Private schooling key factor in career success

July 2, 2007

Interesting article in the Guardian on private schooling.

A study examining the educational backgrounds of the 500 most influential people working in politics, the media, medicine, law and business reveals that more than half had attended fee-paying independent schools. That compares with the tiny proportion of pupils – just 7% – who are privately educated.

The significance of private schooling for career success has declined only slightly during the past 20 years, the study by the Sutton Trust education charity found.

Dr Lee Elliot Major, the Sutton Trust’s director of research, said: “This analysis shows that the school you attend at age 11 has a huge impact on your life chances, and particularly how likely you are to reach the top of your chosen profession.

“We are still to a large extent a society divided by wealth, with future elites groomed at particular schools and universities, while the educational opportunities available to those from non-privileged backgrounds make it much more difficult for them to reach the top.”

Guardian: Private schooling key factor in career success

From what I’ve read elsewhere theres also a different focus in private schools.  There children are being taught to be leaders whereas in public schools children are taught to be led.  This might sound like a sweeping statement but I’d suggest not just dismissing it but instead investigating yourself to see what you find.  John Taylor Gatto would be a good place to start.


Games in Education

July 2, 2007

Games in Education video created by Mark Wagner and Michael Guerena of the Orange County (CA) Department of Education’s Educational Technology group. They have given permission to post. A really interesting video on games in education.  I completly agree that games can play a major role in education, when I got my hands on the Nintendo DS title “Brain Training” my first thought was “wow – I wish I’d had this as a kid!”  I think it could be an excellent tool.  I do think we have to be careful however.  I’ve recently finish a book discussing violence in western culture and its effects on creating a violent society.  I believe theres a strong argument against the use of violent games (I’ll explain my position on this in future posts).  To think that children could learn much about WWII by playing a war management game I think is stretching things, the important lessons remain the human experience for evacuated children and their bombed homes, to reverse this and have children selecting to bomb cities is a gross perversion. I think our schools should try to create a progressive education focused on the values of peace, human rights and non-violence.  In my opinion theres no justification for normalising violence to children.  Education establishments also bear a large responsibility, if we do allow any violent games into the education system, they could be played by every child in the country.  Even if the game has a very small effect of enabling violent attitudes this will be amplified over the entire nation. Read the rest of this entry »

Computers ‘can raise attainment’

June 25, 2007

Interesting article from the BBC suggesting that technology can improve learning and has a greater chance of success in primary education where the curriculum is more flexible.

Computers ‘can raise attainment’

High levels of computer technology in schools can improve attainment to an extent, a four-year study has found.