Anorak News | A Valuable Lesson

A Valuable Lesson

by | 8th, June 2005

‘“THIS way for free drugs,” says the man in the harlequin costume belting out a tune on his iPod. “Come on, kids. Bring your mobile phone-cams and be ready to film me giving someone a really good hard slapping.” Hurrah!

”l’ve a begonia about your age”

Getting teenage school leavers back into the classroom has yet to hold so much appeal, but that bit about the iPod is based on some spark of truth.

As the Times reports, unemployed teenagers are being offered £170 iPod MP3 players, bought with taxpayers’ money, should they enrol on and complete the vital course in “life and job skills”.

Bournemouth and Poole College is so keen to get bums on seats that it’s using bribes to seduce 16 to 19-year-olds back into the classroom.

The 14-week course, “Step up 4 summer”, will teach the young and listless how to apply for jobs, conduct themselves in an interview and write a CV.

Although how Armani and Romeo will learn anything with headphones stuck in their ears is a matter of debate. Perhaps listening to Buster Rhymes’ new single “My Bitchin’ Resume” will help them?

But not everyone is keen on such fashionable teaching methods. And speaking at the fourth Prince of Wales annual summer school in Devon, Prince Charles gave vent to his feelings.

The Prince heaped praise on the teaching profession, but urged educators not to let “fashionable approaches” and modern ways of teaching dominate the tried and tested old styles.

“Too often nowadays, I fear the voguish preoccupations of the present are allowed to divert attention from perennially valuable insights from the past,” says he.

Hearing that, it’s hard to know if the prince is talking about people or plants, assuming he knows the difference.

But he does make a clear point. And he uses a couple of longish words.

And who better than a prince to tell us how things are? A prince, who, despite a public school education that spanned two continents, still managed to scoop six O-levels and a grade B in history and a C in French at A-level?

The answer is no-one. And buoyed by his own academic success, the Telegraph says on its front page that Charles plans to open his own teaching training institute to ”fill the gap many in education believe has existed for too long”.

As the prince says, the college will aim to “underpin timeless principals which form the bedrock of teaching” and “strengthen the essence of good classroom practice – knowledge taught well by expert and enthusiastic teachers.”

And if that doesn’t work, and the nippers are still as thick as two short planks, the advice is to get them a private tutor and then ship ‘em orf to Australia, or the Army…’

Posted: 8th, June 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink