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Ambition

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Alfred E Neuman
1315934.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:54 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
It would be interesting to know how many people who actually became Prime Minister were considering it at the age of eleven. I suspect very few.

Thatís not really relevant.

 
dr.bob
1315936.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:13 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
I think it's a great mistake to assume that you've got to pick some goal to aim for when you're still at school and then doggedly aim for it for the rest of your life.


I'm certainly not suggesting that. I'm merely trying to elicit what you think is an appropriate response from a teacher to a young student who expresses some kind of ambition, especially when the teacher thinks the chances of success are very small. So far all you've come up with is "you're too young to think about that" or "go and speak to a careers advisor." I can't help thinking that such an attitude isn't going to inspire too many people.

GuyBarry wrote:
And who's saying things like that? It's not a message I ever hear in the media or from schools or careers advisers. The focus is very much on equality of opportunity these days.


It could be the message coming from family or friends. After all, if a woman has never become US President, despite being the best qualified person for the job and a leading politician of her age, it's not an unreasonable conclusion to draw.

You yourself, in this very thread, have said "I think they (schools) should be encouraging them (pupils) to set goals which are realistic." So if a young girl expresses her desire to be US President, and her parents respond with "That's never happened before. Don't be so unrealistic. Pick a goal that's more likely to happen." that would agree with your own views as expressed in this thread.

GuyBarry wrote:
The child's family should be concerned about equality of opportunity. The child's friends should be concerned about equality of opportunity.


They should. but you can't guarantee they will. And, if they don't, what's the solution? Should we, as a society, just sit around saying it's a shame the parents aren't doing a good enough job, or should we provide other avenues of encouragement and inspiration, i.e. through teachers.

 
dr.bob
1315939.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:50 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
I expressed a belief, and you pointed me to an article that suggested my belief was wrong. I'm quite happy to accept that. I don't want to argue the toss over it.


That explains the confusion. Maybe other people picked up on it, but when you said "she didn't win, but it wasn't anything to do with anti-female prejudice.", that sounded to me more like a statement of fact than simply you expressing a belief.

Thanks for clearing that up.

GuyBarry wrote:
Now I know the country as a whole isn't as liberal-minded as London, but I think there are more people within the wider electorate who want to see ethnic minority candidates succeed than those who are prejudiced against them.


Given the widely reported problems that people from ethnic minorities have in terms of discrimination when applying for jobs and so many other aspects of life, I find that statement impossible to believe.

GuyBarry wrote:
Racism is generally seen as unacceptable.


This statement is somewhat undermined by the rise in popularity of right-wing, anti-immigration parties both here and in other countries.

GuyBarry wrote:
That's not the same as saying that racism doesn't exist or can be ignored.


I'm glad you do realise that.

GuyBarry wrote:
That surprises me, but it's still better than the 32% figure you quoted for MPs overall. It's clearly heading in the right direction anyway.


I certainly is, which is a good thing. We're an awfully long way from a situation where being a female candidate gives someone an advantage, though.

 
GuyBarry
1315944.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:28 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

I'm certainly not suggesting that. I'm merely trying to elicit what you think is an appropriate response from a teacher to a young student who expresses some kind of ambition, especially when the teacher thinks the chances of success are very small. So far all you've come up with is "you're too young to think about that" or "go and speak to a careers advisor." I can't help thinking that such an attitude isn't going to inspire too many people.


But it's not the teacher's job as far as I'm concerned. It's a bit like saying "what's the appropriate response from a teacher to a young student who develops a medical condition?" The only sensible answer is "go and see a doctor", I would submit, not to try to diagnose it themselves.

Teachers are not trained to be careers advisers; they're not paid to be careers advisers; it's not in their job description. As suze pointed out, requiring a teacher to give careers advice could even result in an industrial dispute. Surely it's far better to refer the student to someone who can give them the support and information that they need?

Quote:
GuyBarry wrote:
The child's family should be concerned about equality of opportunity. The child's friends should be concerned about equality of opportunity.


They should. but you can't guarantee they will. And, if they don't, what's the solution? Should we, as a society, just sit around saying it's a shame the parents aren't doing a good enough job, or should we provide other avenues of encouragement and inspiration, i.e. through teachers.


I really don't see the value in dumping extra responsibilities on teachers for which they're not qualified. There are so many other avenues of encouragement and inspiration out there.

 
barbados
1315945.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:52 am Reply with quote

I know quite a lot of teachers, and I reckon I could count on the fingers of one foot the number that would start an industrial dispute as as a result of being asked to provide any advice to a child.

 
GuyBarry
1315948.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:01 am Reply with quote

I'm just going by what suze said in post 1315860:

suze wrote:
The industrial relations climate in schools is fragile, and ordering a teacher to do something that she doesn't think ought to be her job could lead to a complaint about bullying or even a strike ballot.

 
barbados
1315951.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:08 am Reply with quote

And as a percentage, how many do you reckon think that providing advice on all aspects of growing up (which careers advice is part of at a school age) is not part of their job?

 
dr.bob
1315955.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:11 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
But it's not the teacher's job as far as I'm concerned. It's a bit like saying "what's the appropriate response from a teacher to a young student who develops a medical condition?" The only sensible answer is "go and see a doctor", I would submit, not to try to diagnose it themselves.


So your opinion is that, if a student asks a teacher if they could become an astronaut one day, the teacher's correct response is "Sorry son, discussing that kind of thing is not in my job description, so I'm going to not give you any advice on a point of principal."?

GuyBarry wrote:
There are so many other avenues of encouragement and inspiration out there.


Such as?

 
GuyBarry
1315963.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:22 am Reply with quote

This is going round in circles now. You asked me that self-same question in post 1315841[*], and I answered it in post 1315848, where I gave you a link to a list of organizations that provide careers guidance to young people. I have nothing to add to what I said in that post.

[*]With the same misspelling of "principle", I might add.

 
GuyBarry
1315964.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:31 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
And as a percentage, how many do you reckon think that providing advice on all aspects of growing up (which careers advice is part of at a school age) is not part of their job?


Suze is in a better position to answer that question than I am. She said that there were teachers who would refuse to give careers advice, and that if they were in her team she wouldn't be allowed to discipline them for it. I've no idea what proportion of the overall workforce would take that attitude though.

She also mentioned that part of her role as a sixth-form registration tutor involved giving careers advice to some extent, so I presume it's specifically written into her contract.

EDIT: This is the guidance that was issued to local authorities when the responsibility for careers guidance was transferred to schools:

Quote:
Subject to the passage of the Education Bill through Parliament, schools will, from September 2012, be under a duty to secure access to independent and impartial careers guidance for their pupils. Schools will be free to make arrangements for careers guidance for young people that fit the needs and circumstances of their students, and will be able to engage, as appropriate, in partnership with external, expert providers.


http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/l/la%20guidance%20april%202011.pdf

Note that it talks about "external, expert providers". There's nothing there to suggest that schoolteachers are responsible for supplying careers guidance themselves.

 
GuyBarry
1315979.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:03 pm Reply with quote

I've been asked a lot of questions recently, so I'd like to ask one of my own.

In 2017, there were 14 million graduates in the UK - approximately 30% of the voting-age population of 46.8 million. (Source: ONS)

In the current Parliament elected in 2017, 87% of MPs are graduates. (Source: Sutton Trust)

This is a huge imbalance by any standards. What can be done to increase the number of non-graduates in Parliament, to make it more representative of the population as a whole?

 
barbados
1315983.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:16 pm Reply with quote

You can start by telling the school age children they can get to the top job regardless of sex, race, or religion.

 
GuyBarry
1315986.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:29 pm Reply with quote

And how would that help?

John Major became PM after leaving school with three O-levels (plus three more he gained by correspondence course). Why isn't he presented as a role model to schoolchildren?

 
barbados
1315987.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:34 pm Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
And how would that help?

I'd suggest using the opposite of your preferred method.

 
suze
1315990.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:02 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
I know quite a lot of teachers, and I reckon I could count on the fingers of one foot the number that would start an industrial dispute as as a result of being asked to provide any advice to a child.


If you've not met the kind of teacher who will raise a grievance over just about anything, then you may consider yourself fortunate. Such teachers are found more in secondary schools than in primary schools, and more in the inner cities than the 'burbs, but no kind of school is completely immune to them.

We've got two to three of them at my school. Fortunately none reports to me, and one of them is on a final written warning for unrelated reasons, but no Head can afford to assume that they are completely absent from her school.


GuyBarry wrote:
She also mentioned that part of her role as a sixth-form registration tutor involved giving careers advice to some extent, so I presume it's specifically written into her contract.


And here is the problem: it isn't. At least, it's not in mine; I do not have sight of the contracts issued to new teachers at my school, and still less of the contracts used at other schools. It was easy in the days when every school used standard county contracts, but fewer by the term still do.

The precise duties of a sixth form registration tutor are nowhere set out in as much detail as they perhaps should be, but I take it that if a girl in my group needs to know something that she can't find out for herself, then it's my job either to tell her or to tell her who to ask. Even within my own school though, I'd be lying if I said that every tutor takes that responsibility as seriously as I do.

Guy wrote:
Note that it talks about "external, expert providers". There's nothing there to suggest that schoolteachers are responsible for supplying careers guidance themselves.


That's a "may", though, not a "must". In practice, almost all schools do use external, expert providers to the extent that they can afford to. I suspect that the likes of Eton think they know better, and don't, but the bigger issue is the schools that can't afford to.


GuyBarry wrote:
And how would that help?

John Major became PM after leaving school with three O-levels (plus three more he gained by correspondence course). Why isn't he presented as a role model to schoolchildren?


Because people of our generation struggle to remember who he was, or anything that he achieved.

One might almost as well put forward Jeremy Corbyn. He does have A levels, but only two Es, but I doubt that all many will ever see him as a hugely influential role model.

 

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