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Derek McMillan

Be the worst!

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If you cannot succeed in a school environment you might want to make a virtue of necessity and make "getting more detentions than anyone else" or "doing as little work as poss" or "being bottom of the class" your aim in life.

The constant testing, practising for tests, rehearsing tests....in short the things the government think education is all about....could be a factor here.

Pupils who are working together (for example on a media studies project) often seem less interested in "being the worst" because that would mean letting the other members of the group down.

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If you cannot succeed in a school environment you might want to make a virtue of necessity and make "getting more detentions than anyone else" or "doing as little work as poss" or "being bottom of the class" your aim in life.

The constant testing, practising for tests, rehearsing tests....in short the things the government think education is all about....could be a factor here.

Pupils who are working together (for example on a media studies project) often seem less interested in "being the worst" because that would mean letting the other members of the group down.

Excellent point, Derek!

Having just watched Michael Moore's film "Bowling for Columbine," and having seen his production of "Fahrenheit 9-11" in the theater last month, where it was, I admit, extremely hard to resist throwing handfuls of popcorn at the screen every time Geo. W. Bush came onto it! (Fortunately for me, with my tendency toward making the snide comment, I was sitting with a group of like-minded individuals, making their OWN comments!) You could almost "hear" the "BIG EYE ROLLS..."

:angry:

I will step out on faith here and make a prediction that, upon it's US DVD release (October 5th 2004), this movie [F9-11] will be a great "cult film" akin to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Some of the trivia questions about it could be: how many times does George W. Bush state "I am the WAR President" ?

I must say that "BFC" made similar points to the one you make here...that being the one about the students who "might as well be the worst, since I [they] can't be the best..." One youth in this movie was a little upset that he wasn't the NUMBER ONE kid on the list of suspects, the ones who the authorities would look for in a school violence investigation...can you imagine that?

Please give these two movies a viewing - I believe that you will find them informative as well as entertaining.

In these two films, I believe that you will see that the Average American has NO respect for Bush OR his "Good Ol' Boy" cadre of cronies - we are sick of being lied to, and also of being subjected to the media's constant barrage of "terror" - designed primarily to cause Americans to HATE foreigners and inciting other country's to HATE the U.S. by the actions of the few in power - but, if you think it is EASY to effect change in this country with its inbred and embedded "shadow government" - you would have to re-think that position after watching these two movies...

I might add that I was one of MY teachers' WORST nightmares, in that I questioned everything they were attempting to "indoctrinate" me with - I still question - I still wonder - our public school system could NOT "grind" those qualities out of me...I wasn't popular, but I didn't aspire to BE popular! I aspired to LEARN, and learning - if it is to be effective - involves questioning and wondering.

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The attitude which used to be referred to as the "anti-group subculture" by Hargreaves was something which was a lot worse when we had separate schools for pupils of different ability and streaming within schools. Getting rid of streaming and encouraging co-operative learning where appropriate addressed this problem to some extent. The New Labour obsession with testing has brought back some of the most negative aspects of the past.

Unfortunately in the UK the government has an obsession with controlling what happens in the classroom literally minute by minute and it is only by subverting (I mean "creatively adapting") the government's plans that teachers can teach.

(Yes I took the family to see Fahrenheit 9/11 and I am well aware that Bush is not representative of the American people (who didn't after all elect him!))

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