Monday, May 10, 2010

Ingenio et Labore

As many as 300,000 11-year-olds will find their national curriculum tests cancelled this morning.

The estimate of the amount of disruption caused by a boycott of the tests – in maths and English – increased yesterday. Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said that the number of schools backing the boycott ranged from 30 per cent to 75 per cent from local authority to local authority. Overall, about half of the 17,000 schools due to sit the tests are set to abandon them.

In short,
balls to Balls, the Education Secretary who had "urged school governors to consider sending heads home if they refused to administer the tests."

All power to the rebellious headteachers. SATs and League tables have nothing to do with education, other than to hinder it. They are the work of people who distrust teachers, despise education and disapprove of society. Their only purposes are to create a competitive market in advance of privatisation and to turn schools into factories for the production of drones. They tarnish education and corrupt educators. The teachers don't want them there and we should not have them here.

In other news, this blogeur has made a small protest against educational bureaucracy. I have refused to complete something called the Doctoral Annual Report. As I explained to those whom it concerned:

I came to this university to obtain a PhD, not to indulge the university's fascination with bureaucracy. I have no interest in goals, tasks, creative work stages, skill sets, feedback or any other management twaddle. I simply wish to do my research without the impediments presented by an incompetent and self-serving administrative machine.
And no, the featured promo will not be School's Out or Hot for Teacher. It will be the Pretty Things, somewhere in the Netherlands at some time in the 1960s:


Amanda said...

"I simply wish to do my research without the impediments presented by an incompetent and self-serving administrative machine." How lovely that would be. At VUW I seem to remember having to do PhD reports every six months.

Peter in Dundee said...

Paul during my PhD I would have killed for the modern systems of oversight. Annual reports? yes please! A supervisory panel? pretty please?

My PhD would have been over a year earlier if I had these things because when my supervisor bullied me into working as an unpaid postdoc on a project I did not need for my PhD I had nobody to turn to to aid my futile resistance.

If your PhD is a thing of wonder and light, proceeding delightfully and with no problems then I am very happy for you. But to use that to denigrate safeguards put in to protect you from an overbearing supervisor is ignorant in the extreme.

Some of us gave up some of our precious research time to agitate for things like that, because we were all too aware of how things could go wrong and we didn't want that to happen to those who came after.

Nice to know you are grateful.

Your action, or rather inaction, is ignorant,self indulgent, undergraduate and just posing. I'm afraid you need to get over yourself.

Paul said...

Peter, my PhD is very far from being a delight. The filling-in of forms did nothing to protect me from my supervisor or my Department. Such forms have done nothing to provide me with the funding I need; nor have they ensured fair treatment or observance of the university's own guidelines.

In order to obtain any of the above, I have had to take the matter into my own hands by dismissing my supervisor.

Rusty said...

When I was doing my PhD back in the mid 90s I found that while these 'check and balance' processes were in place (in the UK at least) they weren't very effective - more of a box ticking exercise between a bunch of academics to ensure their funding continued to flow. Had they been anything more, the serious shortcomings of my supervisor would perhaps have been identified long before they actually were, and I wouldn't have gone through quite so much hell.

If such oversight processes are any different now in terms of their effectiveness, or if the mentality of the academics who sit on the panels has changed to any significant degree, I'd be delighted to hear it. Things really were fucked up back then.