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Socialists Question Time AKA 'Ask a Socialist'

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    (Original post by zedbrar)
    It is interesting that you say this. Have you heard of Summerhill School in Suffolk? Basically, the teachers give the children there the maximum freedom. They are even given the choice to decide whether or not they want to go to classes at all.

    Despite having this freedom and never being pushed by teachers, the students at the school still manage to achieve very well. It could therefore be argued that less interference is better as it allows children to explore and decide for themselves. I was once good at English, however at secondary school teachers used to push us to read which rather than encouraging me had the opposite effect upon me. I went through secondary school without having read a single book. If the child really wants to do something, as seen in Summerhill School, they will seek help from the teacher themselves.
    First rule of education research= don't generalise from single research studies/examples.
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    (Original post by Richiboi)
    just whats going on in the government at the moment- what other nations may be doing better, and a general sense that social democracy might be preferable and more productive than the current economic view of Parliament, and the general unproductive, rent-seeking behaviour of business in the UK.

    Interesting. So if you call yourself a social democrat do you still reject Marx's critique and socialist alternatives to capitalism?
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    (Original post by iammichealjackson)
    First rule of education research= don't generalise from single research studies/examples.
    It is not generalising to show someone an example of a different yet still successful method of education. I could equally say that you shouldn't generalise my intentions from a single post. I merely stated 'It could therefore be argued...'.

    Just because some idea/ideology/outlook/study is an anomaly or not widely respresented does not mean that it should be instantly dismissed. Rather, it should act as a catalyst of discussion and potentially even a reevaluation of the status quo.
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    (Original post by zedbrar)
    It is interesting that you say this. Have you heard of Summerhill School in Suffolk? Basically, the teachers give the children there the maximum freedom. They are even given the choice to decide whether or not they want to go to classes at all.

    Despite having this freedom and never being pushed by teachers, the students at the school still manage to achieve very well. It could therefore be argued that less interference is better as it allows children to explore and decide for themselves. I was once good at English, however at secondary school teachers used to push us to read which rather than encouraging me had the opposite effect upon me. I went through secondary school without having read a single book. If the child really wants to do something, as seen in Summerhill School, they will seek help from the teacher themselves.
    Unfortunately I don't think that that method would work for most schools. The highest achieving State schools are firstly Grammar schools where students are pushed a lot, and second;y a few comprehensive schools that also push students.
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    (Original post by mevidek)
    Unfortunately I don't think that that method would work for most schools. The highest achieving State schools are firstly Grammar schools where students are pushed a lot, and second;y a few comprehensive schools that also push students.
    I would agree with you to a certain extent that with regards to examination attainments, State Schools and Grammar schools do exceedingly better. However, to what extent is this achievement on behalf of State schools down to their ability to employ better teachers and invest in better resources? From what I understand, Summerhill doesn't pay very competitive wages for teachers and the facilities aren't as great as many State schools and Grammar schools.

    Also, although pushing can lead to great results as has happened in South Korea, it can also have negative effects on the children. Finland has adopted a less pushy and examination free education system and is possibly the greatest competition internationally to the South Korean education system.

    I can't seem to find anything about GCSE grades for the school :hmmm: I was wanting to compare them to national average...
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    (Original post by zedbrar)
    I would agree with you to a certain extent that with regards to examination attainments, State Schools and Grammar schools do exceedingly better. However, to what extent is this achievement on behalf of State schools down to their ability to employ better teachers and invest in better resources? From what I understand, Summerhill doesn't pay very competitive wages for teachers and the facilities aren't as great as many State schools and Grammar schools.

    Also, although pushing can lead to great results as has happened in South Korea, it can also have negative effects on the children. Finland has adopted a less pushy and examination free education system and is possibly the greatest competition internationally to the South Korean education system.

    I can't seem to find anything about GCSE grades for the school :hmmm: I was wanting to compare them to national average...
    The thing is, I think for the majority of students being encouraged to do well not just academically is much better than having a very laid-back approach.
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    Do the Socialists have any intention of becoming involved in any of the debates on any of the bills?
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    (Original post by Drapetomanic)
    Interesting. So if you call yourself a social democrat do you still reject Marx's critique and socialist alternatives to capitalism?
    I don't really know them very well in depth, only the basics. My political 'evolution' if you like comes mainly from online discussions in the guardian, probably describes more as 'old labour' really (that online political test describes me as 'national democratic socialist') . I do like the ideas of workplace democracy a great deal though, and businesses/nations where it is stronger seem to be flourishing more than those which dont.

    My main worry as far as economics goes, is the private monopolies on things where competition cannot take place (utilities for example), and the general rent-seeking behaviours of utility companies, large landlords etc.

    Looking into physiocracy and LVT as ideas which seem interesting, too.
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    (Original post by mevidek)
    Yes, I have. And the majority of people going to Cambridge are from rich backgrounds, but it's at only about 60-70%, and these levels are dropping.

    As I said, anybody - no matter what background - can go to Oxford or Cambridge, or any university as long as they have ability and the desire to go.
    Excuse me? There are thousands of people whom both have the ability and the desire to go to Oxford or Cambridge yet don't get a place, and this is both in the private and comprehensive spheres. Aren't you the people who usually argue that we don't understand the concept of a scarce resource. :lol:

    The fact is that private schools provide poorer quality students. This has been demonstrated by numerous researchers, one of which i have quoted in the private schools petition thread; when controlling for entry grades students from comprehensives perform better. Do either institutions take that into consideration? Are Oxford or Cambridge gonna start encouraging more state school pupils to apply, or favour a comprehensive pupil over a privately educated pupil with equal grades because these students demonstrate a better ability to achieve a good degree?

    Whilst on the surface these policies may seem counter-intuitive for an educational institution the fact is that demand destroys the availability of courses. You seem to think that Oxford and Cambridge somehow objectively pick the single best students, realistically, both institutions have to turn away hundreds of suitable candidates every year. It would not lead to a decline in educational standards, and theoretically should actually lead to an improvement.
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    There was a time when a much higher proportion of the Oxbridge intake was from state schools.

    That was when there were grammar schools.
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    (Original post by CyclopsRock)
    There was a time when a much higher proportion of the Oxbridge intake was from state schools.

    That was when there were grammar schools.
    Interestingly, Oxford disagrees with you.

    http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2011/110303.html
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    (Original post by Richiboi)
    I don't really know them very well in depth, only the basics. My political 'evolution' if you like comes mainly from online discussions in the guardian, probably describes more as 'old labour' really (that online political test describes me as 'national democratic socialist') . I do like the ideas of workplace democracy a great deal though, and businesses/nations where it is stronger seem to be flourishing more than those which dont.

    My main worry as far as economics goes, is the private monopolies on things where competition cannot take place (utilities for example), and the general rent-seeking behaviours of utility companies, large landlords etc.

    Looking into physiocracy and LVT as ideas which seem interesting, too.
    I'm completely with you on workplace democracy and monopolies. I actually think if all firms were democratically ran with profits tied to worker wages then there would be no monopolies, firms would have no incentive for exponential growth as an increased profit would mean more workers to share the wealth around.

    Wolff and Roamer have written some good stuff about the LTV and marxist economics. I'd also recommend anything by David Schweitckart for his model of a socialist society based on workplace democracy.
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    Interestingly, Oxford disagrees with you.

    http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2011/110303.html
    No it doesn't? I was stating a fact.
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    (Original post by CyclopsRock)
    No it doesn't? I was stating a fact.
    True, I leapt ahead to your implied conclusion, which was that grammar schools aided social mobility. I suspect the reason was actually related to the fact private schools have gone from education 3% of A-level students in the 1970s to 13% of A-level students last year.
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    True, I leapt ahead to your implied conclusion, which was that grammar schools aided social mobility. I suspect the reason was actually related to the fact private schools have gone from education 3% of A-level students in the 1970s to 13% of A-level students last year.
    I think that during the introduction of Comprehensive schools, there was much less of a divide between grammar schools and those new schools. I have no specific evidence to cite for this claim, but I do know that the difference in grades between private schools and state schools has never been larger than it is currently, and that grammar schools get near enough very similar grades to the average private school. Of course, the less grammar schools you have, the less diluted the talent pool becomes so you end up with schools with fierce competition for entry where the Y7's are all incredibly well equipped for education, which will skew any current statistics. But I am forced to conclude that, right now, kids that go to grammar schools are in a much better position than those that go to state schools.
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    Well, they're the fourth largest Party in the House of Commons, holding 7 of the 50 seats. The obvious answer would be less popular than the social democrats, the neoconservatives, and the libertarians, but more popular than the neoliberals and nationalists.
    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    Holy ****, after reading this thread I have much more faith in the human race. I had so many arguments with people on TSR who argue furiously against equal opportunities on the grounds that it "infringes on the rights of rich people". Qudos to you guys

    Edit: I just have one question. Roughly, about how popular is the socialist view?
    It should be noted that the Socialists have previously achieved 2nd place with 10 seats (9th parliament i think) and may well have gained in the last election had their activity and presence being higher last term.
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    When are the Socialists planning to release bills and how many?

    It is good to see a few of you commenting on other bills but legislation has not yet come from you which is concerning given that i want a strong Socialist Party.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    When are the Socialists planning to release bills and how many?

    It is good to see a few of you commenting on other bills but legislation has not yet come from you which is concerning given that i want a strong Socialist Party.
    We're currently in the process of electing our MPs for this term, after which I expect submissions of bills will increase (or rather start).
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    (Original post by Alofleicester)
    We're currently in the process of electing our MPs for this term.
    :lolwut: are you serious?
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    (Original post by tehFrance)
    :lolwut: are you serious?
    Yes I am. We've got interim MP's in place, but are still choosing our representatives for this session of Parliament.

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