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#529789 - 8th Jun 2011 2:29pm Education: have standards slipped?
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
I have an old school exercise book of my grandmother's. It's dated 1900, so she was twelve at the time. Here are some pages from it. Two years later, she was what would now be called a teaching assistant. She never in her life had any formal qualifications, but she was a very intelligent and had a wide range of knowledge. She live to age 93 and I still miss her.


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nana's schoolbk1.jpg

nana's schoolbk2.jpg

nana's schoolbk3.jpg


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#529806 - 8th Jun 2011 2:58pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: chriskay]
ex0__ Offline
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Registered: 25th Apr 2011
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I wonder if that counts as Calligraphy. Very nice writing for a 12 year old.
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#529816 - 8th Jun 2011 3:19pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: chriskay]
poodlepup Offline
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Registered: 6th Oct 2010
Posts: 3973
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lovely writing,does look like calligraphy.

Its great that you still have it in the family.
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#529854 - 8th Jun 2011 4:15pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: chriskay]
CVCVCV Offline
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Registered: 4th May 2010
Posts: 1446
Loc: ex Wallasey now Atlanta GA USA
I find it very interesting that the teacher corrected "I know there is lots of bread under the counter" to "...there are lots of bread..." I doubt that many teachers today would catch that?

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#529857 - 8th Jun 2011 4:30pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: CVCVCV]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7846
Loc: tranmere
Perhaps I'm about to prove I'm a thicko, shouldn't it be " I know there is a lot of bread under the counter" bread is not plural, or there are lots of loaves, if indeed they had or called them loaves at that time.
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#529865 - 8th Jun 2011 5:01pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: bert1]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
I'm in agreement with Bert; either of his constructions would be better.
I've always thought that the teacher's correction is wrong; it certainly reads awkwardly.
However, the expression "there's lots of bread under the counter" is unremarkable, even though "there's" is the contraction of "there is".
Incidentally I don't agree with the comma the teacher inserted in the piece; a comma should not generally precede the word "and".
An unspotted mistake is the change of Polly's sex.
I remember my boys being in fits of laughter when I read this to them when they were small.
As to whether this is calligraphy, it was the standard taught in those times and would have been used almost as standard: even the writing on the arithmetic page is almost as good.
The word in the Greek simply means "beautiful writing"
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#529877 - 8th Jun 2011 5:29pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: chriskay]
masterbun Offline
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Registered: 16th Oct 2009
Posts: 101
Loc: West Sussex formerly Oxton
I think that this was the standard to which writing was taught back then. It is very similar to my father's who was born in 1906, the open bottomed small "p" was very common.
Copperplate was it not.

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#529879 - 8th Jun 2011 5:33pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: chriskay]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9653
Loc: Birkenhead
But part of the problems with the education systems of that time were things like being finicky about handwriting. Some people just don't have the co-ordination to do that, but may have other skills. I think there is far more opportunity for individual skills now, but overall the drop in expectations are horrendous.

Full marks to art and design these days, the only subjects that seems to have raised the bar.

Once systems start measuring and setting targets for quality, you can guarantee the outcome is far from optimal.
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#529880 - 8th Jun 2011 5:35pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: diggingdeeper]
masterbun Offline
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Registered: 16th Oct 2009
Posts: 101
Loc: West Sussex formerly Oxton
Originally Posted By: diggingdeeper

Once systems start measuring and setting targets for quality, you can guarantee the outcome is far from optimal.


Very nicely put

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#529893 - 8th Jun 2011 5:46pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: chriskay]
CVCVCV Offline
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Registered: 4th May 2010
Posts: 1446
Loc: ex Wallasey now Atlanta GA USA
The "are" v. "is" may be debatable but since the verb here refers to the word "lots" (plural) and not bread (singular) then the teacher may be correct. If she had said "There is a lot of bread" then that would be different...

The comma correction may actually be correct too. It is not incorrect to use a comma before 'and' if the 'and' joins two 'independent clauses'. The second clause here ("summoned the baker") can be considered to be an independent clause (although literally not, as it has no subject before the verb) because the subject "(he) summoned the baker" is implied...

Finally, I have to add that I reckon yes, standards have indeed slipped! Not only as regards the handwriting (which is just STUNNING!) but also, we wouldn't be discussing such minutiae of English grammar otherwise, would we?


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#529897 - 8th Jun 2011 5:53pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: chriskay]
CVCVCV Offline
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Registered: 4th May 2010
Posts: 1446
Loc: ex Wallasey now Atlanta GA USA
Note, there are another two instances of ", and" in the 3rd sentence of the same Composition. These are also correct, I do believe?

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#529907 - 8th Jun 2011 6:08pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: chriskay]
Roslynmuse Offline
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Registered: 25th Jan 2010
Posts: 168
Loc: UK
Isn't the comma before 'and' called an Oxford comma?

I agree with DD - expectations have dropped leaving standards to fight for survival.

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#529920 - 8th Jun 2011 6:22pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: chriskay]
CVCVCV Offline
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Registered: 4th May 2010
Posts: 1446
Loc: ex Wallasey now Atlanta GA USA
Oxford (a.k.a. Serial Comma) isn't quite the same thing:

The Oxford (or serial) comma is the comma that precedes the conjunction before the final item in a list of three or more items. e.g. "Sausage, egg, and chips.."

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#529931 - 8th Jun 2011 6:43pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: diggingdeeper]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: diggingdeeper
But part of the problems with the education systems of that time were things like being finicky about handwriting. Some people just don't have the co-ordination to do that, but may have other skills. I think there is far more opportunity for individual skills now, but overall the drop in expectations are horrendous.

Full marks to art and design these days, the only subjects that seems to have raised the bar.

Once systems start measuring and setting targets for quality, you can guarantee the outcome is far from optimal.


Of course, a hundred & more years ago, there was so much less to learn; much more time could be devoted to the basic "3R's", which is so lacking these days. I regret that I've ceased to be surprised by mis-spelling & defective grammar (I don't think it's taught these days & don't get me started on the mis-use of the apostrophe).
Oh,BTW, DD, it's "the drop in expectations is horrendous". wink
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#529936 - 8th Jun 2011 6:50pm Re: Education: have standards slipped? [Re: chriskay]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
@CVCVCV: point re. comma/and is taken, which is why I wrote "generally". Nice to know that at least some others here have a good grasp of English grammar. (I still don't like that particular comma though).
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