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Education

A Weekend Trip To The Recycling Centre

I’m busy so, instead of writing my own stuff, I’ll just point at the efforts of some other bloggers. This at Fisking Central is a point worth making over and over again: Utopia doesn’t refer to a better world; it’s used to describe a perfect world. Belief in human perfectability—and its accompanying rejection of all […]

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Comprehensive Success

Congrats to my sister, Clare, and my brother-in-law, Steve, who are, according to the schools inspectorate, teaching at one of the best of the best of the best in the country. (PooterSis versus Sky update: it’s already looking bad for Murdoch’s empire. Once the dust has cleared, I expect to be appointed Head of Programming.)

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Registering Complaints

I hadn’t noticed this until I read Tom Hamilton’s post at Let’s Be Sensible, but the Devil’s Kitchen calls the Mr Eugenides essay that I blogged about “one of the finest posts ever written“. Does Eton College do refunds? Also, having read the latest post at Never Trust A Hippy, I must revise my slur […]

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Advertisement I Saw In A Post Office Window Today

GOT A TINY SPARE ROOM? EARLY-RETIRED TEACHER (MUSIC AND ENGLISH) WOULD LIKE TO LIVE IN IT IN RETURN FOR ANY COMBINATION OF THE FOLLOWING: CLEANING, SHOPPING, DOG-WALKING, COMPANIONSHIP, LIFE COACHING, LIFE COACHING FOR VEGANS, LIFE COACHING FOR CRICKETERS, PIANO OR ORGAN TUITION, ENGLISH TEACHING, HELP WITH DYSLEXIA, ETC, ETC. [FOLLOWED BY CONTACT DETAILS]

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But Someone’s Got To Do It

I couldn’t be bothered to fisk that nonsense about the “future evolution” of humankind that was all over the media this week, merely dropping it into my “Pseudoscience” and “Tin Foil Hat Wearers” blog categories in passing instead. Luckily we have P Z Myers to do the job properly.

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Advice Of Counsell

I don’t know if anyone from Sky’s legal department is reading this, but I thought I ought to warn you that my darling little sister is preparing proceedings against you because of the problems she’s been having with your domestic phone service. Please, for your own good, send someone round in a van to fix […]

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Babes Of Biology: No. 2

Having read an article I wrote reviewing bioinformatics courses in the UK, and despite my honest warnings, Wei applied to be a student on one I once taught on. Because the admissions office at [insert name of educational institution easily obtained by googling] failed to process her paperwork properly she had to make do with […]

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Test Drive The New Volkswagen Pantheon

One of PooterGeek’s current side projects is The New Uxbridge Encyclopedia Of The Classical World, a vital and relevant guide to what has often been dismissed as a dead discipline, specifically designed to appeal to comprehensive school pupils. Just like the compilers of the OED, the staff of the NUECW welcome submissions from the general […]

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Admissions

Marvel at this unintentionally revealing Guardian story about the lengths middle-class parents go to to get their children into church schools. It opens with a Jewish mother admitting that she feels hypocritical attending Church of England services so that her two kids can get into the local church school. At least she is honest about […]

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Have Pity On Their Souls!

On average, over the rest of their lives, each of these children will have to endure the spectacle of England crashing out of international football championships on penalties a further twenty-nine times. Look at those fresh, hopeful faces and imagine a football boot stamping on each one—forever. Surely there is no God.

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PRESS RELEASE: Paris Hilton Appointed New Vice-Chancellor Of Cambridge University

12:00 NOON, 20 JUNE 2006, CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND The University of Cambridge (est. 1209) is proud to announce news that will bring together the previously too-distant worlds of celebrity and academia in dynamic and ground breaking ways: from Michaelmas term 2006, Paris Whitney Hilton, hotel heiress and celebutante, will be our new Vice-Chancellor. “The crowning of […]

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Hello, Loser

Right now, an annoying racist brat is trying to leave abusive comments on PooterGeek—my favourite so far: “niggers stink of shit”. Well, this nigger’s shit hot with UNIX. If you’re reading this, mate, I already know what school you attend and the name of your head of year. She is going to ring me back […]

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A Funny Thing Happened On The Way From Computer Club

Now on The Learning Curve I’m going to talk to Peter Warden, the Head of the Winnie Mandela Community School, about the transformation in its fortunes that he presided over and about his upcoming role as the leader of a new a new government initiative to roll out his exciting methods across a range of […]

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And The Tabs Lost Again. Nerr.

Kerron came in for some stick the other day for describing the result of “The” Boat Race as: “Some Toffs beat Some Other Toffs, Ra!” It is perhaps a bit harsh. You’d have to extend the definition of “toffs” from “members of the aristocracy” to “members of the ruling classes” or “tall blokes whose parents […]

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A Sierra Leonean Education

Here is the BBC’s recent picture gallery about education in Sierra Leone. The Benevolent Kumrabai Rogbanah School was once a train station. The children have never seen a train—the railway closed in 1974. It is a reminder of how prosperous Sierra Leone once was. The conditions are cramped with some children forced to sit on […]

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Cognitive Dissonance

On the front page of educationguardian the headline is “Segregation, 2006 style” as “Figures on the ethnicity of students in higher education show a disturbing racial divide amongst universities” Inside the cover, Trevor Philips, Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, complains about the “institutional racism” that keeps blacks “students of African-Caribbean heritage” out of […]

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Three-Year-Old Unimpressed By Conspiracy Of Teachers

If you’re going to con a small child you’ve got to make some kind of effort. According to my mum, my sister has been phoning up my dad and telling her daughter (my niece) that she has Santa Claus on the line. Maisie picks up the phone and tells Santa (my dad) that she has […]

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The Stupid Party?

Further to my controversial (and originally wrong) post about Thatcher’s educational history, Chris Brooke notes that the current Conservative Shadow Cabinet has a lot of susstificates—albeit mostly ones in subjects classified as belonging to the humanities.

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Acrostic Baffles

This story appeared on the BBC News Website yesterday: “Pakistan’s government is to remove a poem from a school textbook after it emerged the first letters of each line spelt out “President George W Bush”. “The anonymous poem, called The Leader, appeared in a recent English-language course book for 16 year-olds. “ The Pakistani authorities […]

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Well Known Unknown Old Etonians

There’s a boring article about Eton College, Britain’s most famous independent (that is fee-charging—or perhaps that should be fee-fixing) school, in today’s Guardian. Like most of the recent boring articles in the press about Eton, it begins with the question of whether or not, since the inverted snobbery of the Thatcher era washed through the […]

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This Doesn’t Mean You’re Mozart, Matey Boy

Like Frank Sinatra entering a karaoke contest, my friend and co-conspirator Richard Brincklow recently decided to follow up being paid by people to compose music by going to university part-time to study for a degree in music composition. It turns out this week that the jammy bastard has been awarded a First. I suppose I […]

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If Only The Comprehensive System Had Died Instead

Today’s Guardian devotes three pages to a tribute to the recently deceased educationalist Ted Wragg, who, like most educationalists, wouldn’t have known a controlled experiment if it was being performed on one of his own children with a bonesaw. A lot of the space is taken up with the “best of” his quotable declarations on […]

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“Hello, Am I Through To Customer Services?”

Last night a Master’s student (whom I have never taught) phoned me to vent her justified frustration with one of her lecturers’ chronic incompetence. This keen and bright individual had done everything she could and should about the situation and complained through the correct channels. As usual in these situations she wasn’t the only member […]

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Nice Distinctions

British elites have been inventive and subtle in preserving their advantages. Their most important achievement has been to tilt Britain towards meritocracy and then restrict access to the means by which citizens can prove their “merit”. Those amongst the rich and connected who fancy themselves as progressives have played into the hands of the most […]

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Intelligence, Race, And Genetics

I’ve been immersed in a (popular) science book—not dipping in and out for research or reference, but swimming from one end to the other. It is an edited interrogation of the original Jensenist, Arthur R. Jensen, by Frank Miele, former senior editor of the American Skeptic magazine (not to be confused with the British The […]

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