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In 1848 in Britain, the Queen's College For Women was formed and immediately began teaching English Literature. In Britain it was unusual for women to be educated in the classical languages so it seemed inevitable for womn to learn literature in their own language. At that time, classical literature taught in male universties would be ancient Greek or Roman. In 1823 the education of the working classes had begun in earnest and again any literature taught would be in English. It was assumed by the educators of the day that women, like the working class would find Greek or Roman too difficult. Lack of knowledge of the classics was seen to be a disadvantage and a sign of intellectual incapabilities. This meant the ruling classes could still keep women and the other lower orders in their place.
Sound familiar?
When I was a young man, 1972 (eek!) - I had no thoughts about being a writer - I was working class and therefore a dumb grunt. I remember seeing a repeat of an early Coronation St. episode when a working class family regard their son, a university student, as a 'queer 'un' (queer meaning odd).
My buddy The Alienist has already remarked about declining standards of education in English in the US. I was astonished by a student at University in the UK when she remarked some of the terms we were using regarding syntax and grammar had her at a loss. There have been continuous complaints over recent years about the deliberate 'dumbing down' effects of certain television programming. Do the people control education? - NO! Do the people control tv programming? - NO! 'Education, education, education' was Tony Blair's battle-cry in the 1997 General Election. Look around at how some youngsters struggle with aspects of basic English, spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax.
Perhaps Blair's word recognition let him down and he meant to say, 'Screw you, I'm in POWER now and I ain't letting go!'
Take care
Paul the Ogg

In five hundred years time, most of us will be forgotten dust. But Hitler will still be remembered, God loves irony.

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The following comments are for "Sound Familiar?"
by Ogg

This is an old problem.
America's public school system was created to absorb storms of immigrants into the working class with just enough skills to make them useful to employers. That is, the system itself was based upon a factory system, and one of cheap, quick and inexpensive manufacture.

This is still the case. It goes back further yet:

For centuries, for ages, the Bosses were able to have their way with the Working Class because it was vastly illiterate. Now, for the first time, the Working Class is literate, and now the Bosses depend on the mind-numbing effects of Big Media and factory-style education to keep them dumbed down and to prevent any serious analytical ability from cropping up in too many of them.

This is a solid reason why they NEVER send their kids to pubic education systems: they built those for us, not for their own, and they want their children to stay on top: therefore they are either tutored or educated at prestigious, private academies.

There is so much history in this ongoing social malaise and so much can be said of it even today, it can be and has been documented and discussed in sundry publications. Yet I know, considering the mentality of the American People, that they will never solve this problem. For one thing, they don't really respect intellect; they also have no attention span for the true solutions to the problem system. They just want to be able to deposit their kids and get them back.

Americans are still not really being taught to value education in truth. They still just admire the 'piece of paper' How stupid is this?

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: October 24, 2004 )

Analytical ability
Any parent who does not aggressively teach his/her child to question, including to question authority, has completely failed that child.

( Posted by: The Alienist [Member] On: October 29, 2004 )

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