As a bit of a amateur social policist I was in my element following the riots in August, oh the theories I could have constructed and the phD’s I could have written ….. shame the housework gets in the way…..
This week was parents evening for my 7-year old. Born to be a middle child if ever there was one. Im used to those 5 minutes of teachers time being spent discussing the weather because after “your child is the star of the class”, there isnt much else left to say. But I knew this one would be different. He’s just moved into Junior School and so there isnt much “playtime” left and its serious now for the next 10 years which is quite a scary thought for me, let alone a 7-year old whose most favourite things in the world are climbing anything and playing football (if you can drag him away from the Xbox).
Now I dont mean to be big-headed but this is my blog and I can be whatever I like, so Ill big-head away thank you very much. Both me and Doug are intelligent and degree educated so its not really surprising that our children are pretty high up the old IQ level as well. My eldest two children could, given the right set of circumstances and the inclination, graduate from Oxford and become (academic) Dr’s. But born-to-be-middle is different. From the moment he was born, he was “special”. He’s got the brains alright but he’s not “traditionally academically gifted”. Hes more likely to be Sir Alan Sugar than Stephen Hawking.
Which brings me back to the August riots, caused in the main by young, poorly educated, men (or boys depending on your point of view) with poor prospects, time on their hands and a consumer culture. It was bound to happen, Im surprised it doesnt happen more often. I find it infuriating that the well educated judges and politicians want to lock them up and throw away the key. If they could, I bet they would transport them to Australia (or what would be the modern day equivalent? Mars?). Anyway, thats an argument for another day.
Within weeks of the riots, the papers were full again of the increased scores for GCSEs and A-levels and girls outperforming boys and blah, blah, blah. Heard it all before. The exams are too easy! They shout. It wasnt like that in my day! They argue. Oh change the blooming record (I did – I turned back to QVC, nothing like shopping as your sleeping drug of choice).
The problem, as I see it, is feminism. Now watch it – I can say these things cos Im a girl, but if your a boy you must disagree vehemently! A long time ago, people decided to level the playing field to allow girls to become better educated and participate in society (and the economy) more. Well thats all very fine and well, but whats happened now is that its far too tipped to girls now and frankly its a waste. Here I am with a degree and a nearly completed Masters and what do I do with it? I find ways of avoiding the housework and blog my highly intellectual thoughts with no benefit to anyone. Now, if we diverted those wasted resources into finding ways of educating our boys, what a different world we could live in. Drug dealers may be heinous criminals but they have enough intelligence to buy and sell merchanise, create businesses, diversify, expand, recruit, increase sales. They might not be able to read and write but they still have brains. If we found a way to harness that intelligence, well frankly, the world would be their oyster (and shoot me for the stretch, we’d all be happier – men would feel like men and women wouldnt get depression for feeling like they were supposed to have everything and failing).
So back to my son. I havent done a teaching course (yet – Im thinking about it) but if maybe there was a school that taught him to read Xbox games instructions (rather than politically correct books about Janet and John flying a kite) or used a football field to teach geometry (think about it – angles, speed, wind direction …. its possible, I might not know anything about football, but I know its maths potential!). Or car maintenance and bricklaying rather than algebra and history. If I can think about in between (avoiding) housework Im sure them there big-wigs could come up with something plausible.
Im sorry but its time to turn the clock back. Forget about the girls, those that can will (my grandmother was a doctor in the 1950s) and lets start educating our boys.