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I do some voluntary work at a local primary school listening to the children read.
On a recent visit, the headmistress showed me a Punishment Book dating back to 1902.
The book had been supplied by EJ Arnold & Son for the princely sum of one shilling and sixpence. In the preface to the book, there are some instructions for the teachers about discipline and they make interesting reading! “The most effective agent for maintaining good discipline is the teacher’s own example. Children readily recognize that their teachers are anxious to help them, patient but determined to be obeyed. They notice also such details in their conduct as punctuality, order, neatness, gentle speech and imitate what they see and hear. They observe little defects of conduct more keenly still, and with disastrous effect.” The book records the child’s name, their misdemeanour and their punishment. In 1902 it appears that it was okay for girls to be caned as well as the boys and this did not change until well after WW2. In 1907 two young girls, Elsie and May, were given one stroke of the cane on their hands for talking and copying each other’s work. The punishment did not seem to deter some children as the same names crop up with alarming regularity. Two entries on consecutive days record that one boy was caned twice for fighting and the following day four times for leaving school without permission and being impudent. Being sulky was also a punishable offence! Sometimes the children had to write their own names and reason for punishment in the book. In 1937 one boy wrote that he was being punished for hitting a girl. He wrote, “I hit her as she was passing by me and my hand caught her clothes and they lifted up”. It is amusing to note the excuse of “he fell on my hand” for children caught fighting occurs quite frequently through the years.
Do you remember being punished at school? I still remember being hit on the head with the long window pole, used for opening the high windows in class, because I was looking out of the window at the snow and also having to balance on a bench whilst writing 50 lines for some minor misdemeanour!
Here in Middlesbrough UK we have our very own Egyptology group, it's fantastic learning about ancient Egypt in a relaxed and welcoming group.
Our last session was about the Temple Abu Simbel and more.
There is no charge although we ask for donations to cover costs.
We have a tea coffee and biscuit break and people make friendships very easily.
Yesterday I went to my local garden centre and was chatting to the young (in his 20s) assistant. He answered all my questions about various plants but when it came to charging me for 8 small garden canes at 7p each, he had to use a calculator. I was amazed but then started to wonder if it really is necessary to know your times tables "off by heart" as I learnt them at junior school. My 15 year old granddaughter says that she struggles with her tables yet ask her to do anything on the computer and she is a genius :-) What do you think?
Proof that the education system is failing. Have just posted an advert on Gumtree and received a scam email in which not one of the words was spelt correctly - words fail me!! As they did him on a more serious note we should all be more vigilant when opening emails, never open if not sure. Stay safe
As a teacher who was made redundant recently I know far to well the the Conservative government has been vastly underfunding our schools. We were told that we had no money for training courses which would help us keep up with changes in our subjects. If a teacher was off work for any reason the cost of a supply techer was removed from the department budget meaning we had less for resources. The Government keep saying that record amounts of money is being spent on schools budgets what the don't say is that costs have outstripped these increases so the actual money available per pupil has been severely reduced. This cannot be allowed to continue and I for one will not be voting for more of this in the upcoming election.
Good foundations I managed recently to track down an old school friend that I had not seen for many years. I left my home town many years ago and had lost contact with that set. It is difficult with women as we marry and change names, sometimes more than once. Anyway, in exchanging information I remarked that, considering how quiet and shy we were then, it is amazing what interesting and useful lives we all seem to have lived. Her reply really resonated with me. She said, yes but we did have such good foundations. When I was at school learning was not fun. We were, if anything, slightly frightened by our teachers. But grammar, maths, good spoken English and standards of behavior (and table manners) were drilled into us relentlessly. No nonsense was allowed, high standards were expected as routine. These skills have made life easier and given us the tools to reach our goals. Many children subjected to that regime today would probably put in call to protest about their human rights! I would not want to put the clock back totally as it did seem hard, even at the time. But in making education more child friendly we have perhaps lost more than we gained. What do you think? Marian fundamentalwisdom.blogspot.com
It seems odd that very recently the government announced that eleven year olds are now going to be taught the times table that is from 2x times up to 12x times although I went to a secondary modern school which basically taught every thing including the times table, which we had learned long before the age of eleven, prayers were the first thing in the morning and then followed, reading, writing, history geography, science, singing, and then swimming, and sports, including religious education, a broad spectrum of diversified subjects. The outcome was we had a balanced view of life and the world in general, also we learned to look out for less unfortunate boys and girls who might need extra help over coming some of the schools teaching programmes. The teachers came into the room with the books or whatever they were going to teach us, except for the science room where we made our way to that room, where as now the children are walking around carrying bags of books wandering from class to class, so it seems the education system is going backwards not forwards. So is it any wonder that our children are getting further and further behind, other ethnic groups who stick to regular and well practised and well tried systems which isn't being changed every five minutes, much like our own methods, which need to go back to the old and tried methods which worked.
What are your thought and views on the way our children are being taught today ??