Friday, January 01, 2010

Education: Forget the three Rs, it's the four Fs that are important

There's no getting around it, public education in the Anglosphere is in trouble. Australian teachers are queueing up for payouts. The U.S. system produces dummies. And British schools are mired in a "culture of low aspiration".

An oft suggested solution is more time spent on the three Rs - reading, writing and arithmetic - and less on the more touchy-feely subjects like gender equality. This obviously has some merit as employers often complain that high school graduates are functionally deficient in both language and number skills. I think that before school can properly concentrate on the three Rs there are some basic conditions that must be met: the four Fs. Once the Fs are satisfied, teaching the three Rs will be much more effective.

The four Fs all students must satisfy:

  • Sit the f**k down.

  • Shut the f**k up.

  • Do your f**king work, or...

  • Get the f**k out.

The education problem solved.


Anonymous Dan Lewis said...

I realised the change in educational principles when I had the misfortune to watch an episode of "Barney the Dinosaur" on the telly during the week.

Like Sesame Street, it had the usual line-up of minority groups, singing and dancing with Barney, instead of Grover or Elmo. However all of the songs were about how "You can be anything you want" and "everyone is special".

None of them taught any skills which would help you achieve these lofty goals. For example, the alphabet song.

A real worry...

9:01 PM  

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