back to article There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

Blank faces abound. No, not all are blank: some are horrified, revolted even. What did I say? Security is swiftly called. The usual routine, I think, as a pair of uniformed bouncers slip unhurriedly into the open-plan office, fire doors swinging gently behind them. But no – they come to a halt several paces in front of me and …

Anonymous Coward

Re: Ah, but the upside

Though, with Young Ones quotes there's always the danger of running into a youngster who's got a video!

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Megaphone

Re: Ah, but the upside

Melchett: “Tally-ho with a bing and a bong and a zing zang spillip!”

Richy: “God you’re weird!”

I admit I may have got them a bit mixed up what with the heat and the hay fever.

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Re: Ah, but the upside

"YOU'VE GOT A VIDEO!!!!"

now where's the washing up liquid??

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Re: Ah, but the upside

I feel the need now to reference Absolutely.

IT'S VID-AY-OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ah, but the upside

"YOU'VE GOT A VIDEO!!!! now where's the washing up liquid??"

Shirley it is telephone reference?

A visiting Israeli friend showed me her newly qualified business card - in Hebrew. She then translated her new career as a "sex-ologist". Combined with her accent I was immediately reduced to laughter - which required YouTube to explain.

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Re: Ah, but the upside

Jif Micro Liquid where ARE youuuu?

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> An engineer stands almost motionless over a nearby wide-format inkjet

That's a *technician*, not an engineer. If we want more people to use their brains in society, then respecting the rank of engineer is not a bad place to start.

Countries like Germany properly recognise titles such as Engineer or Brewmaster as important - just as we do medical doctors - and not the sort of thing you grasp after a day's training.

Cheers!

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>> That's a *technician*, not an engineer.

Funny, I trained a bunch of wide-format printer maintenance guys in the art of colour management with ICC profiles recently, and they referred to themselves as "engineers".

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Happy

I'm an 'engineer' - company assigned job title. In my mind I'm just a keyboard monkey.

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"Countries like Germany properly recognise titles such as Engineer"

That's Germany. Here there's a tradition of referring to anyone who works with engines as an engineer. Perhaps what's really needed is to coin a new term for the up-market version.

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Coat

Better let the "Sanitation Engineers" know!

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and they referred to themselves as "engineers"

Yeah - but I could refer to myself as "a professional IT person" - it wouldn't mean I was!

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Anonymous Coward

"Better let the "Sanitation Engineers" know!"

I think you mean Dunnykin Divers.

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Engineers build things, technicians service the things that engineers build, imho :)

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Anonymous Coward

My name badge says 'engineer' but in reality I'm little more than electronic pizza delivery boy.

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Professional just means you're getting paid.

Doesn't mean you're any good at it.

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As my father used to say about some people he interviewed for positions as civil/mechanical and electrical engineers - "Yesterday I couldn`t spell engineer, now I are one"

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Anonymous Coward

That thing about the Dutch boy makes a lot more sense now.

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Anonymous Coward

"That thing about the Dutch boy makes a lot more sense now."

A little while ago there was a birthday card of a boy in clogs - arms outstretched - who said he was stopping three leaks in the dyke wall.

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Headmaster

Not Dutch

Just a FYI, it's an American story. Dutch people have heard of it, since American cultural baggage washes up everywhere, but think it's a pretty dumb story.

Imagine a US kid's story advising them to "plug the levee" with their finger. Could have saved N'Orleans :)

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Re: Not Dutch

Just a FYI, it's an American story.

I see you've been reading Wikipedia.

The story predates any American publication by many years, and its origin is obscure.

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Just don't ever casually mention to a USian that you've spent the weekend in Norfolk at a dyke-jumping contest.

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"weekend in Norfolk at a dyke-jumping contest." Black Dyke band?

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Coat

Whilst passing round the fags?

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I remember back in the nineties watching Crimewatch where a middle aged detective was looking for a witness carrying a Take This bag.

Take This being a popular beat combo at the time.

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Anonymous Coward

"[...] AND I remember white dog turds, jumpers for goal posts blah blah"

Yesterday a neighbour's kid asked me for an example of a plant that survives salty environments. Easy!

"Thrift" - you know - the one on the thrupenny bit. Now as obscure as the "Wren" farthing that would buy a "Flying Saucer".

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"Yesterday a neighbour's kid asked me for an example of a plant that survives salty environments."

The modern answer would be "samphire".

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Anonymous Coward

Yesterday a neighbour's kid asked me for an example of a plant that survives salty environments. Easy!

Seaweed?

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To those replying with examples of salt-tolerant plants ... whooosh! The OP's point was the obscurity of the reference, not the shift in botanical fashions.

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The modern more correct answer would be "samphire".

Thrift is more of a xerophyte and does well in coastal environments clear of the intertidal zone because they're often quite arid. Samphire really is a halophyte and you'll see it on salt-marsh.

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Education is no longer designed to teach.

I recently made the mistake of helping my daughter with her "A" level biology homework - which given I used to work in the medical profession I thought should be a doddle.

She had to describe in 'detail' the movement of blood through the circulatory system, so I started with the blood leaving the left ventricle through the semilunar valve into the aorta, and how it travels through arteries to the capillary beds and then back through the veins, through the inferior and superior vena cava, to the right atrium. (simplified)

She was sitting looking puzzled, so I asked what was wrong. She said "Oh, we don't need to know all that"

I was gobsmacked. How can you possibly learn human biology if you don't even need to know the names of the bits you are supposed to be talking about?

I've noticed this before though, that students seem to be actively discouraged from taking a wider interest in any aspect of a subject outside the strict focus of the coursework.

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WTF?

Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

What did they want? Something like, "it goes out of the thing in the middle, all the way up, all the way down, back to the thing in the middle, and then goes round all over again. Wheee!"

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Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

This isn't new, it's just the way school is. My French teacher never once mentioned the passé composé in the run-up to O-Level. The examiner for our French oral exam must have thought we had been taught the past tense by 16th century monks.

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Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

students seem to be actively discouraged from taking a wider interest in any aspect of a subject outside the strict focus of the coursework their teachers' knowledge.

FTFY

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Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

She isn't being taught Biology.

She's being taught how to pass the Biology A level exam.

Was the same when I did mine. Didn't matter what subject, you were taught the curriculum, then spent 6 months doing past exams before you did a "mock" exam, because the questions types, formats and even questions themselves are re-used with trivial changes.

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Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

@Dabbsy

For my A levels in both french and german, the examiner for the oral exam *was* our teacher.

We'd been ruthlessly coached in exactly what we had to use/say/demonstrate to tick the boxes for the relevant grades, we all got and an A or A*, which was a thing then.

Jump through these hoops. Here is your A level.

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FAIL

Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

"students seem to be actively discouraged"

this is the key point. You cannot be *INDOCTRINATED* if you start thinking for yourself. Next, someone will have to provide an army of those face-slappers from the Vogon planet that will slap the thinking right out of them, starting on day 1 in kindergarten...

That's right. Let's create a generation of VOGONS and overly-sensitive SNOWFLAKES, ready willing and able to create a scene that requires security to intervene, and then photograph the "un-sensitive" individual [OH, the HORRORS!] that DARED to made reference to the story of the young Dutch boy that saved the town by STICKING HIS FINGER IN A DYKE!

Obligatory reference to the red light district in the town that defined the trope...

[political correctness can bite my hairy, naked, ass]

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

too complicated - out the pumpy thing into the tubey thing and back again

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Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

"She's being taught how to pass the Biology A level exam."

This is true and it applies to all subjects. The problem is the schools are measured on exam results and targets. So they avoid any negative language at all, set the kids low targets that they will mostly achieve, the kids think they are great because they got their target, they learn a bunch of stuff by rote without having any deeper understanding of what it means, so they can't generalise, school gets the number of A-C passes they want (well they've changed them to 1-9 or whatever) teachers get their bonus (only joking) and eveyone's happy.

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Joke

Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

But that's too simplistic! Are those things before or after the whooshy-spongy thing...?

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Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

Next, someone will have to provide an army of those face-slappers from the Vogon planet that will slap the thinking right out of them

I'm shocked! I'm not bothered by the usual declining standards / conspiracy theory bit of the post. But by someone who references that genius Douglas Adams by way of that bloody awful film.

Hitch Hikers Guide started on the wireless damnit!

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Trollface

Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

Hitch Hikers Guide started on the wireless damnit!

Wot, you mean it was a podcast?!

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Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

"She isn't being taught Biology.

She's being taught how to pass the Biology A level exam."

That's it, that's it right there. That's the God's honest truth in black and white! Well said sir/madam.

Kids are not taught for fun, enjoyment or to gain a career they love, they're taught simply to pass exams in the hope that they'll just find something they like and having a degree from Scumbag University on the outskirts of Manchester will prove they're not completely stupid. I can't understand anyone not wanting to immerse themselves in something the love.

My daughter loves English, loves reading. They're supposed to read for at least 30 mins a day in her class, she regularly gets through 1 or 2 books a week, even the hard going classics. She's already getting A* grades in English a year early before her GCSEs. I have no idea why or how, neither my wife or I read very much but I think it's all about finding something you have a passion for and being encouraged to chase it and enjoy it. Revising with my daughter the overnight in naming the layers of the Earth's crust for her geology GCSE and I was on the brink of walking up to the local dentist to have a root-canal without anesthetic, simply because it would have been less painful! Each to their own I suppose!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

Reminds me of my sister recounting her Germa O-level oral (probaly 35 years ago) where she decided to start off with a comment on the weather taken from her school's rather elderly text books ... the examiner looked up and replied (in English) "where on earth did you learn that ... no-one's used that phrase for at least 50 years!"

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Boffin

Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

As time goes by I realise just how special the comprehensive school was that I went to.

I had several teachers who actively encouraged you to discover new things about the stuff they were teaching. My history teacher taught us how to research, my Physics teacher taught me how to think from first principles.

My German teacher taught me the benefits of inviting attractive exchange students over to teach us, and my Chemistry teacher taught me that just because people are older and have degrees, they can still be stupid and biased.

One form tutor taught me about tolerance and understanding, another taught me about encouraging people who are on the wrong path to channel their energies into more constructive activities without it having to be boring.

My woodwork teacher taught me how irresponsible a teacher could be when they'd had enough and was buggering off round the world*.

Bloody hell, the more I think about it the more I realise just how lucky I was.

*This involved letting 30 kids run loose in the local Spinney and engaging in stone fights across a railway crossing just as it crossed a river.

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Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

But by someone who references that genius Douglas Adams by way of that bloody awful film.

Phew, thought I'd had a stroke or passed into a parallel dimension...

I was trying to grok face-slapper - kept thinking 'Bug blatter beast of traal'.

New charas/additions I didn't mind, It was mucking about with the plot to make chasing the meaning of life by everyone that ruined it for me.

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Headmaster

Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

students seem to be actively discouraged from taking a wider interest in any aspect of a subject outside their teachers' knowledge.

To be a (eg) biology teacher, you need at least a degree in the subject, preferably a masters or PhD.

The syllabus on the other hand, is set by a civil servant acting on the orders of a politician. Who do you think has a better grasp of the subject?

Or to put it another way, would you prefer your kid to pass their GCSEs/A levels, or to know the names of some blood vessels? And which do you think will get them a job?

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Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

She said "Oh, we don't need to know all that"

Of course not. That was all done and dusted at O-level.

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Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

"My French teacher never once mentioned the passé composé ..."

If you learn French now, the chances are that you'll never learn the Past Historic. (Possibly not even to the extent of knowing that it exists but you haven't been taught about it, which presumably cuts you off from just about any French text that is older than your parents.)

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Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

"To be a (eg) biology teacher, you need at least a degree in the subject, preferably a masters or PhD."

Ah yes, but that is "to be a biology teacher". It's not quite the same thing as "to teach biology". For the latter, you only need a degree in something, followed by particularly bad luck when the real biology teacher drops out of the profession in October and everyone in the staff room has to draw lots for the poison chalice that is "covering for the Year 11s until we can hire a replacement".

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