Graduate unemployment: it’s coming

I had this piece in the Weekend Australian about the signs of emerging graduate unemployment.  I know lots of Cats have direct or indirect connections with the higher education sector and so there should be some interest.

Of course, quite a lot of the Vice-Chancellors want to deny all this and think that every person, no matter their lack of aptitude or effort, should be paid by the taxpayer to attend university.  It is really a continuation of the “everyone’s a winner”/participation ribbon ethos of schools.

Don’t bother to try at school is the message.  Got bad marks?  Let’s take a look at the back-story (single parent household, NES, low income, poor school, Indigenous) and we can ignore your lack of achievement to date.  Uni – here you come.

Frankly, I’m not signing up to this storyline.  I have always thought the process of mature age entry dealt very well with those individuals who were taking some time to work out what they want to do and buckle down.  And recall that 23 years of age was generally the cut off point for mature age entry.

The alternative of allowing young’uns with ATAR scores of 40 , 50 or even 60 to be subsidised to study at university is a poor use of taxpayer funds – much better things to do with them, including giving some back to the taxpayers.

Here’s the piece:

LAST year, I was having a chat with a vice-chancellor of a newish regional university who was contemplating the establishment of a law school. He asked me for my opinion. Was he kidding? I thought, as I mumbled some equivocal response. Hadn’t he seen the figures on the number of law graduates who currently cannot secure work as lawyers?

Perhaps he was aware of my reservation, because his next response to me came in two parts. The first was that there were some local students who wanted to study law, but currently had to move to a capital city to fulfil their dream. And, second, law was a good general degree that could set up graduates for a range of career paths.

I think the most revealing aspect of the conversation was about the incentives universities face that are not really connected to the job prospects of their graduates. This is particularly the case now we have demand-driven enrolments. Put on a course in which sufficient numbers of students will enrol; adjust the cut-off mark to achieve the required number of students; then count the money rolling in from Canberra.

To be sure, universities are keen to boast about the employment outcomes of their graduates and the salaries they receive. But bums on seats is a far stronger incentive than adjusting student numbers in particular fields of study according to the job prospects that graduates face.

And if one university were to restrict the number of students able to study law, say, what is there to stop another competing university from simply increasing its intake?

My tip is that over the next several years significant graduate unemployment will emerge in Australia. And, for those who do secure work, expect relative salaries to slip. It’s hard to contemplate how it could be otherwise. Domestic student numbers at Australian universities rose by nearly 180,000 between 2007 and 2012, to reach 934,000. That’s an increase of more than 23 per cent.

Of course, enrolment numbers and course completions are not perfectly correlated. If we look at award course completions from Australian universities between 2007 and 2012, the number rose by 21 per cent to nearly 300,000. Over a longer time frame, the rise in the number of award completions has been even greater – from 164,000 course completions in 1999. Between 1999 and 2012, the number of course completions rose 82 per cent, far outstripping the growth of the population.

In 2013, the proportion of bachelor degree graduates who secured full-time work after graduation was 71.3 per cent. As Graduate Careers Australia notes, “The figures indicate that the labour market prospects of bachelor degree graduates, which fell in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis and did not change notably between 2010 and 2012, have fallen again.”

There are some marked variations in the employment outcomes of graduates according to their field of study. Humanities and visual/performing arts graduates have always found it hard to find full-time employment; what is changing is that graduates of some very specific vocational courses are now struggling to find work. This includes graduates in dentistry, veterinary science, nursing and speech pathology. Law graduates are also finding it increasingly difficult to find work as a lawyer and many education graduates are similarly locked out of the teaching profession.

It is all very well to say that these courses provide useful general content, although this proposition is debatable. But ask the students undertaking these courses and they will tell you they want to work in their chosen field.

The increasing oversupply of graduates is also reflected in the salaries that graduates can command. Since 2009, graduate median starting salaries as a percentage of male full-time average weekly earnings have fallen significantly.

In fact, between 1997 and 2013, the lowest ratio was recorded in 2013. Between 2012 and 2013, graduate starting salaries rose only 0.9 per cent compared with an increase of 5.6 per cent in average earnings.

If you don’t believe that graduate unemployment is a possibility, take a look at what has happened in Europe. In Spain and Italy, for instance, many graduates find it almost impossible to get relevant work and so accept relatively low-paid positions for which they are overqualified. Others extend their studies to the postgraduate level, but even those with higher degrees struggle to find appropriate, well-paid employment.

One of the consequences of the soft graduate labour market in Australia has been an increase in the number of postgraduate students. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of postgraduate students at Australian universities increased more than 100 per cent, the largest single group enrolled in coursework masters degrees.

But, armed with their postgraduate qualifications, many of these graduates are now doing jobs that were once done by those with undergraduate degrees and, in some cases, school leavers.

The flip side of the explosion of enrolments in higher education in Australia is the decline in enrolments in technical and further education.

In Victoria, for instance, the increase in university student numbers has been always completely offset by the decline in the numbers of students enrolled in vocational education courses. Less able school leavers are implicitly being encouraged to enrol in higher education rather than consider attending TAFE or another vocational institution, even though the latter option may be more suitable for them.

Down the track, it is easy to see the emergence of shortages in all sorts of vocational occupations, including the trades. If you want a plumber to come to your house to unblock your lavatory, you should expect to pay much more in the future.

The bottom line is that having a university degree is not the meal ticket it once was, even if the degree is highly vocational. And, over time, it is likely to become less so, as more students, some quite unsuited to higher education, opt to give university a shot rather than find a job or go to TAFE. While more jobs now require university qualifications, there are limits to how many more graduates in particular fields can be absorbed each year.

The oversupply of university graduates is something that needs to be considered in the current review of the demand-driven higher education funding model. There are better uses of precious taxpayer dollars than funding marginal students who then cannot find related employment.

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104 Responses to Graduate unemployment: it’s coming

  1. Matt

    We have seen this in dentistry, with the growth from 5 dental schools to 9 over the last 10 years, and graduate numbers increasing from around 350 per year to around 550 per year now, with the addition of more than 220 international dental graduates per year passing examinations to allow registration. There is a view that increasing graduate numbers will lower the cost of dental services, and push dentists into under serviced areas (rural areas and public sector).

  2. cohenite

    This shits me; the great lie that we are all equal.

    My first degree was a BA finished in 1974. It was a hard slog, statistics was in everything; Psychology, Economics and Geography; I even had to do Venn Diagrams in Philosophy! Now every bastard has a BA and its worth nothing.

    Then I completed a Law degree in 1992 and it was a hard slog although the lefties and relativists were just starting to sprout [Hi Gil, are you still there, you old commie]; now every other bastard has got a law degree and it’s worth as much as a politician’s promise.

    I’ll just have to go back and do medicine.

  3. di

    Yes, I was mid way through my masters when I finally realised it was regurgitated crap. Then to witness people participating in a graduation ceremony at a regional uni, being feted for achieving certificate 1 in work readiness….ffs, everyone gets a ribbon!

    I think the whole tertiary sector has been infected by utter crap. Unis used to be centres of excellence, of ideas and debate. Now they are nothing but a joke. And as a mature worker im seeing all the brigt young pple, starting their business’s, giving advice to tradies, and others and sending them under. Or working in the public service and they haven’t got a clue.
    And the sad part is that we are all forced to pay for this through thevtaxes!

  4. entropy

    The rot really got started with Dawkins. I often think that he was the trail laser of the modern ALP.

  5. David Black

    The ultimate comment on this subject was a “Doonsbury” strip when a hard-boiled teacher returns tests laden with red “F’s” to a class of slackers who have been brought up on the self-esteem fad. The last panel shows arch-slacker Zipper Harris taking his “Most Improved Camper” trophies to the pawn shop.
    Since then, “Most Improved Camper” has become a byword for the degradation of educational qualifications.

  6. Fleeced

    …for which they are overqualified

    No, they’re not. They’re merely over credentialed – the problem is that degrees barely qualify people to do anything at all.

    For my money, degree holders now seem to be “damaged goods”. After 13 years of schooling by the Left, a uni degree seems to finish them off.

  7. Grant B

    If 23 was the cut off age for mature entry I’d still be driving trucks. I started as a mature student at age 28 in 1976 and left in 1984 with a couple of degrees.

  8. Johno

    We must get government out of university and vocational education.

    The new demand driven model provides incentives for the units and TAFEs to enroll anyone. The old quota model meant they had to fill quotas set by bureaucrats and industry lobbyists.

    Government provision means central planning and central planning is far inferior to markets. Get governments out off the way and let students, provides and employers work out the best mix.

    If governments have to be involved, they could provide a fully funded income contingent loan scheme, ie a scheme with market interests rates, but backed up by ATO data on incomes.

  9. James Hargrave

    Too many universities and too high a participation rate, here, the UK, etc.

    ‘Over-credentialed’ hits the spot – and all sorts of make-work jobs (university admin, human resources, corporate governance box-tickers, over regulated everything requiring paid-up regulation-minded leftoid BAs in a degree that will always have ‘Studies’ as the last word) are created to sop them up.

    A model for false expectations: Interwar Bulgaria produced too many graduates etc. The only job possibilities were school-teaching, state bureaucracy and the army, and the consequences were: ‘underpaid’ resentment at the existing socio-political order, serial military coups, too many crypto-communist, stooge schoolteachers, and so on and so forth.

  10. Andrew

    Speaking of graduates, here’s what MU (Marx Uni) is doing for our 5yo kiddies.

    From Bolt

  11. Fred Lenin

    It has always amused me that universities are full of professors and lecturers ,”educating ” kids on how to do certain “jobs”‘when the “teachers ” have never had a Real Job in their lives ? Much like labor and green politicians and union officials! Look at wee willie shortass and co ,failed lawyers ,”teachers ” and union officials, You go thru uni barely pass ,(only because you cant fail too many or funding goes and you are out of a job)the graduate enters the workforce and proves to be useless ,the on to the union brownose ,lie and cheat and you are preselected for parliament in a safe seat full of drongos who will vote for any fool as long as they are labor! Set for life !!

  12. Ronaldo

    [Hi Gil, are you still there, you old commie]

    Cohenite, am I right in thinking that you are referring to Gil Boehringer at Macquarie? If so, he had sprouted long before the 90s, and was strutting his marxist stuff all around the uni when I was at Macquarie in the 1970s.

  13. Piett

    Down the track, it is easy to see the emergence of shortages in all sorts of vocational occupations, including the trades. If you want a plumber to come to your house to unblock your lavatory, you should expect to pay much more in the future.

    I think Judith is missing something. It seems to be hard for kids to get apprenticeships these days. Certainly there have been articles to that effect in local (SA) newspapers. What’s the point of shovelling kids through plumbing pre-apprenticeship courses if there’s nothing waiting for them on the other side?

    One newspaper article quoted an SA business leader as saying the main problem holding back the creation of apprenticeships was … wait for it … the lack of government subsidies and incentives. Apparently even tradies have their snout in the trough these days! (Or would like to.)

    So what are the non-uni, non-apprenticeship kids supposed to do with their lives? Beats me.

  14. thefrollickingmole

    The creeping credentialism is foul.

    Tickets I earned and have been using for decades are now only good for a couple of years.
    I did a rough estimate and it would take me 5 months out of every 5 years to “maintain” my various certifications.

    The lower education is just as big a scam as the higher.

  15. Jeremy

    No-one can tell what the market for education really looks like until it is disconnected from immigration. Extra immigration points for studying in Australia has created artificial demand for nonsense courses.
    Many courses now have no Australian students whatever. The free Government money for signing people up and then passing them has corrupted most University courses terribly. If Tertiary education in Australia was a money making business it would be taken over by private enterprise. The fact that it is Government run tells us unequivocally that it is not good for the economy. Tertiary education in Australia needs complete re-construction, and I suspect reverting to the system as it was in 1960 would be a good start.

  16. Squirrel

    Let’s hope this issue is being looked at by the Commission of Audit – it sounds as if tertiary education, with a “demand-driven” model, is going the way of Medicare (although tertiary education at least involves a substantial co-payment).

    What I find particularly disappointing about all of this is that we are wasting large amounts of money and years of people’s lives on this misguided tertiary education sector, at the same time as we are importing several hundred thousand people a year (with ever increasing pressure on infrastructure, housing costs etc. etc.) – many of whom are coming here to meet skills needs which apparently cannot be met locally. Is there something wrong with this picture? – I think so!

  17. Aussieute

    Graduate unemployment of course …. if entry scores below 50 are acceptable then what’s the point

    My wife interacts with teaching students from FU and most can’t spell, have no grammar skills and what’s worse is her year 5 and 6 students are constantly correcting them. Some even began the glowball warming diatribe and on girl said she didn’t think this was a politics class, and if it was when was the other side going to be presented. Said student claimed the students were arrogant and had closed minds.

    If this is the standard then sorry these institutions need commercialising and getting off the Govt tit.
    The student need to realize that a fail does not entitle you to progress to the next level. Not everyone gets a prize.

  18. Myrddin Seren

    Personal anecdote:

    Daughter No.1′s DJing partner is a degree qualified lawyer who was basically just doing clerical work at a law firm. That firm will have no graduate openings – as lawyers, not paper shufflers – until 2017.

    The girl has moved to Singapore to seek professional employment.

    As Glenn Reynolds keeps pointing out ( he is a law professor ) the higher education bubble has just about reached peak inflation in the West and will deflate or burst soon.

    The Australian employment market is crap and about to get worse in the white collar sector too. It won’t just be 25-year production line union spear carriers heading to Centrelink with fat retrenchment payouts as Ford, Holden, Toyota and their local suppliers wind down. That also means engineers, accountants, IT people – you name it.

    The middle class is about to hit the wall in Australia if the shackles on productive activity can’t be lifted soon.

  19. Notafan

    The billion dollar export earner education sector is a crock scammers everwhere including international students only interested in PR.
    There is already a huge oversupply of lawyers many now entering the PS and whinging about APS 4 salaries.
    My kids started out with the P is a degree crap and then realised He and First Class Honours was going to look much better on the CV
    Tertiary education is another way to mask high unemployment
    We can do the Spain and Portugal thing with 5O% youth unemployment if we want
    What jobs are there for school leavers my youngest is time wasting doing Vce traddies charge me more for an hour than I make in a day so there must be supply issue
    Manufacturing jobs is what we need is

  20. Markus Frank

    Ha
    I worked on a PhD in Philosophy, won two scholarships, so wasn’t bad at the subject.
    My PhD presentation was vilified because a large part of my thesis expressed the idea that Philosophy departments were at the very least partially responsible for the destructive influence of post-modernism on the humanities.
    Following a stint of lecturing at a provincial campus I became an English teacher (secondary). As I had predicted in my thesis years before, post-modernism has also destroyed the senior English curriculum. Nowadays students study the status of women in a Shakespeare play rather than the myriad of meanings the plays were originally intended to convey. No wonder the humanities are crippled. Nothing less than wilfull ignorance of a cultural inheritance denied to generations of students. Shove your Foucault up your Derrida.

  21. Marie Henderson

    Solve the problem by charging Uni students the actual cost of the degree. (I assume that the universities do know what is the actual cost of any particular degree). No government handouts, no subsidies, no bureaucracy to choose winners and enforce obstacles to enrollment. Any student who does not earn the necessary marks will fail. Somehow marking must be impersonal and objective. This is one of the biggest problems of such a system.

  22. Notafan

    Another thing that bugs me is the Vce book list it’s all the Reluctant Fundamentalist and In the Country of Men even Lariissa whathername with Home which my daughter read part way then refused to study

  23. Another thing that bugs me is the Vce book list…

    Ah, that’s the beauty of home-schooling, Notafan.
    This year, for the equivalent of grade 8, my younger son (in addition to his textbooks for Old English, Latin and Old Norse) is reading books I set, which include:
    Jane Austen, Mansfield Park;
    Geoffrey Hindley, A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons;
    Konrad Lorenz, King Solomon’s Ring;
    Ben Macintyre, Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies;
    George Orwell, Animal Farm; and
    P.G. Wodehouse, The Code of the Woosters.

  24. Eyrie

    Shoving Shakespeare down the throats of secondary students should rank as child abuse. They haven’t the life experience to relate to this crap. Likewise the book choices. We had Henry Handel Richardson’s “The getting of Wisdom” FFS for Leaving and Matric English. Unreadable garbage even though I was an avid reader (thank you messrs Heinlein, Clarke, Anderson and many others). I managed to pass without reading the book.

  25. .

    Interesting deadman. I’d be interested to see all your materials.

    I think Jane Austen is a crime against humanity, regardless of experience.

    We had Henry Handel Richardson’s “The getting of Wisdom” FFS for Leaving and Matric English. Unreadable garbage even though I was an avid reader (thank you messrs Heinlein, Clarke, Anderson and many others). I managed to pass without reading the book.

    Ditto for me with Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet.

    Anyone who says they liked it are just too stupid to stop buying books from Doubleday.

  26. Australia’s Qualifications Frameworks drive this nonsense by making the degree the point, not actual knowledge or skills. Employers in the private sector still care, but dashed expectations have been the drivers of most social revolutions. It is no accident that the Bologna Process of UNESCO redefining the nature of higher ed through the accreditation agencies is part of the UN and the OECD’s announced post-2015 efforts to drive just such a revolution.

    Except they are calling it Future Earth and the Great Transition, respectively.

  27. Notafan

    Cloudstreet is on my refuse to read list actually all peter Carey Tim Winton peter Fitzsimmons Peter Malouf Elizabeth Jolley and that Slap bloke I refuse to read
    That is not an exhaustive list btw

  28. Tintarella di Luna

    Tickets I earned and have been using for decades are now only good for a couple of years.
    I did a rough estimate and it would take me 5 months out of every 5 years to “maintain” my various certifications.

    Yeah of course the credentialists believe you learn SFA when you actually work in the field in which you have your higher education. It’s a scam. Every year the Sunbather has to do Continuing Legal Education to keep his practising certificate. What an effing joke. He was a partner in a busy city legal firm for 15 years and he’s been running a successful practice of his own for 25 years with over a dozen employees. What he really has to worry about is the suckers who keep cutting his grass particularly the LINOs

  29. Ellen of Tasmania

    As I mentioned on another thread, Lewis is great on education, and saw it all unwinding a long time ago:

    The basic principle of the new education is to be that dunces and idlers must not be made to feel inferior to intelligent and industrious pupils. That would be ”undemocratic”. These differences between the pupils – for they are obviously and nakedly individual differences – must be disguised. This can be done on various levels. At universities, examinations must be framed so that nearly all the students get good marks. Entrance examinations must be framed so that all, or nearly all, citizens can go to universities, whether they have any power (or wish) to profit by higher education or not. …

    For ‘democracy’ or the ‘democratic spirit’ (diabolical sense) leads to a nation without great men, a nation mainly of subliterates, morally flaccid from lack of discipline in youth, full of the cocksureness which flattery breeds on ignorance, and soft from lifelong pampering. And that is what Hell wishes every democratic people to be.”

    (‘Screwtape Proposes a Toast’ by C. S. Lewis – my bold.)

  30. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Whaddaya mean coming?

    One nephew (good lad, bright, hard worker, head screwed on, loathes socialists) just finished a Mech Eng degree. He’s currently working for a cousin’s pool business as a pool cleaner. No jobs in the district.

    He’s looking overseas.

    Second one, niece, double degree Mech Eng and Physics, then got interested in very esoteric stuff indeed and last year finished a PhD in physics of nuclear materials. No jobs here, now works in Europe.

  31. DrBeauGan

    Shakespeare at school was indeed child abuse, until they took us to see the Olivier Henry V and Richard III. Suddenly I saw why Shakespeare really is great. I think the problem was lousy English teachers, for which I am grateful, else I might have done English at Uni and wasted my life.

  32. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    It takes a special sort of incompetent socialist dullard to actually make Shakespeare boring.

  33. DrBeauGan

    I think the senior English teacher was not too bad, but I didn’t meet him until I’d committed to Maths and Physics. Dullards is kind for the others.
    Jane Austen isn’t bad in a soapy sit-com sort of way, suitable for teenage girls. I like Deadman’s list, but I’d add Heinlein’s ‘Citizen of the Galaxy’.

  34. Ellen of Tasmania

    Jane Austen isn’t bad in a soapy sit-com sort of way, suitable for teenage girls.

    Tosh.

  35. DrBeauGan, I’ll be adding sci-fi as he finishes some of his list; since he’s already read Eric Frank Russell’s Wasp, for instance, I’ll probably add, Next of Kin. I might assign some Heinlein later; he certainly enjoyed Starship Troopers (which I’ve also read to him and his older brother a couple of times).
    I’m saddened that so many people can’t get past the purported soapiness of Jane Austen to see the humour, irony and general excellence of her prose.

  36. Notafan

    Austen is very amusing, a keen observer of human nature. Some things never change.

  37. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Shakespeare at school was indeed child abuse

    I loathed “Romeo and Juliette” until an wise and cunning English teacher screened the Zeferrilli production, and it became a lot clearer.

  38. DrBeauGan

    Sorry Ellen, but Jane is mildly witty but inferior to Michael Faraday as a writer. She had the preoccupations of her class and sex, a conviction that the issue of who married whom was the most absorbing matter. It isn’t. Some women don’t see this and most beta males go along with them. But it’s a wonderful universe out there and mostly it doesn’t give a damn about humanity.
    And Wodehouse was a better stylist as well as much funnier.

  39. DrBeauGan

    And more inventive. He should have been made a Duke for Buck-U-Uppo alone. :)

  40. Ellen of Tasmania

    She had the preoccupations of her class and sex

    … and wrote so well about it. What did you expect?

    Yes, Wodehouse is good. I love Psmith. But writers can be good in many different ways for many different reasons. Jane Austen is great, but that doesn’t mean you have to enjoy her.

  41. Econocrat

    And, second, law was a good general degree that could set up graduates for a range of career paths.

    I agree this is the sentiment.

    People previously had Arts Degrees and had been taught to see shades of grey, that things are not always planned or predetermined (outside the inevitable faculty Marxist’s classes, anyways), and that nothing much is in fact new, at least in thematic terms.

    Along come the Law graduates who now think that everything is a “right,” that the UN and international law is/are the ultimate giver of all normative ideas in society, and that every society can be tested against these values. May of these people are now in the public sector (it is their “right” to receive money for nothing) and are pushing all these ideas without the any life experience or perspective.

    A joke.

  42. HT

    Grant B

    Poorly expressed; 23 was the age under which mature entry was not considered. A 25 yo would be considered as a likey mature age student, whereas a 21 yo would be told to get further life experience.

  43. HK_Brother

    You won’t find many engineering jobs in Australia. You have to go overseas like USA or Europe…Where they have stronger technology-oriented industries. (This is most true in specific branches of engineering like aeronautical and aerospace.)

    The bubble will burst. There will be many with 4 years+ of their lives spent, an educational debt to pay off, and a piece of paper that doesn’t mean much in the real world.

    What they will never teach you in university is this:
    => In order to succeed in capitalism, you have to own something. A product, a service, etc.
    => You can’t be a worker forever. You have to be a creator and owner of something of value to society. As workers can be replaced and their jobs outsourced or made obsolete by technological progress.

    I discovered this when I dropped out of aero engineering and was mentored by a successful American. My university experience (engineering) taught me how to think logically. But it was my mentor who taught me how to apply that in the real world. To produce value in society.

    The best way to describe it, is this: University only teaches the pieces of the chess board. It may even teach you some basic plays. What it does NOT teach you, is how to play the game itself.

    Many are not told this fact as the notion of “everyone gets a prize” is practised.

  44. I love Psmith.

    Indeed. My son’s review of Mike and Psmith (wherein Psmith first appears).

  45. .

    Notafan
    #1191302, posted on February 16, 2014 at 1:58 pm
    Austen is very amusing, a keen observer of human nature. Some things never change.

    Her books can be done in a Venn diagram. Next.

  46. DrBeauGan

    Deadman, I’m glad to see you intend to add some more SF. Clarke’s ‘City and the Stars’ touched my imagination at about that age. I quite like Jane for the reasons you give, but there’s a certain smallness in her. Microcosms have their place but there is so much more in the world.

  47. Notafan

    Am going to offer my 17 yo Wodehouse he might enjoy them. I have read quite a few myself; plots are usually delicious.

  48. Notafan

    Okay dot then what? Austen was a product of her time where women of her class without financial resources had to marry. The dwindling of her and her mother’s circumstances after the death of her father must have driven that lesson home.
    I’m always on the lookout for new authors especially as these days too many have luvvie themes I don’t much care for

  49. .

    Austen was a poor writer and her stories are unappealing and boring.

    I am as likely to re-read her swill again as I am to buy a boxed DVD set of the Bold and the Beautiful.

  50. blogstrop

    We had a lot of enjoyment with Shakespeare in secondary school.
    Take thy face hence, thou cream-faced loon …

  51. blogstrop

    Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe.

  52. DrBeauGan

    I think you are a bit harsh, dot. Her plots are dreary, if well worked out in a horribly predictable way. Her strengths are in the observation of human foibles and a cool wit. But mildly amusing is the best you can say of her. I’ve reread a few of her better books but there’s not much new to extract. Still she sure beats Tolstoy. Now there’s drear.

  53. Ellen of Tasmania

    Indeed. My son’s review of Mike and Psmith (wherein Psmith first appears).

    Thanks for that, Comrade Deadman, it was well written and I enjoyed a few other reviews while I was there, plus a trip to his brother’s (??) site. Which has made me want to chase up the Will Cuppy book.

  54. Ellen of Tasmania

    Stuffed the quote thingy again. Sorry.

  55. Johno

    Ah, that’s the beauty of home-schooling, Notafan.

    I use to think home-schooling was for the mutters, but having seen the crap that government and non-government schools have thrown at my kids, I’m regretting not taking that path.

    Does anyone have any data on how many kids are being taught at home? With more and more parents become pissed off with the Left’s destruction of education, I reckon there must be a bit of growth in home schooling.

    Also, as the Left need a monopoly on teaching to keep their crap in place, does anyone know where I can find out about the impediments governments have pug in place to stop the growth of hone schooling?

    I know that the Socialist Republic of Victoria outlaws for-profit schools. What restriction do other States have to protect the Left’s monopoly?

  56. Well, I say that Austen was a great writer and I find her stories appealing and interesting.
    I re-read each of her fine novels yearly. Her juvenilia also can be hilarious at times, In “Love and Friendship”, for instance (written when she was 16), she satirises the romantic, epistolary novel:

    As soon as we had packed up our wardrobe and valuables, we left Macdonald Hall, and after having walked about a mile and a half we sate down by the side of a clear limpid stream to refresh our exhausted limbs. The place was suited to meditation. A grove of full-grown Elms sheltered us from the East; a Bed of full-grown Nettles from the West; before us ran the murmuring brook and behind us ran the turn-pike road. We were in a mood for contemplation and in a Disposition to enjoy so beautiful a spot. A mutual silence which had for some time reigned between us, was at length broke by my exclaiming, “What a lovely scene! Alas why are not Edward and Augustus here to enjoy its Beauties with us?”
    “Ah! my beloved Laura,” cried Sophia, “for pity’s sake forbear recalling to my remembrance the unhappy situation of my imprisoned Husband. Alas, what would I not give to learn the fate of my Augustus! to know if he is still in Newgate, or if he is yet hung. But never shall I be able so far to conquer my tender sensibility as to enquire after him. Oh! do not I beseech you ever let me again hear you repeat his beloved name—. It affects me too deeply—. I cannot bear to hear him mentioned it wounds my feelings.”
    “Excuse me my Sophia for having thus unwillingly offended you,” replied I, and then changing the conversation, desired her to admire the noble Grandeur of the Elms which sheltered us from the Eastern Zephyr.
    “Alas! my Laura”, returned she, “avoid so melancholy a subject, I intreat you. Do not again wound my Sensibility by observations on those elms. They remind me of Augustus. He was like them, tall, majestic—he possessed that noble grandeur which you admire in them.”
    I was silent, fearful lest I might any more unwillingly distress her by fixing on any other subject of conversation which might again remind her of Augustus.
    “Why do you not speak my Laura?” said she after a short pause, “I cannot support this silence you must not leave me to my own reflections; they ever recur to Augustus.”
    “What a beautiful sky!” said I. “How charmingly is the azure varied by those delicate streaks of white!”
    “Oh! my Laura,” replied she, hastily withdrawing her Eyes from a momentary glance at the sky, “do not thus distress me by calling my Attention to an object which so cruelly reminds me of my Augustus’s blue satin waistcoat striped in white! In pity to your unhappy friend avoid a subject so distressing.” What could I do? The feelings of Sophia were at that time so exquisite, and the tenderness she felt for Augustus so poignant that I had not power to start any other topic, justly fearing that it might in some unforeseen manner again awaken all her sensibility by directing her thoughts to her Husband. Yet to be silent would be cruel; she had intreated me to talk.
    From this Dilemma I was most fortunately relieved by an accident truly apropos; it was the lucky overturning of a Gentleman’s Phaeton, on the road which ran murmuring behind us. It was a most fortunate accident as it diverted the attention of Sophia from the melancholy reflections which she had been before indulging. We instantly quitted our seats and ran to the rescue of those who but a few moments before had been in so elevated a situation as a fashionably high Phaeton, but who were now laid low and sprawling in the Dust. “What an ample subject for reflection on the uncertain Enjoyments of this World, would not that Phaeton and the Life of Cardinal Wolsey afford a thinking Mind!” said I to Sophia as we were hastening to the field of Action.
    She had not time to answer me, for every thought was now engaged by the horrid spectacle before us. Two Gentlemen most elegantly attired but weltering in their blood was what first struck our Eyes—we approached—they were Edward and Augustus—. Yes dearest Marianne they were our Husbands. Sophia shrieked and fainted on the ground—I screamed and instantly ran mad—. We remained thus mutually deprived of our senses, some minutes, and on regaining them were deprived of them again. For an Hour and a Quarter did we continue in this unfortunate situation—Sophia fainting every moment and I running mad as often. At length a groan from the hapless Edward (who alone retained any share of life) restored us to ourselves. Had we indeed before imagined that either of them lived, we should have been more sparing of our Grief—but as we had supposed when we first beheld them that they were no more, we knew that nothing could remain to be done but what we were about. No sooner did we therefore hear my Edward’s groan than postponing our lamentations for the present, we hastily ran to the Dear Youth and kneeling on each side of him implored him not to die—. “Laura,” said he, fixing his now languid Eyes on me, “I fear I have been overturned.”
    I was overjoyed to find him yet sensible.
    “Oh! tell me Edward,”said I, “tell me I beseech you before you die, what has befallen you since that unhappy Day in which Augustus was arrested and we were separated—”
    “I will,” said he, and instantly fetching a deep sigh, Expired—. Sophia immediately sank again into a swoon—. My greif was more audible. My Voice faltered, My Eyes assumed a vacant stare, my face became as pale as Death, and my senses were considerably impaired—.
    “Talk not to me of Phaetons (said I, raving in a frantic, incoherent manner)—Give me a violin—. I’ll play to him and sooth him in his melancholy Hours—Beware ye gentle Nymphs of Cupid’s Thunderbolts, avoid the piercing shafts of Jupiter—Look at that grove of Firs—I see a Leg of Mutton—They told me Edward was not Dead; but they deceived me—they took him for a cucumber—” Thus I continued wildly exclaiming on my Edward’s Death. For two Hours did I rave thus madly and should not then have left off, as I was not in the least fatigued, had not Sophia who was just recovered from her swoon, intreated me to consider that Night was now approaching and that the Damps began to fall. “And whither shall we go,” said I, “to shelter us from either?”
    “To that white Cottage.” replied she, pointing to a neat Building which rose up amidst the grove of Elms and which I had not before observed.

    Sophia dies of a chill later:

    “My beloved Laura,” said she to me a few Hours before she died, “take warning from my unhappy End and avoid the imprudent conduct which had occasioned it… Beware of fainting-fits… Though at the time they may be refreshing and agreeable yet believe me they will in the end, if too often repeated and at improper seasons, prove destructive to your Constitution… My fate will teach you this. I die a Martyr to my grief for the loss of Augustus. One fatal swoon has cost me my Life. Beware of swoons Dear Laura… A frenzy fit is not one quarter so pernicious; it is an exercise to the Body and if not too violent, is I dare say conducive to Health in its consequences—Run mad as often as you chuse; but do not faint—”
    These were the last words she ever addressed to me.

  57. a trip to his brother’s (??) site.

    Yes, that’s his younger brother (13): the one who’s home-schooling this year.

  58. A Lurker

    I think the problem was lousy English teachers…

    I agree. I’ve always loved Henry V and have watched a number of stage and screen adaptions. Trouble is, we never studied Henry V at school, and instead did Hamlet, which never really caught my attention. If I had missed Olivier’s Henry, then I suspect that Shakespeare would have been relegated as an also-ran for me.

    Danny Devito once did a movie called ‘Renaissance Man’. I know it was only fiction, but there is something wonderful about Shakespeare being made accessible to people through movies and television – and not through the oft-times bland teaching style of English lessons at school.

  59. Tel

    Austen was a poor writer and her stories are unappealing and boring.

    Agree with you on that one . . My preference would be to not teach Shakespeare nor Austen, nor any of the traditional literary greats. I would much rather the students were reading Keynes, Marx, Mises, and Rothbard… none of them great literary works, but all a lot more influential on how we live today. Kids can waste their lives when they get older, on any silly entertainment that suits them. They can study the life and times of Richard Cantillon or the Brunel family, or John Von Neumann… useful stuff.

  60. Pat Warnock

    Fred Lenin is correct. The School of Education at one uni I know is staffed by lecturers who have never taught in a school.

  61. DrBeauGan

    Thanx for the extract, deadman. Yes, mildly amusing. I look forward to your setting a comparison between The Odyysey and Conan the Barbarian. Or the Gilgamesh and Superman. Boys might find that fun, and they’d pick up a little ancient and modern history at the same time.
    Tel has a point, most literature is for oldies who’ve lost their imagination and the assumptions of adult life are unintelligible to the young. But I wouldn’t wish Marx on anyone. Mill ‘ On Liberty’ is readable at an early age and a vastly better writer.

  62. Tintarella di Luna

    The rot really got started with Dawkins. I often think that he was the trail laser of the modern ALP.

    The Dorkinisation of Edjakayshun – always moving forward but always in reverse

  63. Ellen of Tasmania

    Run mad as often as you chuse; but do not faint—”

    Yeh, well it made me laugh. She’s great, and I too, revisit her each year.

    I hope your boy enjoys his home education, Deadman. Our guys loved it and want the same for their own kids.

  64. .

    I use to think home-schooling was for the mutters, but having seen the crap that government and non-government schools have thrown at my kids, I’m regretting not taking that path.

    It is the inefficiency and overt brainwashing that has me sold.

    I posted this the other day

    http://elsci.coe.nau.edu/docs/Gatto-HistAmerEduc.doc

    From: John Taylor Gatto’s
    “Some Lesson from the Underground History of American Education”

    Woodrow Wilson (prior to World War I):

    “We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.”

    In the 1920s, the executive director of the National Education Association (NEA):

    [The NEA is expected] to accomplish by education what dictators in Europe are seeking to do by compulsion and force.”

    From Behavioral Science Teacher Education Project:

    [outlined teaching reforms to be forced on the country after 1967]  “impersonal manipulation” through schooling of a future America in which “few will be able to maintain control over their opinions,” and an America in which “each individual receives at birth a multi-purpose identification number” for employers and others to keep track of underlings. The report suggested that “chemical experimentation” on minors would be normal procedure in the post-1967 world (foreshadowing the massive usage of Ritalin).

    Bloom’s Taxonomy of Education Objectives:

    “… a tool to classify the ways individuals are to act, think , or feel as the result of some unit of instruction.”  Use of behavioral psychology to mold children’s thoughts, feelings, and actions and to remediate improper attitudes brought to school from home.

    Rockefeller’s General Education Board (1906), Occasional Letter Number One:

    “…people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science…. The task we set before ourselves is very simple… we will organize children… and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.

    Literacy

    • Complex literacy in 1840  between 93% and 100% in the U. S.
    • In 1940  whites = 96% literacy blacks = 80%
    • In 2000  whites = 83% literacy blacks = 60 % (white illiteracy quadrupled & black illiteracy doubled in 60 years)

    The Philosophy of Education (1906):

    “Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.”

  65. cohenite

    Ronaldo:

    Cohenite, am I right in thinking that you are referring to Gil Boehringer at Macquarie?

    Yep, first met him in 1988.

  66. DrBeauGan

    An awful lot of our troubles with graduate unemployment stem from our crap education system. It should be easy to home school given the internet. Is there a home-schooling website for homeschoolers to exchange ideas?

  67. Ellen of Tasmania

    Is there a home-schooling website for homeschoolers to exchange ideas?

    Hundreds – for every style or system of education you can imagine.

  68. Fleeced

    We developed the crazy notion at some point that everybody needed to finish high school – which was bad in itself and just dumbed down years 11 and 12 – but now it’s expected that nearly everyone has a degree. It’s quite mad.

    There are people graduating university – not just attending – who are barely literate. I did some tutoring at uni, and the course co-ordinator was quite blunt at the time that if the student couldn’t communicate their answer, they didn’t get the marks (and he recognised it as a growing problem)… somehow, many still seemed to graduate – and this was for Comp Sci, not some woolly subject.

  69. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    but now it’s expected that nearly everyone has a degree.

    Met a young bloke, on work experience at the local machinery dealer a few years ago. Father was a doctor, mother was a barrister, and they were both just simply devastated that he wasn’t going on to University. Imagine – he wanted to be a diesel mechanic. (I gather the main reason for their disappointment was the staggering loss of social credibility involved in having a son who got hid hands dirty.)

  70. .

    A diesel mechanic could earn a motza. Being a doctor or barrister is prestigious, but so is owning a big arsed farm and having a hot wife, acquired by earning big bucks in the mines etc.

  71. Ed

    The School of Education at one uni I know is staffed by lecturers who have never taught in a school.

    I just assumed that was already the case across the board.
    Maybe that makes me a cynic.

  72. Notafan

    Many recent migrants (not referring to illegals) are extremely aspirational which is adding to the huge pool of overly credentialed, where you have to be doing a double degree to be considered then there is the masters, you would think you needed honours to do a masters but nope anyone can do it

  73. Fleeced

    Ah yes, the aspirational immigrants are quite numerous. They’re the ones who have a dad driving taxis to pay for a good education, etc… Alas, they don’t always have the best employment prospects either, which is kind of sad, because you get the sense that likely worked hard for it.

    Not to be confused with the non-aspirational but self-entitled immigrants.

  74. Abu Chowdah

    People who bemoan Shakespeare are part of the problem.

    Harden up, philistine soft cocks.

  75. Fleeced

    …and they were both just simply devastated that he wasn’t going on to University

    I’d be stoked that I had a kid doing something that’s actually useful. LOL.

    I joke about uselessness of Arts degrees, but in truth, if they weren’t what they have become, I might enjoy undertaking one… but even then, it’d have to be a hobby, wouldn’t it? An indulgence?

  76. nilk, Iron Bogan

    I think Judith is missing something. It seems to be hard for kids to get apprenticeships these days. Certainly there have been articles to that effect in local (SA) newspapers. What’s the point of shovelling kids through plumbing pre-apprenticeship courses if there’s nothing waiting for them on the other side?

    I was discussing this situation last night with a lass who has brothers in the trades (plumber, sparky, that sort of thing), and most of their mates are also tradies. They have difficulty keeping apprentices because the poor lambs don’t like getting dirty. It’s not uncommon for a new apprentice to work one week and then pack it in, and one poor devil had a first year apprentice last half a day before walking off. Didn’t even have the courtesy to call and say he wasn’t coming back.

    Then you have the red tape, so that it’s near impossible to take on an apprentice under the age of 18.

    I want my girl to grow up with a trade. None of that arts degree rubbish. Every second person has a degree and a chip to go with it. Big whoop.

    Now a marketable skill, however……..

  77. Fleeced

    People who bemoan Shakespeare are part of the problem.

    I don’t think people bemoan Shakespeare, as much as how it is now studied. To quote Markus Frank @ 12:03pm in this thread:

    Nowadays students study the status of women in a Shakespeare play rather than the myriad of meanings the plays were originally intended to convey.

  78. Abu Chowdah

    The real problem is that the electorate has bought this meme about smart economies and education revolutions and so on. As if pumping out a nation of graduates will stimulate the economy. Hang on, maybe it could if we used them to replace fossil fuel.

  79. Notafan

    On the other hand the SAC? component of Victoria’s VCE was lending itself to some significant opportunities for cheating.
    I know of one student who scored 46 in English failing the English competency test in first year uni
    With significant downsizing in the APS some /many are going to be quite unhappy
    Where does a masters in climate change take one? the climate council?
    How many of those are ANU handing out this year?

  80. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Hmmm. Right. off to watch my favourite, then. The Tempest, Stephano (Nigel Hawthorne)
    Miranda (Pippa Guard), Ariel (David Dixon), Prospero (Michael Hordern).

    BBC Season of Shakespeare.

  81. Notafan

    Oh my girls had to study women in the bible too
    Because why?
    I’m sick of women who want to be men (and men who want to be women)

  82. Fleeced

    BTW, I posted this the other day, and this is early education, not uni (emphasis mine):

    CHILDREN in their first years of school learning basic arithmetic would be taught Aboriginal methods of adding and Korean counting games under suggested activities in the national maths curriculum. The curriculum stipulates three cross-curriculum priorities – indigenous histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, and sustainability – should be taught across all subjects.

    Home-schooling isn’t just a better option for educating your kids – it’s the only option.

  83. Notafan

    Unless Pyne takes a machete to it and he just might
    I have some confidence in Mr Pyne and Kevin Donnelly
    School vouchers would force teachers to toe the line

  84. David Brewer

    We used to whinge about the silo thinking produced by artificial subject and discipline boundaries. Something in it, but look at what happens when you break them down – Aboriginal and Korean culture instead of maths; and gender and rights and climate change and anti-capitalism smeared all over everything. No space left to impart the knowledge, skills and reasoning involved in each subject. After 12 years of school most kids can barely read or write, let alone weigh arguments with an open mind.

  85. Ed

    We used to whinge about the silo thinking produced by artificial subject and discipline boundaries.

    Same. How wrong we were! How misguided our thinking was.

  86. DrBeauGan

    My sister has just completed a Masters by Rearch in Education. (Not here, in Pomland) and asked my advice on what to do next. I advised an apprenticeship in plumbing or automotive mechanics as an antidote to bullshit. By now I fear she is so deep in the stuff she’ll never get out.

  87. DrBeauGan

    Ellen of T, I did some googling and found some, most wanting money for software or offering tutoring services. I had in mind some sort of co-operation scheme. Such as deadman recommends an eng lit reading list for my kids and I recommend some maths reading for his.

  88. Andrew

    Where does a masters in climate change take one? the climate council?
    How many of those are ANU handing out this year?

    Good point. While statistically there will be many unemployed grads, this sort of scum would only have been an unemployed parasite anyhow (or public servant – but I repeat myself). The typical Green uni activist is about as employable as an Afghan “asylum” seeker so the incremental burden on society of giving them a B”Sc” (Climate) is a few books.

  89. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From Abu Chowdah at 8:27 pm:

    “People who bemoan Shakespeare are part of the problem.”

    Yes, most certainly yes.

  90. Ellen of Tasmania

    Ellen of T, I did some googling and found some, most wanting money for software or offering tutoring services.

    Okay, DrB, I’ll have a look and see what I can find for you. It’s been a few years since we finished homeschooling and I’m out of the loop, so to speak, so I’ll talk to some friends and see what they recommend. There certainly used to be forums that shared the kind of information you are suggesting.

  91. Ed

    Quote by Glenn Reynolds today:

    Public choice theory says that institutions are run for the benefit of the people who run them. Universities are run by administrators.

  92. MT Isa Miner

    Deadman

    #1191219, posted on February 16, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Another thing that bugs me is the Vce book list…

    Ah, that’s the beauty of home-schooling, Notafan.
    This year, for the equivalent of grade 8, my younger son (in addition to his textbooks for Old English, Latin and Old Norse) is reading books I set, which include:
    Jane Austen, Mansfield Park;
    Geoffrey Hindley, A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons;
    Konrad Lorenz, King Solomon’s Ring;
    Ben Macintyre, Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies;
    George Orwell, Animal Farm; and
    P.G. Wodehouse, The Code of the Woosters.

    Mr Deadman, Sir, can I be inyour class this year, Sir. Sir, can I, ?

  93. MT Isa Miner

    entropy

    #1191037, posted on February 16, 2014 at 9:30 am

    The rot really got started with Dawkins. I often think that he was the trail laser of the modern ALP.

    True. I like to think of him a trail laser- pointing to the socialist destruction of the education system. He he. All of a sudden going to teachers colleges wasn’t good enough. Everyone had to go to university. Bullshit. So university went from teaching the cream of the crop to teaching almost half of the eligible population.

    Imagine if a dairy started processing 40% of a cows output instead the 4% cream and tried to sell it all as cream? ? It takes intense breeding to increase the cream content of milk by 1/2 a friggin %!!

    How did we all of a sudden change the genetics of our population so that the % of top thinkers went from about 5% to 40%? Give me a break.

  94. calli

    They have difficulty keeping apprentices because the poor lambs don’t like getting dirty. It’s not uncommon for a new apprentice to work one week and then pack it in, and one poor devil had a first year apprentice last half a day before walking off. Didn’t even have the courtesy to call and say he wasn’t coming back.

    Nilk, I just spotted this upthread. This has been my experience also. Over the years, I have employed 10 or so apprentices. Only one went through to get his ticket. They start off bright eyed and bushy tailed and suddenly discover that they have to actually work and pass at TAFE. Most only lasted a year.

    I would never ever take on another apprentice – they are more trouble than they’re worth.

    That being said, my son became a ‘mature age’ plumbing apprentice after a false start at uni. He has gone on to get his ticket and is now a key employee in his organisation.

  95. Not only are MA and MSc degrees these days worth less than BA and BSc degrees of yesteryear but some degrees are worth much less; in the field of “climate science”, for instance, the mediocre scholars (at best) who guard their gravy-trains are so frightened by their own hysterical, pseudo-scientific forecasts of climatic doom and oceanic catastrophe that they won’t select students for postgraduate study whose grades rise above C-level.

  96. I’m free, MT Isa Miner, any time.

  97. .

    DrBeauGan
    #1191859, posted on February 16, 2014 at 11:38 pm
    My sister has just completed a Masters by Rearch in Education. (Not here, in Pomland) and asked my advice on what to do next. I advised an apprenticeship in plumbing or automotive mechanics as an antidote to bullshit. By now I fear she is so deep in the stuff she’ll never get out.

    Hmm. Just wait until you read about industry skills councils and the like.

    Trust me. The muppets in the TAFE system want to control the entire education and accreditation system.

    Used car salesman selling finance products as “planners” now decide what university courses are accredited by ASIC for financial dealing.

    Yep I’m serious.

  98. DrBeauGan

    Thanks Ellen; don’t go to too much trouble or I’ll feel guilty, but some sort of forum not too different from the cat would be a big help.

  99. .

    Nilk, I just spotted this upthread. This has been my experience also. Over the years, I have employed 10 or so apprentices. Only one went through to get his ticket. They start off bright eyed and bushy tailed and suddenly discover that they have to actually work and pass at TAFE. Most only lasted a year.

    I have a mature age mate of mine, with an enviro science degree, disillusioned that the architect course is now a BA and a MA and must be done on campus (why?), who smashed the NSW TAFE builders/carpenters course, but had trouble being put on as an apprentice. Even labouring jobs didn’t last. Maybe he get in at a weak time. He also said his employers had no interest in teaching him on the tools, even though he killed the TAFE course and I can testify to his good workmanship (cars, building with wood, masonry, etc). Even when he worked at a place for one year he’d still be given the most menial of jobs.

    Sounds like his bosses knew there wasn’t much work on?

  100. Fleeced

    MathsOnline used to be good – stuck to curriculum as far as maths level was concerned (but you can always skip ahead if homeschooling), but pretty much straight to the point with tuition videos (i.e., cultural sensitivity and climate change bullshit was a no-show). No longer free though (Maccas funded it for a year or two – with all the Leftards complaining how it was corporate education or some shit… grrr).

    No idea if it’s still any good though. Even though government school system (and private system which relies on their syllabus) generally sucks, I do suggest you start at their site and download exam samples, their syllabus and course outlines – it can be a good starting point, even if it will cause some eye-rolling (e.g., Software Development and Design includes a large portion on “Ethics of Software Development” and crap like that, but the algorithm knowledge requirements are pretty solid).

    Maybe we should work together and devise a “Catallaxy Curriculum”… though if the aim is still to pass state-sponsored tests (HSC, VCE, etc), then you’re still going to need to address how to deal with the bullshit – it does come up in exams.

  101. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    my son became a “mature age’ plumbing apprentice

    Calli – machinery dealer I mentioned earlier only takes “mature age” apprentices these days. In a previous reincarnation, the business I worked for took on one school leaver, as an apprentice, who’s mother thought it would be a good idea for someone to ring him each morning to make sure he was out of bed….

  102. calli

    Sounds like his bosses knew there wasn’t much work on?

    .

    That’s possible, Dot. There are a lot of employers out there who exploit apprentices…despicable. On the other hand, apprentices need to be on the tools to begin with to fully understand the difficulties of the work. I was awarded the TAFE State Medal when I went through, but no amount of bookwork can replace on the job training.

    I gave the apprentice training everything I had, like anyone who is serious about the work they do. The industry had, up to that time, been very good to me and I wanted to give something back by providing a new generation of clued up tradesmen. Not to be.

  103. .

    Yes I could never understand why they didn’t want him to do more than be a labourer when he is actually quite good (I’ve seen frames he made up for a deck that were squared away, made without mistake or waste and at a rapid pace) and could almost work independently.

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