little did I know that this seemingly invaluable opportunity would set me on a dangerous path to mental ill health.
My self-confidence, scientific progress and mental health were in decline from the beginning. My supervisor belittled me in front of my peers, derided me for enacting laboratory safety measures and denied me the technical training I needed to gain traction in a new scientific discipline. I recall silently sobbing as his large frame hulked over me, and how he gesticulated wildly as he yelled, “Just do what I tell you!”. That meeting lasted 90 minutes, the culmination of months of relentless bullying from he, the principal investigator on our research project.Continue reading...