“We’re the government: let’s find out what people want to know and how, and tell them it’s wrong….tell them to use the Met Office and Hansard instead!”
I am already fed to the back teeth with stories of teachers trumpeting “you musn’t use Wikipedia, because anybody can edit it”. This smells to me of British GramscoFabiaNazis being pissed off at the fact that their neoMarxist bedfellows can’t any longer control the content or flow of knowledge and information.
It’s no use giving essay-writing projects to average British State-(dis)Educated schoolchildren, not to say even University students, in this centuryas things stand. they have not been given, and I say this is on purpose, the thinking and thought-planning skills needed for constructing arguments and explanations in the first place.
For example, the entirety of the British-State-Primary school years are wasted. This is functionally from age 4 or 5 to about 11, when these particular skills, based on rigorous grammar and the meaning of words, should be put in. Designing and colouring posters about “healthy foods” and “slavery”, using keywords and zazzy pictures, is no good at all. they are reading about “Floppy” who is a dog that lives in a multicultural rural village community, and the child-owners of which dog are of indeterminate gender by name and by appearance. The dad wears a polo-neck a lot of the time, (like Carl Sagan in the 70s when this was respectable.)
Here is an illustration of what I think I could achieve…By age 11, and faced with the question /Was Haig the Butcher of the Somme? Use sources C to F to explain your view, in four paragraphs of six lines each/, they should be able to not type in to Google /was haig the butcher of the somme/ but these sample phrases I have crafted instead, in order, and have in fact tried on an intelligent 11-year-old after about two hours in total of instruction in how to think:-
(1) /Somme military “grand strategy” – [ = as in ‘minus’ or excluding the word] butcher/
(2) /Verdun relieve pressure French 1916 – [ as in minus] “General John French”/
(3) /Haig attrition “trench warfare” “modern industrial nation” + artillery/
(4) /New army kitchener “civilian soldiers” Accrington/ (or + “pals” as an additional search)
I ask readers who are old enough to come up with either confirmation or refutation of the idea that averagely bright State-educated children in Britain in the 1950s could have understood what the above engine-strings meant (on being told how Google works for about 5 minutes) and would have been able to effectively craft their own.
The enmity on the part of the State (dis)educationists is IMHO based on their full knowledge of what they themselves have been doing. They have on purpose hollowed out and degraded (and corrupted what was left of) the the body of knowledge which ought to be part of everybody’s folk-inheritance – as Brian Micklethwait often says – “IN A GOOD WAY”. They have replaced it with a set of beliefs which the structure of learning of which they approve compels one to conform to, as there are no other answers allowed. To me, this is Nazism applied to education, as described by William Shirer in “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”, in his fairly-early-on chapter about the subversion of the schools and universities there.
Obviously, it would be clumsy and gauche of a student to simply copy and paste a tract from somewhere, without even bothering to format it correctly to his/her document style. Even I am not this bad here on the blog, as that! The poor bastards only do that because, as they explain sorrowfully to me often, they “DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START”…That to me and you says they have not been shown how to think about how to ask for, then to sift, data. Perhpas they even have no data… (and who’s fault is that then?)
Instead of one-dimensionally-punishing untrained pupils (for that is what they are – untrained – and whose fault is that then?) for this, simply explain that it is _/OK/_ to get stuff from other sources, _/IF/_ you (a) say where from, and (b) you understand the content of what you have put up. (Oh, and we will test you on it next week to make sure you do understand it!)