We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

So relentless is this brainwashing that it percolates throughout the curriculum, so that even exam papers in French, English or religious studies can ask students to explain why the world is dangerously warming up, or why we must build more wind turbines. In 2012, I described an A-level general studies paper set by our leading exam board, AQA, asking for comment on 11 pages of propagandist “source materials”, riddled with basic errors. A mother wrote to tell me how her intelligent son, after getting straight As on all his science papers, used his extensive knowledge of climate science to point out all their absurd distortions.

He was given the lowest possible mark, a fail. When his mother paid to have his paper independently assessed, the new examiner conceded that it was “articulate, well-structured” and well-informed. But because it did not parrot the party line, it was still given a fail. I fear this corruption of everything that education and science should stand for has become a much more serious scandal than Mr Gove yet realises.

Christopher Booker

22 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Mr Ed

    Gove is not, of course, purging like a bloodless Yezhov and reducing the scope of the State. Mrs Thatcher was too stupid to realise that a National Curriculum would be hijacked by the sorts that infest the State apparatus.

  • AndrewZ

    Global warming is the new religion of the elite and like all such religions its main purpose is to control the masses through fear and guilt. The people must be made to believe that there is a dire emergency that can only be tackled by a powerful central authority. They must also be convinced that it is somehow all their own fault, so they will lack the confidence to defend their interests against the demands of the political class. Therefore it should be no surprise to see the state education system promoting the unofficial state religion. It’s another reminder that the most fundamental problem with our education system is the fact that education is provided by a system rather than an industry.

  • So here we are with the frontiers of science rolled back to 1600 with the minor tweak that the sun revolves around Al Gore. The science is settled and all who disagree are guilty of heresy.

    And here I thought the 21st century would be different.

  • Stonyground

    Surely the man made climate change bubble has to pop eventually due to all the predicted disasters persisting in not happening. The alarmists can only cry wolf for so long.

  • CaptDMO

    Snowing here in New England today.

  • CaptDMO

    Any academic challenge to the “teachers” qualifications to assign/evaluate/grade paper on such subjects?
    Any Academic challange to the “staff” members competence, IQ, CV, “work” leading to “credentials”, credentials “participation” awarding institution/”judge”/”panel”?

  • Paul Marks

    This is one way in which things have changed for the worse.

    True my qualifications have never done me any good, but I do have some – “A” at “A” level (back in the 1980s when it was hard to get them), a First Class Degree, and an M.A. – only at D.Phil level did the political bias stuff really hit me (“we are not going to award you the doctorate” “what flaw is there in my evidence or argument?” “under the statutes of the University of York, which you have obviously not read, we do not have to point out any flaw in your evidence and argument” – and they were right, they did not, the case Paul Marks versus University of York before Lord Chancellor Lord Irving, decided that). Bacially I was denied the Doctorate because I am a Tory bastard – I had never encountered that sort of thing before.

    These days I would have no qualifications at all.

    I know that by watching the young and their folders of work sheets – in my day it was books, which one read in order to get various points of view (and “facts” – facts were often contested) to write essays about.

    Essays were marked on the quality of the argument – not on whether they they were ideologically “correct”.

    Work sheets (and so on) can not be marked that way – either the “correct” answer is there or it is not. In my case it would not be – so I would get F (for fail) in everything.

    It seems (from this post by Brian) to be the same in the natural sciences as it is my “area” (the social sciences and humanities).

    I am told that not all state education systems are equally bad – but I suspect that once a state education system (including state set examinations in private schools) has gone rotten (which the state education system here clearly had – it is just drilling in the Politically “Correct” stuff, that leads to people like dear Mr Clegg and Mr Cameron) it is not going to get reformed back again.

    Time for private schools to seek out their own examinations – no more J.S. Mill style state examinations for private schools (and, yes, no more state “trained” teachers for private schools).

  • James Strong

    The young man got A grades in the natural sciences; it was the General Studies paper that revealed the political bias of the examiners.
    Sooner or later, I hope it’s sooner but it might be later, the natural sciences are bound to win. You can grow crops that you fertilise on Lamarckian ideas, but since Lamarck was wrong then that policy will fail.
    You can legislate the value of Pi if you like, but the law will be worthless if the number in the statute is wrong.
    Warmists will be defeated by science, not politics.

  • Paul Marks

    Good to know that the position in the teaching of the natural sciences is not as I feared James.

  • Roue le Jour

    If a student at a seminary wrote a paper contesting Catholicism he would likewise fail. Therefore climate change is a religion. QED

  • RAB

    I have an O and A level in Economics, which probably means I have four more years experience in it than iDave has.

    What I was taught was pure Keynsianism, but it was never put to us students as such at the time. What we were told was that there was room for arguement and different approaches and theories to co-exist. It was the late sixties, A levels were not supposed to be about parroting back information via an exam, like O Levels were, they were supposed to be about the students thinking for themselves…. We were lied to.

    My teacher, who was a good man (there were only 8 of us in the A level class)and whilst looking furtively over his shoulder, lest he be overheard, gave us a few lessons about the Austrian School. Mainly because he knew we few were genuinely interested in the subject and deserved the fullest picture he could paint on the canvas of our blossoming minds for us.

    But his bottom line statement I will never forget….

    Don’t put any of this in your A level papers boys, or you will be failed on the spot. So we parroted Keynsian orthodoxy and passed. But I will never forget him, great man and teacher that he was.

  • RogerC

    Dissident teachers, RAB. Gotta love ’em. I had a couple of history teachers who were exactly like that, right down to the “for God’s sake, don’t put any of this down in an exam” bit. They were half the reason why I started down my current path (the other half being that nice Mr Heinlein).

  • Larry Sheldon

    Among the generous gifts honoring my ¾-century event is a replacement for what some of us call my “sippy cup” (in the instant case a double-walled glass with a tight-fitting silicon cap–intention: reduce the number of time I flood my keyboard with milk or wine.

    The little folder has 6 bullet points in the little folder attached.

    The first informs us that the energy needed to fill a bottle with water is equivalent to filling the bottle ¼ full of oil……

    The second tells us that “Bottled water is designed to be consumed and discarded.

    Well, Duh! I take 80 mg of Furosimide each day to ensure that that happens. It goes on to say that it takes a 1000 years for the bottle to degrade.

    And more anti bottled-water rants.

    And finally, words to the effect that it is dish-washer safe except it might get scratched and chipped so hand-washing is recommended.

    Not word one about the cup’s construction, nor of the significance (if any) of the design painted on it.

  • Paul Marks

    There we go RAB.

    And why should a teacher (assuming they even know any dissenting stuff) spend time teaching it?

    Teachers are very pushed for time- and so why teach stuff that will only hurt the students at exam time.

    Just make sure the youngsters fill in their work sheets “correctly”, and put them in their folders (and study them).

    The situation in the state education system (and in private schools that accept state examination – and state “trained” teachers, filled with “Social Justice” doctrines at Teacher Training College) is not good – and I continue to believe that it is systematic failure (not just the fault of the wrong people being in charge).

    The Conservative party was in office from 1979 to 1997.

    Was the education system made any more open to non “liberal” left ideas in 1997 than it had been in 1979?

    No – if anything the situation was worse.

    The Republican party has been in office in Texas for almost 20 years.

    Texas is proud of not singing on for the collectivist Federal “Common Core” stuff (which, by the way, “Jeb” Bush supports).

    Yet some 80% of Texas Schools were found to be teaching “Social Justice” stuff.

    And academics at (taxpayer funded) universities in Texas continue to push the “Progressive” agenda (death to the “Anglos”, who “stole the land”, and so on).

    It is not who is charge that matters – the system (the idea) of state funded education (and so on)is fatally flawed.

  • thefrollickingmole

    A friend of mines kid got an extremely loaded assignment here in Oz.
    It was “black armband” Aboriginal history, and they were assigned to write on a terrible case where 2 Aboriginals were hung for murdering a stockman in our local area.

    They were handed the assignment, complete with a list of sources they could use all of extremely well known biased uni wankers.
    Now all these sources provided by the school curriculum made it clear it was a kangaroo court and the poor blokes were unjustly hung..

    There was a problem, my mates kid found the original court reporting online, the local paper had the full court transcripts printed each day because it was a fairly sensational murder.

    Long story short the acadmics version was show Aboriginal resistance, trial, hanging, never know who did it…

    Trial was, eyewitness, deathbed identification, Aboriginals dobbed in murderers, robbery as motive, full trial..

    My mate was in a quandary so his kid did something brilliant..

    He wrote the “black armband” one based on the academics sources, then he wrote a second one using the contemporary records of the time and handed them both in.

    He passed with flying colors.

    But it was a very instructive demonstration of how a curriculum can be manipulated by academics. NOTHING in the official list of sources the kids were supposed to use was contemporary, and there was no doubt in the academics version the 2 blokes were innocent.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes – and the same is true in the United States as in Australia.

    In the book “Hoodwinked” Jack Cashill shows how the celebrated leftist cases taught to the young at school and university and pushed by the msm, are based upon LIES.

    The generations move towards the enemy side not by some natural process – but because of systematic conditioning (conditioning based upon lies).

    True practical experience of the world counters the brainwashing to some extent – but the basic assumptions (based upon lies) are often still there.

  • Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

    Radio ‘news’ this morning: Forecast high for today is 22C, with a low of 0C tonight, strong winds with ice pellets followed by 2cm of snow.
    Followed by obligatory reference to ‘global warming’…. As if a warm front from the south had never been followed by a cold front from the north….
    We are all going to die. We’re all going to DIE! .

  • RAB

    And why should a teacher (assuming they even know any dissenting stuff) spend time teaching it?

    Because it was a different world back then Paul. Most of my teachers in Grammar school had fought in WW2, they were not about to be easily intimidated by some dickat from some asshole of a leftie Education official. They genuinely believed in imparting knowledge to us pupils.

    When we entered the lower sixth we were told in no uncertain terms that we were now in the top 10% of intellegence in the country. If we worked hard, passed our A levels and went on to University, we would be in the top 6%. Christ they even started using our Christian names instead of Surnames or “You Boy!” (we almost fainted!). And yes they expected us to think for ourselves not regurgitate recieved wisdom so to speak.

    The Comprehensive system did for all that. I believe mine was pretty much the last generation to receive a relatively untainted by propaganda education in this country. Yes my Economics lessons were dominated by Keynsianism, but that was because it was overwhelmingly believed to be right, not something that had to be finagled into place by hook or by crook. And I am forever grateful to Mr Mansel Jones, Eggy, so called because he had been a commando in the war, had got blown to bits on several occasions, had so many metal plates in his body he would never get through an airport metal detector, was completely bald and looked 108 when he was probably only in his 50’s, for actually doing his job properly and teaching us to think for ourselves.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes RAB it was a different age – I can remember the tail end of it.

    The modern breed do not know anything – and even if they did they would not teach it (justify that to themselves by saying they did not have time to explain stuff that could harm the chances of their students).

  • The Wobbly Guy

    You can’t blame the current teachers when they are unaware of the non-Keynesian schools of thought themselves.

    Even as a non-Economics tutor, I would slip in tidbits of politically incorrect information and sensibilities during civics lesson. It’s gratifying when a significant number of students actually take some time to read up on the small nuggets I mentioned.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Mr Ed – a minister trying to change the state education system (for the better), is like getting on the back of a fire breathing dragon and expecting to act like an obedient horse.