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Faith Schools?

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gypsy
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Aug 16 2010 08:35
Faith Schools?

Richard Dawkins documentary on faith schools will be shown on channel 4 later this week. I was wondering how divisive and immoral libcommers think they are? Should we campaign against them? Has any anarchist/left groups done any campaigning against them?

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Choccy
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Aug 16 2010 10:58

Aye I'll watch this. I'm sure Dawkins will present some very simplistic shit and I've seen pics of him beside a mural in Belfast on the C4 site so no doubt that will come up. Pre-empting his shit analysis of the situation in the north being a 'religious conflict' (which it wasn't), I will say that having gone through catholic single sex education right up to a-level that that shit is mental.

Aside from all the problems with schools generally, in 'divided' communities, faith schools, as with workplaces and housing, did serve to solidify divisions. I mean fuck sake, I remember doing my a-levels and speaking to kids in my class who'd never met a prod, at 17yrs-old had never met a prod. That fucking blows my mind, and schooling had a big part to play in it, but it's more complex than that.

Speaking now about a borough like Hackney, if you're a parent who is faced with the decision to send your kid to a secondary school, you've either got faithschools, single-sex schools, or academies. So again, aside from all the other problems with schools as they exist, their role in socialisation is coloured by this 'choice'.

gypsy
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Aug 16 2010 15:54
Choccy wrote:
Aside from all the problems with schools generally, in 'divided' communities, faith schools, as with workplaces and housing, did serve to solidify divisions. I mean fuck sake, I remember doing my a-levels and speaking to kids in my class who'd never met a prod, at 17yrs-old had never met a prod. That fucking blows my mind, and schooling had a big part to play in it, but it's more complex than that.
.

Me too. Mines wasnae single sex though. Maybe you could do a little article on the situation in Hackney sounds interesting.

gypsy
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Aug 21 2010 13:33
Choccy wrote:
Dezmond wrote:
Just finished reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

Did you watch his show last night? There's a thread on it elsewhere.

gypsy
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Aug 21 2010 14:15
Choccy wrote:
Aye I'll watch this. I'm sure Dawkins will present some very simplistic shit and I've seen pics of him beside a mural in Belfast on the C4 site so no doubt that will come up. Pre-empting his shit analysis of the situation in the north being a 'religious conflict' (which it wasn't).

Just watching it the now. And he seems to be blaming it all on religion. Hes also saying everything is getting better atm, when it isnt in alot of areas.

What did you think about it?

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Choccy
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Aug 21 2010 17:08

While the visit to the muslim school was interesting, if disturbing (from a science teacher's point of view), it was the usual simplistic reasoning away we've come to expect from him.
Though the most interesting part was the report saying that class and economics were much more significant predictors of educational attainment than faith vs secular schools.
To be honest this would make for a far more interesting and important show - class and education, but meh it's not his bag really, except for when he's slagging religion wink

Regarding the origins of belief and in particular children as 'natural creationists' there was some interesting stuff. I'm fairly familiar with Deborah Keleman's work (the psychologist on the show) already on intuitive teleology in children (their readiness to attribute purpose to things), and when coupled with stuff like Jesse Bering's work on childhood dualism ('when the man died his brain lived on') and stuff like Shermer on 'patternicity' it's fair to say we have dispositions that can be 'hijacked' by religion.
But that's different than saying religion is innate - all it says is we're ripe for manipulation as such.

He went no where into saying the role of social forces in the development of religion or the role of religion in maintaining social divisions. But that's nothign new, he's always been extremely weak on that, though I still like him.

gypsy
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Aug 21 2010 17:34
Choccy wrote:
While the visit to the muslim school was interesting, if disturbing (from a science teacher's point of view), it was the usual simplistic reasoning away we've come to expect from him.
Though the most interesting part was the report saying that class and economics were much more significant predictors of educational attainment than faith vs secular schools.
To be honest this would make for a far more interesting and important show - class and education, but meh it's not his bag really, except for when he's slagging religion wink
.

I was surprised the science teacher at that muslim school could not answer such a simple question as to why chimpanzees still exist. The thing about fresh water and salt water was madness. I think class and economics are obviously the elephant in the room that Dawkins the rich professor from Oxford does not like to address- a place were the wealth gap between rich and poor is especially large.

But religion as Marx said is the opium of the masses and the rise in faith schools is a disturbing development even if he doesn't talk about the role of social forces in the development of religion- im glad channel 4 showed it.

Recently I saw in Oldham they are mixing two state schools into a new academy (one with majority asian pupils the other majority white). This is a good development although I have my suspicions that its perhaps a cost cutting exercise(plus i hate academies)!

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Choccy
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Aug 21 2010 18:04

You have good reason to hate academies, and good reason to suspect that such an amalgamation is a cost-cutting measure - amalgamations have been increasing, esp in primary sector and i wouldn't be surprised if 'super- academies' aren't touted. In fact I think there's one in Nottingham (could be elsewhere?) that's an amalgamation of primary AND secondary!

And yes, it's telling that the only time he mentioned class was to use it as a stick to beat religion with.

gypsy
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Aug 21 2010 18:50
Choccy wrote:
You have good reason to hate academies, and good reason to suspect that such an amalgamation is a cost-cutting measure - amalgamations have been increasing, esp in primary sector and i wouldn't be surprised if 'super- academies' aren't touted. In fact I think there's one in Nottingham (could be elsewhere?) that's an amalgamation of primary AND secondary!

And yes, it's telling that the only time he mentioned class was to use it as a stick to beat religion with.

Amalgamation is the word I was looking for. My former school was amalgamated to create a super catholic secondary school which unites the catholics in North Ayrshire.

But I have never heard of an amalgamation between primary and secondary? How does that work? neutral

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Choccy
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Aug 21 2010 19:20

Quickly, off the top of my head, this was the one I remember hearing about
http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/news/Education-chiefs-big-changes/article-332183-detail/article.html
'pupils aged 3-19'

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Choccy
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Aug 21 2010 19:23

Ah here was the more recent story
3-19
3,600 pupils - jesus, I trained in one of the biggest schools in the south; 2,200 kids and it was rediculous - 3,600 just blows me away, split site or not.

gypsy
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Aug 21 2010 19:28
Choccy wrote:
Ah here was the more recent story
3-19
3,600 pupils - jesus, I trained in one of the biggest schools in the south; 2,200 kids and it was rediculous - 3,600 just blows me away, split site or not.

Could you remember the students names? Im guessing thats alot of names to remember. surprised

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Choccy
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Aug 21 2010 20:06

pfff just those I taught!
It was common to have over 20 supply teachers in a day due to staff illness.

gypsy
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Aug 21 2010 20:17
Choccy wrote:
pfff just those I taught!
It was common to have over 20 supply teachers in a day due to staff illness.

The staff room must have been interesting. wink

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fingers malone
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Aug 22 2010 11:32

When I was at school Muslim faith schools didn't yet exist, but white parents tended to try to get their kids into the Catholic and C of E schools, so the comps became by default mainly Muslim schools, which fucked up the area by encouraging racial separation.
According to my friends that live there it's even worse now.

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oisleep
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Aug 22 2010 17:25
Choccy wrote:
Quickly, off the top of my head, this was the one I remember hearing about
http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/news/Education-chiefs-big-changes/article-332183-detail/article.html
'pupils aged 3-19'

the proposed replacement school to be built on the site of lewisham bridge primary school was to be a combined primary & secondary

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Choccy
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Aug 22 2010 18:02

oh aye forgot about that, mental