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FSM
11th December 2010, 09:09 AM
Hi everyone
First post.
Just wanted to find some like minded people to talk to about this stuff.

My wife and I are expecting our first baby mid next year.
I'm a card carrying shirt wearing atheist and my wife is a "token" Catholic.
i.e. never go to church, never mentions it, and religion plays no part in her life apart from the usual token events where she withers and conforms. No problem, that's probably the majority of "religious" people today.
Her family are all token catholics too.

The problem is we got into a bit of an argument the other day over what primary school our kid should go to. She wants him/her to go to the same Catholic school she went too, which just happens to the closest to our house.
Her argument is that it's the most caring and loving school, and it's close, so there is no argument.

I on the other hand detest the idea of my kid going to a Catholic school.

She is totally open to the idea of High School simply being whatever is best technically, so I think I'm fairly assured of a win there. (She went to an all girls Catholic high school)

And this also brings up the question of the christening. Although we have not talked about it, I just know she is going to want it. Because it's a pathway into the primary school she wants, and all of her catholic school girl friends got their umpteen kids christened too. So she would probably be massively embarrassed to have a "name giving" ceremony instead.

Naturally I detest the idea of a christening too, and my thought at the moment is a perhaps childish boycott !
Although I did relent and got married in a Catholic church because that's what she wanted. I bit my tongue and endured it. Ironically, it was church associated with the primary school around the corner (getting the picture? :->).

But the wedding was some time ago now, and I wasn't as ardent an atheist as I am these days. And I can bite my tongue if it's just me has has to endure something, but this my be MY (or one half) my kid. And I want to be raised as an atheist with reasoning.

Am I worrying too much? is a Catholic primary school that bad? i.e. they are going to be taught about Santa Claus and the toothy fairy!
Should I lose this battle to ultimately win the war come High School, or should I dig my heals in?

Has anyone been in a similar situation and won? (or lost?)
Any advice?

Thanks
Dave.

Coryate
11th December 2010, 09:48 AM
I suspect the best thing about sending the children to Catholic school is the extra time you have to spend together so you can explin the good bits, and the rubbish bits

My son was never christened, and if my wife had ever insisted on it, I would have said fine, on the condition he wears something with the FSM on it. (I'm not kidding).

Fearless
11th December 2010, 09:48 AM
Hello FSM (Dave),

Welcome to the forums :) There are a number of people here in mixed relationships with similar situations. Hang about. I am sure you will find plenty of people here will have some good advice as this has been discussed a bit in the past. Try having a poke around with the search feature also. I am sure something will come up.

Someone did joke to me a while back that if you want your child to be put off by religion send them to a catlick school, otherwise send them somewhere else.

I don't personally have anything to add sorry except that my wife and her sister went to a catholic school and neither are really that bothered with religion now, especially not my wife.

I think family might tend to play a bigger role in this but each situation is different based on the individual. You could send your child to a public school and still find they end up becoming religious. I think it is more about challenging your child to think rationally and critically and letting them make up their own mind.

As for catholic schools... no way I will be giving them money personally, but that's just me.

All the best, hope you enjoy your time here :)

F.
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hooa
11th December 2010, 10:28 AM
I chose a Catholic School for my children .. 1: Because it was a small nurturing environment and 2: How can they make an informed decision about religion unless they understand it, feel it and see it ...

I saw it as another lesson, just like English and Math ... Knowledge is power .. Remember that ..

Today i was looking through my daughters school books ...Grade 5 ... I was particularly interested in the RE excersise book ... This is a sample of some of what she has written about ...

Respect: Always Listen ... Dont Litter ... Be friendly to others ...Dont steal other peoples property ... Dont talk over other people ... Care for and have respect for animals ... She writes about Peace and how much she loves her brother .... She writes about her rights and that she has the right to choose her own way of life ...

There is nothing harmful in these lessons ...

Even some of the prayers to God are fine because she knows that these things are just beliefs ... I really dont believe that Catholic Schools indoctrinate our children ... Its the parent who reinforce religious doctrines that cause the harm ...

My son is 18 and I believe that his knowledge and decision to be an informed and outspoken atheist was bolstered by his attending a Catholic School ... My children know that there is no creator God and they know where to place those beliefs.

I see absolutely no problem sending children to Catholic Schools ... View it as another lesson in world views for them ..

All The Best

Flyingphil172
11th December 2010, 10:47 AM
Show her some media reports/statistics on how many children have been abused by Catholic staff.

ABridgeTooFar
11th December 2010, 10:50 AM
I'm against any school that only accepts people from one part of society, for example those that have been christened. Its much better for kids to go to an open school and mix in with everyone from all different parts of society. They can also learn about all other religions there.

But i guess it depends on where you live. In some parts of this country i would admit going to a christian school would be more appealing than a public school (in dodgy areas). Its really a matter of weighing up everything and making an informed decision for the kid. Rather than anyone saying "He/She is going to a christian school regardless".

The christening thing seems tough. I guess there are a lot of people who are expecting it to go ahead. Not sure what to do :(

hooa
11th December 2010, 10:55 AM
Show her some media reports/statistics on how many children have been abused by Catholic staff.

Thats absolutely ridiculous ... Why would you do that? ... Would you show her statistics of how many fathers sexually abuse their own children? ... C'mon ... This is fear mongering and completely unreasonable...

Sir Patrick Crocodile
11th December 2010, 10:58 AM
Welcome, fellow Sydneysider!

I probably wouldn't recommend a Catholic primary school (if you like I can PM my [rather vintage-ish] experience with these religious schools) but I do think hooa makes a point about exposing them to other religions. Personally though, I'm a little skeptical on their methods on handling bullying (perhaps Annie could provide some info about this because she is a teacher) and have had enough problems with dealing with the religious majority.

Perhaps you should explain to your wife that just because she believe something is right, does not mean it is right, and it definitely doesn't mean she should instill the same beliefs in her child. Bring on the "You never even follow the whole religion of yours; you never even go to church" for example.

Not sure I can say much more than this; however having been to no less than two religious schools (one Adventist school and the other a Christian school [can't remember which denomination]) my experiences has been nothing worthy of praise.

hooa
11th December 2010, 10:59 AM
I'm against any school that only accepts people from one part of society, for example those that have been christened. Its much better for kids to go to an open school and mix in with everyone from all different parts of society. They can also learn about all other religions there.

But i guess it depends on where you live. In some parts of this country i would admit going to a christian school would be more appealing than a public school (in dodgy areas). Its really a matter of weighing up everything and making an informed decision for the kid. Rather than anyone saying "He/She is going to a christian school regardless".

The christening thing seems tough. I guess there are a lot of people who are expecting it to go ahead. Not sure what to do :(

Catholic Schools have to accept 10% non-denominational enrolments ... Also ... they have to accept the siblings ... My children were part of that 10%

Sieveboy
11th December 2010, 11:08 AM
Welcome Dave
I think your child will be safe from harmful woo from such a Catlick school if you take an active part in raising the young child. By this I mean understand what they teach the child and then feed back and reinforce the good (maths, English etc) and do not reinforce the bad (a self parenting jewish zombie died to save me from the lies he created).

Having a positive parent in this place will prevent the child filling in a gap in their teachers (as a parent you are the no 1 teacher) with an imaginary friend.

Thats my thoughts and what I will do down the track with my children.

Cheers

hooa
11th December 2010, 11:08 AM
Mainstream Catholic Schools know that the spotlight is on them and they are very, very careful not to do anything that could show them in a bad light ... Principles of Catholic Schools run it as a business and The Parish Priest is pretty much just there as a token ... You can probably rest assured that the last thing Catholic Primary schools need is bad publicity ...

Dont worry ... They know you're watching ...

Lord Blackadder
11th December 2010, 11:25 AM
I went to Catholic school - both primary and secondary - and came out the other end okay.

To be honest, I never noticed a fundamentalist approach at school - RE was just another lesson, and we were taught about all religious world views, not just Catholicism. In science we were taught evolution, not creationism, and I honestly can't remember Jesus being mentioned that much at all outside of RE, apart from the half-a-dozen occasions we went to church during the year.

I don't think a Catholic school education does any real damage per se, and probably creates more atheists than not (several of my high school friends are now ardent atheists). The question really comes down to whether you want your money to go to the Catholic Church or not. Considering that private schools are run like a business these days, a little investigation into the financial runnings of the school probably won't hurt. In the end, it comes to compromise, which is required even more in a "mixed" marriage. :)

Xeno
11th December 2010, 11:53 AM
My wife went to a catholic school and had no interest in subjecting our children to the same authoritarian rule-bound behaviour, fundamental ignorance and lack of questioning behind the teaching. I read Hooa but do not accept the glossiness unless there was some very serious reason why that school was less bad than other options.

We agree with ABTF that a non-selective school is preferable and with Sieveboy that the key is your own active involvement with your child's education.

Questions I would also ask though, are how close is the next school and what playmates do you want your child to find? There has to be strong reason to send your child to a woo school, not allowing it as equal or default. Tradition does not cut with me either but the explanation of that has more to do with secondary schools.

As for christening, our position would be simply say no, and we did not do it. That was a generation ago based on independent thinking from nearly a generation before that, so I am a little unsympathetic with conformist views on the topic today.

Flyingphil172
11th December 2010, 12:20 PM
Thats absolutely ridiculous ... Why would you do that? ... Would you show her statistics of how many fathers sexually abuse their own children? ... C'mon ... This is fear mongering and completely unreasonable...


Normally when your trying to convince someone NOT to do something (in this case send a child to a Catholic school), you give them a reason why (in this case the Catholics extensive history of abusing children).


What does stats on Fathers abusing their own children have to do with anything? You don't get to choose your own father. You do however get a choice of schools. Personally I would choose one that isn't run by a institution known to employ and harbour pedophiles.

wolty
11th December 2010, 12:25 PM
Normally when your trying to convince someone NOT to do something (in this case send a child to a Catholic school), you give them a reason why (in this case the Catholics extensive history of abusing children).


What does stats on Fathers abusing their own children have to do with anything? You don't get to choose your own father. You do however get a choice of schools. Personally I would choose one that isn't run by a bunch of pedophiles.

Mod Note.
I want to just jump in here because I read what Hooa had read, which was misunderstanding you, Phil.

From what I understand, Hooa thought you meant to mention it to the child, not the mother. Now you have cleared that up, it is time to move on. A little clearer would have been good.

Time to move on, both of you.

Edit, now I have re-read it again, I am not sure what the issue is.
Maybe the better advice to FSM would have been to explain concerns in that area if he had any, not going straight to the inflation of the issue.

wolty
11th December 2010, 12:31 PM
You do however get a choice of schools. Personally I would choose one that isn't run by a bunch of pedophiles.

And this isn't helping. Is the school run by pedophiles? That is a big statement.

Flyingphil172
11th December 2010, 01:02 PM
And this isn't helping. Is the school run by pedophiles? That is a big statement.



Apologys, it was poor wording. I meant the catholic institution as a whole not a individual catholic school. Now edited.

The Catholics history of child abuse (and subsequent cover ups) is a concern I thought was worth raising.

Sir Patrick Crocodile
11th December 2010, 01:19 PM
I think that, if one looks hard enough, one can also find similar instances of abuse and covering-up occurring in state schools.

Sir Patrick Crocodile
11th December 2010, 01:31 PM
You say things better than I can ever think of Black - IMO school itself is a risk; would one just not enrol their kids to any school just because of that risk?

Aldaron
11th December 2010, 03:09 PM
I think your child will be fine at a RCC school. As long as you make sure you teach him/her how to think critically, the nonsense isn't going to sink in - what you do is far more important.

Our son starts Year 9 this year. He went to public school for his primary education, but unfortunately the public schools in our area leave a lot to be desired, especially with regard to bullying and the like. A local religious school (fairly "cruisy" Christianity - Anglican/Uniting Church run) was recommended by an atheist friend, and we looked into it.

We eventually sent him to it - not for the religious side, obviously - but because it had excellent programs in the areas he and we were interested in. Yes, they have 'Christian Ed' classes, but they tend to be more based on ethics than anything else. Discussions on all manner of issues, with the position taken on abortion (for example) that each person should decide for themselves if it's right or wrong. The position taken on homosexuality, and taught to the kids, is that victimisation of anyone is wrong. *shrug* Considering that's precisely what we've taught him all his life, I don't see a problem.

He has a giggle about the services they go to, and he's never been harassed by any teacher about his atheism - about which he's open. Occasionally another kid will have a go at him, but his home-room teacher this year presented him with class award in recognition of his kindess and compassion to others.

As to the paedophile aspect; well, I don't think it's a problem for a couple of reasons.

1) I came up through the Catholic school system, and spent a lot of time with brothers and priests who had ample opportunity if they wanted - never happened. In fact, the only hint at it was from a lay sports teacher who everyone know not to be alone with. I'm not saying there aren't priests who are paedophiles, and I'd probably even go with them being over-represented, but seriously, people have to get over this image of every priest being a leering predator. The vast majority are decent blokes in most ways - just with bizarre beliefs.

2) Your child is in no more danger at a Catholic school than at an ordinary school where he or she might be alone with a male teacher. You just have to be vigilant as to who the child is left with.

3) The overwhelming majority of Catholic schools these days are completely staffed with lay teachers and staff. The days of the brothers, nuns and priests running the day-to-day operations of the school are long gone.

If there's an excellent public school around, go there by all means. But don't let ideology get in the way of a good education for your kid. If you don't take the religion seriously, it will be no different to Santa or the Tooth Fairy - something funny for the kids when they're little, to be shrugged off easily when they're older.

FSM
11th December 2010, 11:11 PM
Thanks for the all the responses everyone, I'm impressed I got so many so quickly!
Much food for thought.

I think your child will be fine at a RCC school. As long as you make sure you teach him/her how to think critically, the nonsense isn't going to sink in - what you do is far more important.

*snip*

If there's an excellent public school around, go there by all means. But don't let ideology get in the way of a good education for your kid. If you don't take the religion seriously, it will be no different to Santa or the Tooth Fairy - something funny for the kids when they're little, to be shrugged off easily when they're older.

That pretty well sums it up for me I think if I relent on the Catholic primary school thing. Of which I'm probably going to have to do I suspect.
And you are right, it is really an ideology thing because I'm now such a staunch atheist.
But maybe it really is no different to Santa when they are that young.
Come to think of it, I kind of like the idea of

Yes, I would detest giving my money to the Catholic church. But the same can be said for many other things in my life too which I'm against, but ultimately grudgingly go along with because it's the best or only option.

It's not just that the wife wants our kid to go to a Catholic primary school, it's the same school she went to, so there is much sentimental attachment.
She has mentioned the actual religion there is about as minimal as you can get, and that was 25-30 years ago when she attended. It's probably just an ethics class now as many have mentioned.

I'm more concerned with the christening though, as I really feel like I must take a stand on that one. But I guess I'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it.

Thanks
Dave.

Sir Patrick Crocodile
11th December 2010, 11:36 PM
Mate, remind her that it isn't just her kid; it's also yours. You helped make the baby, so you get to decide some things on what happens to it. "No brainwashing or indoctrination" is not a bad start. Note that I have no experience at parenting; but I used to be a kid when I was younger.

hereshegoesagain
12th December 2010, 12:39 AM
Hey! I'm new here too....

Look I went to a catholic school from years 6 - 12 (prior to that went to public primary), and although my Dad is catholic, my Mum isn't, and the reason they chose it was because the public schools in our area were dodgy and they couldn't afford independent.

I'm not sure these issues apply to primary school, but I absolutely hated it, particularly from about year 9 onwards.


Main reasons for hatred at school:

Very old-fashioned, nothing innovative or cutting edge about the education received
Students (even the most senior) were given little autonomy, teachers were condescending and independence was not encouraged
(May be different interstate, and also my school was low-fee) General culture of low educational aspiration. The girls were groomed for hairdressing apprenticeships and mid-range university courses. Not that there is anything wrong with any of these things, but I was extremely academically focussed, and excellence of any kind was not encouraged. Better to be in the middle, but have strong "social justice" values. This was reflected in their overall poor year 12 results, although some did well despite the school's apathy in this area.
Although I agree with many of the above commenters that religion was kept to a minimum outside maybe 10-12 compulsory "school assemblies" (cough cough *church services*) and religious classes which were very tame, but there were some notable differences between my education and that of my public school friends. For example, in sex ed we were taught the Billings Method (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billings_ovulation_method) of contraception (ha!). In medical school we were taught about the same method - best used as an aid for couples trying to get pregnant. Despite the positive things wikipedia has to say, it is a fairly rubbish method of contraception... particularly when taught to teenagers where other issues like STIs come into play, and where the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy could be devastating.
Although never a christened catholic, being around so many who identified as such and the subliminal messages that we received continuously for 7 years, I actually found myself wishing to be catholic. Towards the end of my schooling I made enquiries about "becoming" a catholic officially. However, as mentioned in my intro, I met a delightful heathen who helped turn it all around for me, and in fact going to university and actually switching my brain on helped me to no end...
Pros

One of our religious studies units was titled "universal principles", and covered common themes throughout all the major religions. It basically taught me that all religion originated as crowd control, and very definitely began priming me for atheism.
Your situation is really tough, and I can't say what I'd do. It would probably end in an argument and me calling my partner a hypocrite or similar, which wouldn't be terribly productive.

Good luck!

BlueDevil
12th December 2010, 07:27 AM
I'm more concerned with the christening though, as I really feel like I must take a stand on that one. But I guess I'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it.


I think the best angle of attack here is to push the concept that religion is a decision that we should make for ourselves when we are old enough to do so. If your child wishes to be baptised then that should be their own decision when they are older. Emphasize that it would be would be very much contrary to your personal beliefs and that you feel it is unfair to be asked to compromise on something that your feel very strongly about.

Warning: "mush alert" ! :eek:
You could even try giving her some of her favourite chocolates, taking hold of her hand, looking lovingly into her eyes and saying "If you really loved me you wouldn't ask me to put aside my deeply held beliefs" ;);););) (And then hope she doesn't divorce you!)


I also believe that once baptised a catholic you stay on their records as a church member for life, and it can be quite a process to get yourself removed. Infant baptism is a pretty meaningless concept, and it sounds like your partner is not likely to believe in nonsense such as your child will go to hell should it die unbaptised.


As far as the school issue goes I have always been somewhat wary of catholic schools, but have heard people say recently that the religious component of their catholic education was not really all that 'full on'. I attended a private school which was affiliated with the Uniting Church and ended up a staunch atheist.

We were in a position to be able to send our kids to a private school and this posed a bit of a dilemma for me since virtually all private schools have some sort of religious affiliation. We have been very happy with the school we chose, and religion is pretty much just one RE session per week (and none in Year 11 and 12) and an annual church service. The RE has incorporated some comparative religion sessions which I think is a good idea (they visited a mosque, a buddhist temple and a synagogue). My kids have not been influenced by the religious education at their school and I have provided the other side of the story for them. I think the most important factor is to find a school that meets the educational and social needs of your children.

If you send your kids to a private school then I guess you have to accept there is likely to be some aspect of religion taught. I personally support the idea that comparative religion should be taught in all schools since religion has such a strong cultural influence and needs to be understood as a social influence. Ideally I would like my children to be taught about religion but not be taught to believe in a religion. Like many atheists I don't believe that religion should be taught in government schools (other than comparative religion).

FSM
12th December 2010, 07:42 AM
I personally support the idea that comparative religion should be taught in all schools since religion has such a strong cultural influence and needs to be understood as a social influence. Ideally I would like my children to be taught about religion but not be taught to believe in a religion. Like many atheists I don't believe that religion should be taught in government schools (other than comparative religion).

Well said, I couldn't agree more.

Dave.

wolty
12th December 2010, 08:11 AM
FSM, just a couple of thoughts.

Your wife has a vested interest in your daughter going to the same school. It will be pleasing to her. It may well give your wife a warm fuzzy feeling knowing her daughter (and yours) went to the same school. You need to take this into account.

Secondly, if you have some concerns about the issue, I think you need to raise it with her, but also give some options. Just saying no, without any other input is going to get your wife off side with you. And that is not your intention.

Let her know you understand her reasons behind her idea, let her know your concerns about the issue, think about options together. It may well be that the local catholic school is the best in the area anyway. Critical thinking is your friend if this is what happens, and you need to supply this.

But i can guarantee that if there were 2 schools in the area, about the same level of education, your wife is always going to pick her old school.

FSM
12th December 2010, 08:51 AM
Your wife has a vested interest in your daughter going to the same school. It will be pleasing to her. It may well give your wife a warm fuzzy feeling knowing her daughter (and yours) went to the same school. You need to take this into account.

Secondly, if you have some concerns about the issue, I think you need to raise it with her, but also give some options. Just saying no, without any other input is going to get your wife off side with you. And that is not your intention.

Let her know you understand her reasons behind her idea, let her know your concerns about the issue, think about options together. It may well be that the local catholic school is the best in the area anyway. Critical thinking is your friend if this is what happens, and you need to supply this.

But i can guarantee that if there were 2 schools in the area, about the same level of education, your wife is always going to pick her old school.

Of course, and I think that's her main motivator which of course I fully understand. She had a good experience there, claims it is the best primary school around (I have yet to investigate), and has an emotional connection. The attached church is also where we got married. It is also one of the closest. Add all that up and I seriously doubt I'll be able to talk her out of it. I'd have to offer a up very convincing evidence that the school has gone downhill in some way and that another one is vastly better.

I'm sure if we lived somewhere else and had a clean slate, she would just pick the best sounding school after some investigation.

Anyway, it's a couple of years down the track. The christening thing will no doubt come first, and that I need to prepare for!
Perhaps I can offer a up a compromise - no christening, but I agree on the primary school (if it's as good as she claims).

Thanks
Dave.

Xeno
12th December 2010, 08:57 AM
... push the concept that religion is a decision that we should make for ourselves when we are old enough to do so. If your child wishes to be baptised then that should be their own decision when they are older. Emphasize that it would be would be very much contrary to your personal beliefs and that you feel it is unfair to be asked to compromise on something that your feel very strongly about.

... saying "If you really loved me you wouldn't ask me to put aside my deeply held beliefs"What the fuck has belief got to do wtih it? This puts atheism on exactly the same plane as religion. I do not recall telling my children that when they were old enough, they could decide whether or not to believe in gravity, only that they should always learn how things worked.

We were in a position to be able to send our kids to a private school As were we, but after reviewing the options we did not, although we both went to private schools of high standing. Extra travel is a bitch. Friends not local or at another school is a bitch. Teachers are much the same and largely a matter of chance. Money utterly wasted on a private school otherwise buys more learning: more books, more computers and software variety, more holidays to funny foreign countries and more hobbies shared. Some parents are too scared to let their children learn, and a school based on who has enough money* does not solve that.

* and in my case, minimum standard achieved in prior education, never mentioned when they proudly point to their academic "achievements" at the other end. Selection bias was one of my early observed lessons in statistics.

I think the most important factor is to find a school that meets the educational and social needs of your children.I agree entirely. Also, I advise people who ask that "social needs" means a stable and intelligent group of accessible friends, not a social class.

Fearless
12th December 2010, 09:01 AM
I think the compromise on the christening is very fair, but wait until you hear the expectations of the church (and maybe family) and what problems it could end up in if you don't... wait for the guilt trips.

Start prepping for that conversation now ;)

BlueDevil
12th December 2010, 09:06 AM
What the fuck has belief got to do wtih it?


"Beliefs" was probably a poor choice of wording. Give me a break...it was early Sunday morning when I posted, after a late night. :p I m sure most people got the gist of what I was saying without being too pedantic.

simonecuttlefish
12th December 2010, 09:32 AM
Slightly angular to this conversation but still related. I remember seeing a show on the ABC a while back about extremely expensive private schools and educational outcomes. One of the disturbing things was stories from Universities giving kids from some of the "best" schools lower ranking on acceptance for enrolment in over applied for courses. The argument was, that kids from some privileged schools have a higher failure rate in 1st year. They were saying that kids from public schools just knew if they need to learn stuff they have to work at it, track resources, and make themselves do homework etc. They were suggesting the counter was from waelthy schools, especially amongst boarders, where there is supervised study, and tutors pandering about the place. They were suggesting that kids from public schools were sort of educationally tougher and educationally street smart.

It sounded like a bit of a blow up, until there was public reaction from a couple of Sydney schools that they were instantly addressing this, and teaching kids independence and discipline. Jesus!

I'm not suggesting this is the case with your average Catholic school, but something to think about. I also wouldn't send my kids to a GPS or other snooty school because of the entrenched culture of, bully and bastardise, or follow and obey, or get bullied and bastardised culture that at least used to thrive in them. Personal stories and experiences related to me from guys who have attended St Joseph's Colledge and Farrah Agricultural School are enough to turn your stomach. I can't imagine there is a great deal of difference between any of them, although a few guys have told me the The Armidale School was fun (and how much trouble they got in for crucifying a barbie doll upsidedown on the chapel door :))

I suppose the thing to look for in a school, is the culture of the school, and their history on acting on bullying. My time at school was a grinding torment from morons raised by people I don't think should have had permission to own pets, mixed with a really tight group of incredibly cool kids (the musicians) and some teachers that simply rocked, as teachers and social awareness. I went to a public school. I hear Catholic schools are big on discipline. I just hope that doesn't translate to, the only bullies here are the staff.

FSM
12th December 2010, 10:13 AM
I think the compromise on the christening is very fair, but wait until you hear the expectations of the church (and maybe family) and what problems it could end up in if you don't... wait for the guilt trips.
Start prepping for that conversation now ;)

That's why I got on here!
Family won't say anything, they are all token catholics as I mentioned, they never go to church and religion essentially plays no part in their lives.
It's all her side BTW, my side of the family and friends are insignificant in comparison of numbers and social contact (and essentially non-religious).
I think the pressure will come from simple social convention more than anything else. All of her school friends have had their kids already, and (I think) all have been christened. Her friends will simply expect that her (our) kid will get christened too

Yes, I'll be expecting the classic argument "christening is required to get into the catholic public school" (I don't believe it is these days?).

I will be insisting on a "name giving" ceremony, that lets her have the social gathering she will desire, but with no religious meaning behind it.

I don't mind attending other peoples baptisms, if that's what makes them happy (even though I think it's all a crock of course). But when it comes to my own kid I simply must draw the line I think.

Dave.

FSM
12th December 2010, 10:15 AM
"Beliefs" was probably a poor choice of wording. Give me a break...it was early Sunday morning when I posted, after a late night. :p I m sure most people got the gist of what I was saying without being too pedantic.

I got the gist of it at least!

Dave.

simonecuttlefish
12th December 2010, 11:20 AM
Yes, I'll be expecting the classic argument "christening is required to get into the catholic public school" (I don't believe it is these days?).
Now there's an idea. Perhaps you could sue the next 13 years of school fees out of them, and still end up sending the child there :)

Xeno
12th December 2010, 03:40 PM
"Beliefs" was probably a poor choice of wording. Give me a break...it was early Sunday morning when I posted, after a late night. :p I m sure most people got the gist of what I was saying without being too pedantic.Break duly given :). Sorry. I did take care though to write: "This puts atheism..." not "You put atheism..." so I was part way there.

TimB
13th December 2010, 07:35 AM
FSM, here's my 2c worth for what it's worth.

I guess what school you pick completely depends on where you live. We have 3 primary schools nearby, 2 state and 1 catlick. The catlick school has the biggest class sizes. Personnally if I have the choice (which I do), I will send the kids (currently 2 and 4) to the local state public school and then to a state high school. I can understand sending your kids to private schools if the local govt school is bit dodgy and some private schools do offer more (for a fee of course) but since our locals are fairly good, that's where they'll go.

Regarding baptisms, I wouldn't stress too much. Both mine are baptised since it means something to my wife. For me, baptising a child is just a silly ritual churches do. It does make me uncomfortable but I figure it's too insignificant to get worked up about and not worth a fight. It certainly will not make your kids religious, they won't even know about it until you show them the photos when they are older! Dress them in a little devil suit or something.

And an after thought: given the completely uncontrolled and unregulated nature of SRE in state schools, your kids will probably be better protected from fundy nuts both in the class and in the playground if they go to a private school - who knows!!:rolleyes:

BlueDevil
13th December 2010, 10:52 AM
Dress them in a little devil suit or something.


Like the idea!

How about a "BlueDevil suit"? :D

TimB
14th December 2010, 06:58 AM
Like the idea!

How about a "BlueDevil suit"? :D

That would be OK. It's more likely that the Devil is blue anyway - blue is a much hotter colour than red.

Threat
14th December 2010, 11:36 AM
Slightly angular to this conversation but still related. I remember seeing a show on the ABC a while back about extremely expensive private schools and educational outcomes. One of the disturbing things was stories from Universities giving kids from some of the "best" schools lower ranking on acceptance for enrolment in over applied for courses. The argument was, that kids from some privileged schools have a higher failure rate in 1st year. They were saying that kids from public schools just knew if they need to learn stuff they have to work at it, track resources, and make themselves do homework etc. They were suggesting the counter was from waelthy schools, especially amongst boarders, where there is supervised study, and tutors pandering about the place. They were suggesting that kids from public schools were sort of educationally tougher and educationally street smart.

It sounded like a bit of a blow up, until there was public reaction from a couple of Sydney schools that they were instantly addressing this, and teaching kids independence and discipline. Jesus!

I'm not suggesting this is the case with your average Catholic school, but something to think about. I also wouldn't send my kids to a GPS or other snooty school because of the entrenched culture of, bully and bastardise, or follow and obey, or get bullied and bastardised culture that at least used to thrive in them. Personal stories and experiences related to me from guys who have attended St Joseph's Colledge and Farrah Agricultural School are enough to turn your stomach. I can't imagine there is a great deal of difference between any of them, although a few guys have told me the The Armidale School was fun (and how much trouble they got in for crucifying a barbie doll upsidedown on the chapel door :))

I suppose the thing to look for in a school, is the culture of the school, and their history on acting on bullying. My time at school was a grinding torment from morons raised by people I don't think should have had permission to own pets, mixed with a really tight group of incredibly cool kids (the musicians) and some teachers that simply rocked, as teachers and social awareness. I went to a public school. I hear Catholic schools are big on discipline. I just hope that doesn't translate to, the only bullies here are the staff.


I've always had a similar bias, in regards to the above, to anyone I thought was private schooled. I had never actually seen evidence of it though, until at my last job. I liked the job, and they'd been good to me, so I gave them 4 weeks notice when I was leaving, partly to train someone for them. They hired this young guy, I don't know what he'd done before, except for dropping out of uni. He was well off, private schooled and his social media pages full of pics of good times. He seemed ok though while I trained him... I was a bit suss but nothing specific to mention to anyone. I told my boss to keep an eye on him before I left. I visited that workplace a few weeks ago, he's gone. The role involved alot of autonomy and out-of-office work. They caught him out in several lies about work not done, work done poorly, etc. He just didn't give a shit obviously.

On a similar note, when at uni, I worked as a kitchen hand (or dishpig as I preferred). The head chef commented a few times, he preferred students as casuals instead of non-students, as they really appreciated the money - and so worked hard for it.

I know if I am ever in a hiring position, being private schooled will definitely count against an applicant.

BlueDevil
14th December 2010, 11:47 AM
I know if I am ever in a hiring position, being private schooled will definitely count against an applicant.

I would hope you would view every applicant on their merit and not allow a bias against private schooling to influence you significantly. No doubt there are a huge number of private schooled people who make excellent employees.

Sir Patrick Crocodile
14th December 2010, 11:49 AM
I know if I am ever in a hiring position, being private schooled will definitely count against an applicant.ah, I guess I'm out of the job then?

Aldaron
14th December 2010, 12:00 PM
I know if I am ever in a hiring position, being private schooled will definitely count against an applicant.Sorry, Threat, but that's just patently absurd, and no different to organisations who discriminate against women, or non-religious people. A person's school has no bearing on their performance at that school, which is what you should be looking at.

More important is their performance since school - university, TAFE or whatever other post-secondary education they have, as well as their work history, references and how they present.

Discriminating against someone on the basis of which school their parents sent them to is outrageous.

I often am in a hiring position, and I know for a fact that the school a person went to has no bearing whatsoever on their job performance. To make it so creates an "old boys" job network, no different to that practiced de facto by graduates of exclusive private schools.

If you keep to your above statement, then you are acting no differently to those you would presume to condemn.

Threat
14th December 2010, 12:01 PM
I would hope you would view every applicant on their merit and not allow a bias against private schooling to influence you significantly. No doubt there are a huge number of private schooled people who make excellent employees.

ah, I guess I'm out of the job then?

Yes, BD, of course I would view every applicant on their merits. Take Croc, for example: In regards to his private schooling, his obvious wit, intelligence and personal drive would more than make up for it. Just a shame he's so ugly... all those teeth...

Threat
14th December 2010, 12:19 PM
Sorry, Threat, but that's just patently absurd, and no different to organisations who discriminate against women, or non-religious people. A person's school has no bearing on their performance at that school, which is what you should be looking at.


Bullshit. Two people get a TER (or whatever it is these days) of 90, but one did so at a school stocked with the best equipment money can buy, with tutors hovering over their heads and the other at a school falling apart with demountables for classrooms. To say I prefer the student who did it on their own is not discriminatory. I'm looking at the performance at the school, and looking at why they achieved it.

More important is their performance since school - university, TAFE or whatever other post-secondary education they have, as well as their work history, references and how they present.


Agreed.

Discriminating against someone on the basis of which school their parents sent them to is outrageous.


It's not discrimination to factor in to your decision why a student has done well, at any school.

I often am in a hiring position, and I know for a fact that the school a person went to has no bearing whatsoever on their job performance.

I stand corrected, since you know it for a fact.:rolleyes:

Seriously, I know if someone is a naturally hard worker, they will be so no matter what school they go to. But I think when you have two different systems, and one obviously provides more (forced) support for a student, that system will undoubtedly have some non-hard workers achieving higher performance results than they would by themselves. It's not a big indicator, as Bluedevil asked me, each candidate on their own merits.

Private schools don't consistently achieve higher results because they've got all the smarter, hard working students. If I had two candidates before me, and they achieved roughly the same result in high school, but one from public, and one from private; the public schooler would be in front. Simply because they did it without the benefits the private schooler enjoyed. It doesn't decide who gets selected though, just one factor of many.

To make it so creates an "old boys" job network, no different to that practiced de facto by graduates of exclusive private schools.

If you keep to your above statement, then you are acting no differently to those you would presume to condemn.

Maybe. But I'd rather there wasn't any private schools at all, which would remove both sets of 'old boys'. :)

Sir Patrick Crocodile
14th December 2010, 12:21 PM
In NSW, I can think of at least two (2) public schools which are famous (or at least, were famous) for "spoon-feeding" their students.

Threat
14th December 2010, 12:25 PM
In NSW, I can think of at least two (2) public schools which are famous (or at least, were famous) for "spoon-feeding" their students.

Yeah, it's rarer, but they do exist. Maybe my bias is against 'spoon-feeding school graduates' rather than private school graduates per se, but that's a hell of a mouthful.

Aldaron
14th December 2010, 01:04 PM
Bullshit. Two people get a TER (or whatever it is these days) of 90, but one did so at a school stocked with the best equipment money can buy, with tutors hovering over their heads and the other at a school falling apart with demountables for classrooms. To say I prefer the student who did it on their own is not discriminatory. I'm looking at the performance at the school, and looking at why they achieved it.So how do you propose to determine which school did which? Do you have a league table of schools and their funding? Or classroom sizes?

I have no problem with saying that the student getting the TER of 90 in the falling-down school should count for them, but I think it is ludicrous to say that the student who gets 90 in the private school should have that counted against them, which is what you said.

...being private schooled will definitely count against an applicant.A student who gets 90 gets 90. You have no way of knowing how much help he/she had, or how much tutoring he/she had. I know people who have their kids at public school and pay thousands in tutoring (the money they save by not sending them to a private school, basically) to get their kids' grades up.

Maybe you should ask how much private tutoring they've had, as well?

What about how many hours of study they undertook each week? Should the kid who does 10 hours rather than 5 get the job, as he's more motivated? Or should it go the other way, since he's obviously not as smart as the one who got by on 5?

This is why I'm opposed to any discrimination based on where a kid went to school. Damn...I may as well say I won't hire anyone who went to Boganville Public School, since it's well known that the rates of crime are higher there, so there's more likelihood the employee will be a thief.

Threat
14th December 2010, 03:42 PM
@ Alderon: Yeah, you're right, there's alot to take into account for something like selecting someone for a job. This would only be a very minor part, of any such process, in selecting someone. And you are also correct about the details, there will be some students from private schools who have arrived with less tutoring etc. than some from public schools. But come on... the majority? You've honestly told me now, that worse conditions count FOR a candidate who did as well as one from better conditions. Now, honestly, will the majority of those candidates from the worse conditions be public schooled or private schooled?

I am curious, in a competition for a spot, how can something be FOR one candidate but not AGAINST the other? Surely anything that's for 1 candidate automatically goes against the other candidate? Having a FOR for 1 of them is detrimental to the other's chances, isn't it?

Xeno
14th December 2010, 05:01 PM
@Threat: I consider that a substantial part of your argument relies on erroneous assumptions.

I have yet to see any evidence at all that private schools produce superior results compared with public schools after matching for socio-economic background and baseline performance on entry to secondary school. If you have some, please put it up.

Their principal weapon is selection bias on entry and a willingness to expel those who, with behavioural difficulties, are not performing. This raises average exit performance without affecting performances of individual students.

Unless you have evidence to support superior average performance of private schools on the terms I outlined, you have no pretext for discrimination, let alone a case in any event.

riddlemethis
14th December 2010, 06:16 PM
ah, I guess I'm out of the job then?

Yeah, ditto for me, my husband & the bulk of my friends; spoiled rich layabouts who only ever rob society of it's resources, or whatever the currently acceptable line is for speaking in generalities about 30% of the population without fear of being called a bigot, that we are.

Aldaron
14th December 2010, 07:01 PM
I am curious, in a competition for a spot, how can something be FOR one candidate but not AGAINST the other? Surely anything that's for 1 candidate automatically goes against the other candidate? Having a FOR for 1 of them is detrimental to the other's chances, isn't it?I wasn't making the assumption that you had two identical candidates with identical scores and identical work experiences, one from a private the other from a public school.

I was presuming you would have an applicant who was either from a private or public school. If he was from a private school, with excellent resources, it would mean nothing. If he was from a public school, with terrible resources, I might think "Wow...this guy has done really well."

...a willingness to expel those who, with behavioural difficulties, are not performing.This was tangentially one of the two reasons we chose a private school for our son. Not the willingness to expel those with behavioural difficulties - in fact, the school has a really good system in place for such kids - but the willingness to deal with bullying issues on a case-by-case basis, rather than one-size-fits-all. To clarify, at my son's primary school, whenever there was a bullying incident, everyone involved would receive the same punishment. It wouldn't matter who was defending themselves, who was doing the provocation, or how many witnesses saw the incident - everyone would get the same punishment.

I became sick and tired of my son, who was constantly harassed by two others (who also routinely attacked other kids), being put in detention for defending himself when these two would start punching into him.

At the school he currently attends, any situation like this is thoroughly investigated. The situation is assessed and any action is based on fairness, not a sweep-it-under-the-carpet attitude we had earlier experienced.

The other reason is that the programs offered suit my son's interests. Marine studies and drama are the two areas he is most interested, and the local public schools didn't offer the first and had very limited resources for the second, whereas the private school we went to offered full semesters of each from years 7 to 12.

wolty
14th December 2010, 07:07 PM
Yeah, ditto for me, my husband & the bulk of my friends; spoiled rich layabouts who only ever rob society of it's resources, or whatever the currently acceptable line is for speaking in generalities about 30% of the population without fear of being called a bigot, that we are.


Yup, me too. :)

Should I say sorry about now?

Threat
14th December 2010, 07:17 PM
@Threat: I consider that a substantial part of your argument relies on erroneous assumptions.

I have yet to see any evidence at all that private schools produce superior results compared with public schools after matching for socio-economic background and baseline performance on entry to secondary school. If you have some, please put it up.

Their principal weapon is selection bias on entry and a willingness to expel those who, with behavioural difficulties, are not performing. This raises average exit performance without affecting performances of individual students.

Unless you have evidence to support superior average performance of private schools on the terms I outlined, you have no pretext for discrimination, let alone a case in any event.

I don't have any evidence to support superior average performance of private schools on the terms you outlined, such as matching for socio-economic background and baseline performance on entry to secondary school.

I haven't looked, but I'm sure there's readily available data on how students from different schools have performed somewhere. I presume private schools perform noticably better. I may be wrong.

I have no idea how their performance adds up when matched for socio-economic background and baseline performance on entry to secondary school. I don't know of anywhere that would have such data.

Threat
14th December 2010, 07:25 PM
I wasn't making the assumption that you had two identical candidates with identical scores and identical work experiences, one from a private the other from a public school.

I was presuming you would have an applicant who was either from a private or public school. If he was from a private school, with excellent resources, it would mean nothing. If he was from a public school, with terrible resources, I might think "Wow...this guy has done really well."


That makes sense, I was only looking at it from the POV of competition. Apologies I wasn't clear on that from the start.

In regards to your son, that all makes sense as well. I think it is likely that he will end up with a result better than if he went to a public school though (assuming he continued all the way through). I think most kids would. Mine would.

Threat
14th December 2010, 07:28 PM
Yeah, ditto for me, my husband & the bulk of my friends; spoiled rich layabouts who only ever rob society of it's resources, or whatever the currently acceptable line is for speaking in generalities about 30% of the population without fear of being called a bigot, that we are.

Yup, me too. :)

Should I say sorry about now?

You poor guys. It's ok to have been private schooled. Really it is. So your parents were a little richer than most kids'... so what? No apologies necessary. :)

Xeno
14th December 2010, 07:50 PM
I don't have any evidence to support superior average performance of private schools on the terms you outlined, such as matching for socio-economic background and baseline performance on entry to secondary school.

I haven't looked, but I'm sure there's readily available data on how students from different schools have performed somewhere. I presume private schools perform noticably better. I may be wrong.

I have no idea how their performance adds up when matched for socio-economic background and baseline performance on entry to secondary school. I don't know of anywhere that would have such data.My comments are aimed at exactly the lack of data which you highlight in your first and third paragraphs. The only data I can find in relation to your second paragraph does not meet my conditions. It is no fault of yours you can not find it; neither has anyone else so far.

I am happy to be proven wrong here (our children are already successfully through school on the path we chose so we have no further stake) but it will take data to do so, and I have not found it.

I mentioned early in this thread that there may be specific, data-driven, reasons for choosing a religious or private school. For example, the alternatives are truly known to be crap (not just by prejudicial comment), or are further away or as Aldaron just highlighted, offering of specific programs.

Incidentally, when one of our children was assaulted in the heat of a moment at a public school, the school and ourselves dealt with it very much as an individual case and to very good effect. I think the quality of a school, public or private, depends heavily on the teachers and their leadership by the school principal. I find no lock on these in private schools nor generic bureaucratic behaviour more in public schools than private. In any event I think you are the single most important influence on your child's education, by miles.

This is a serious question, not an argumentative position. Can anyone source data which shows private schools in Australia to be more effective on an equivalent case basis than our public schools? If somebody has something then I am happy for a new thread to be started so we can go over the data available.

Lord Blackadder
14th December 2010, 08:11 PM
You poor guys. It's ok to have been private schooled. Really it is. So your parents were a little richer than most kids'... so what? No apologies necessary. :)

My parents weren't rich. I come from an average middle class background and my step-father lost his job in the "recession we had to have", which was smack-bang in the middle of my high-schooling.

My parents just believed it would be more beneficial for me to attend the local private Catholic school as they were not impressed with the reputation or caliber of schooling at the nearby public high schools. So whilst the fees were not exorbitant, they were enough to put restraints of the family budget. Hell, I didn't even leave the country until I was 25, and that was paid for out of my own pocket, not by mummy and daddy. But it was all worth it in the end - I am now a respectable employee of the Federal Government. :rolleyes:

I think you, Threat, need to get over your preconceived notions of private school students. Not all of us were born with a silver spoon up our arse.

riddlemethis
14th December 2010, 09:40 PM
You poor guys. It's ok to have been private schooled. Really it is. So your parents were a little richer than most kids'... so what? No apologies necessary. :)

Yeah, you're just assumptions all the way down, aren't ya.

Sir Patrick Crocodile
14th December 2010, 09:45 PM
You poor guys. It's ok to have been private schooled. Really it is. So your parents were a little richer than most kids'... so what? No apologies necessary. :)Oh yes. First you get labeled as a "retard" and a "sped" and a "spaz" and whatever other names they can come up with, then you get bashed around by the fucking turds, and then when you do respond they label you as a threat to others and someone with severe anger management issues, and all they care about are the fucking bullies, then they expel and defame you so other schools can make you look like the bad guy too.

Oh yes, private schools are fantastic, so long as you're not in one of them.

Personally I think those generalizations that "private schools are better than public schools" and vice versa are unsupported as of today, or at least I do not have any supporting evidence as such.

riddlemethis
14th December 2010, 09:54 PM
Oh yes. First you get labeled as a "retard" and a "sped" and a "spaz" and whatever other names they can come up with, then you get bashed around by the fucking turds, and then when you do respond they label you as a threat to others and someone with severe anger management issues, and all they care about are the fucking bullies, then they expel and defame you so other schools can make you look like the bad guy too.

Oh yes, private schools are fantastic, so long as you're not in one of them.

Umm, Croc, I'm sorry you had a bad time, but that has nothing to do with the fact the school/s you went to was/were private. I spent 3 years at a high school being tormented, harrassed, physically assaulted & having my sexuality questioned all over a 1200 student school all because I had short hair & wore Doc's. Not a single teacher was remotely interested in helping me or dealing with the bullies b/c they were busy worrying about their own personal safety at the hands of the same kids. I fled to the safety, sanity & high standards of a private school.

So do you think that perhaps this kind of culture can exist anywhere & vary by individual based on completely unrelated circumstances that have nothing to do with whether the school is fee paying?

Sir Patrick Crocodile
14th December 2010, 09:55 PM
That is exactly what I am trying to get at riddlemethis; different private schools probably do things differently, and different public schools probably do things differently.

The generalization that Threat seems to have that "all private schools are <better/worse> than public schools" doesn't work at all.

In fact, similar shit also happened in the public school; that's over 13 years of my life dealing with such shit. Two private schools, two public schools. Not much of a bloody difference.

Admittedly probably not the best wording, but I can't think of any better way to write that other than an example, as per above.

riddlemethis
14th December 2010, 10:35 PM
Sorry, think I missed your point and saw only the emotion. Perhaps less of that, and the detail that it also happened @ the public schools you went to is the better illustration.

For the OP. The most important thing you & your wife can do for your child is choose the school which best honours their needs, rather than any agendas or warm fuzzies either of you think are important in advance.

We expected to educate our kids in the public sector, at least up to high school, but switched our eldest to a private school half way thru grade 1 for various reasons, all to do with meeting his needs & having school be a fun, desirable place to go each day for as long as possible.

A childs needs shouldn't be relegated in priority to any parents ideology & you won't know what those needs are until they begin their education journey. There's more to education than the data preferred by MySchool too.

Sir Patrick Crocodile
14th December 2010, 10:39 PM
riddlemethis: sorry - my fault entirely; I will keep the detail bit in mind for next time (hopefully it will be better)

Another thing, you have brought up an interesting point when you mentioned MySchools - what are parents thinking when they send their children to schools - are they just looking at stats going "best school - yep he/she's going there" or what? It does make one wonder.

I don't think there is a "best school in the _____" - my definition of the "best school" is a school in which your child can be well settled and can get what he/she needs whilst attaining a school education path that has little disruption and a significant and timely level of progress.

To the OP - I agree with RMT that the "warm fuzzies" are fuckall compared to a child's needs.

Threat
15th December 2010, 10:55 AM
My comments are aimed at exactly the lack of data which you highlight in your first and third paragraphs. The only data I can find in relation to your second paragraph does not meet my conditions. It is no fault of yours you can not find it; neither has anyone else so far.

I am happy to be proven wrong here (our children are already successfully through school on the path we chose so we have no further stake) but it will take data to do so, and I have not found it.

I mentioned early in this thread that there may be specific, data-driven, reasons for choosing a religious or private school. For example, the alternatives are truly known to be crap (not just by prejudicial comment), or are further away or as Aldaron just highlighted, offering of specific programs.

Incidentally, when one of our children was assaulted in the heat of a moment at a public school, the school and ourselves dealt with it very much as an individual case and to very good effect. I think the quality of a school, public or private, depends heavily on the teachers and their leadership by the school principal. I find no lock on these in private schools nor generic bureaucratic behaviour more in public schools than private. In any event I think you are the single most important influence on your child's education, by miles.

This is a serious question, not an argumentative position. Can anyone source data which shows private schools in Australia to be more effective on an equivalent case basis than our public schools? If somebody has something then I am happy for a new thread to be started so we can go over the data available.

Excellent post Xeno.

Threat
15th December 2010, 11:24 AM
My parents weren't rich. I come from an average middle class background and my step-father lost his job in the "recession we had to have", which was smack-bang in the middle of my high-schooling.

My parents just believed it would be more beneficial for me to attend the local private Catholic school as they were not impressed with the reputation or caliber of schooling at the nearby public high schools. So whilst the fees were not exorbitant, they were enough to put restraints of the family budget. Hell, I didn't even leave the country until I was 25, and that was paid for out of my own pocket, not by mummy and daddy. But it was all worth it in the end - I am now a respectable employee of the Federal Government. :rolleyes:

I think you, Threat, need to get over your preconceived notions of private school students. Not all of us were born with a silver spoon up our arse.

Cool. I know my mum wouldn't have been able to afford it at all. But I also know you don't have to be rich to afford private school, it just makes it more likely. I know I have pre-conceived notions Lord BA, but the only time I've been involved with hiring someone (my replacement, previously mentioned on page 4), subsequent events fitted my preconceived notions (which doesn't help get over them). Plus I noticed at casual jobs whilst studying, and as I said, it was pointed out to me by my head chef at one job, that those who don't really 'need' the job don't perform at it very well (they have no fear of losing it and no idea how valuable the money is).

I would posit that those who are born with a 'silver spoon up their arse' would be more likely to graduate from the private school system. This does not mean they are the only ones to do so.

I'm living in Melbourne's north at the moment, and in all the newish estates, there's private schools aplenty. With local MPs 'fighting' to get state high schools in the area. I can see if I lived next door to a private, even uber-catholic school, and the nearest public was ages away, I would be tempted to send my kids there just for the convenience alone.

I do think there some is over-reaction here, I only said it would count against them, not eliminate them. Riddlemethis and her hubby and all their friends would not be rejected for being private schooled, I'd just be curious to see if their results (whatever they may be) were achieved with extra discipline supplied by their school, rather than self discipline a public student relied on (or as pointed out, tutoring was involved). I assume that's one of the many reasons we have interviews and don't just go off academic results?

riddlemethis
16th December 2010, 09:07 PM
I do think there some is over-reaction here, I only said it would count against them, not eliminate them. Riddlemethis and her hubby and all their friends would not be rejected for being private schooled, I'd just be curious to see if their results (whatever they may be) were achieved with extra discipline supplied by their school, rather than self discipline a public student relied on (or as pointed out, tutoring was involved). I assume that's one of the many reasons we have interviews and don't just go off academic results?

[glovesoff] You know what Threat, fuck this shit. Do you only ever open your mouth to change feet? Your generalising makes you look like a complete prick.

I proved my abilities when I won a fucking scholarship to one of the best schools in the country & it got me away from the intellectually turgid, teen pregnancy, being-illiterate-is-cool, whats-wrong-with-the-dole, bogan culture of the area in which I grew up, so jam your assumptions about what my results mean up your arse. Oh, and I've been proving it ever since in everything I've tackled. That goes for my husband and friends too. In my three years at the private school, in a class of 220+ girls, there were roughly 3 who never had to work if they didn't want to & guess what, they all do. Just how many seriously wealthy people do you think there are in Australia? As for your other assumptions about what "rich" (what's the threshold for that tag by the way?) people raise their kids to expect from themselves, they aren't even worth touching.

One of the reasons we have interviews & that in proper businesses they are conducted by people who have a fucking clue what they are doing is to avoid exactly what you are doing here. I recruited professionally for nearly 5 years and I'll tell you this for free, there are fabulous people, as well as arseholes who come out of both private and public schools. Rarely does this have anything at all to do with where they were educated in my experience & not a single one of the prejudices you've spouted here apply on either side as reliable descriptors. It's just personal bias, pure and simple.

One thing I have NEVER experienced though & I am 40, is a conversation with people who were privately educated, about not hiring someone purely on the basis of them coming out of the state system or even that you know what to expect from 'such people'. I find the apparent easy acceptance of bigotted things said about people as long as the tag 'rich' is tacked on to them on this forum though, to be completely outrageous & hypocritical. I simply had no idea that having money, beyond a level yet to be objectively accounted mind you, meant being fair game in the disparaging generalisations stakes.

Threat
20th December 2010, 04:25 PM
Hi Riddlemethis,

I can see you're quite upset by my attitude here and by my generalising. If you'd prefer me to shut up, let me know; otherwise I'll try to answer the questions posed in your posts and reply.

I don't see it as:

spoiled rich layabouts who only ever rob society of it's resources.

Vs.

the intellectually turgid, teen pregnancy, being-illiterate-is-cool, whats-wrong-with-the-dole, bogan culture

But my experiences (e.g. training my previous job's replacement and leaving them with a "yeah, he'll do fine" only to find out later they let him go as he wasn't doing the work, was lying about doing it and didn't need to work anyway) have left me with a suspicion about those born with a silver spoon up their arse. And logically, I don't think anyone born with a silver spoon up their arse is likely to go to public school. As I already stated, that doesn't mean they're the only ones.

[glovesoff] You know what Threat, fuck this shit. Do you only ever open your mouth to change feet? Your generalising makes you look like a complete prick.

I appreciate your honesty and will take your comment on board.

I proved my abilities when I won a fucking scholarship to one of the best schools in the country & it got me away from the intellectually turgid, teen pregnancy, being-illiterate-is-cool, whats-wrong-with-the-dole, bogan culture of the area in which I grew up, so jam your assumptions about what my results mean up your arse. Oh, and I've been proving it ever since in everything I've tackled. That goes for my husband and friends too. In my three years at the private school, in a class of 220+ girls, there were roughly 3 who never had to work if they didn't want to & guess what, they all do.

Congratulations on the scholarship, if I saw a scholarship award on a CV I would be impressed by that. I hope you don't consider that some form of 'bad' discrimination. I wouldn't assume anything about what your results meant anyway, just curious what role your private school would have played in achieving them. Having already been told that you were there on scholarship, I'd also assume the school's role was limited (i.e. I would imagine you would have got similar results had you been public schooled all the way).

You and I might have different definitions of 'have to work'.

Just how many seriously wealthy people do you think there are in Australia? As for your other assumptions about what "rich" (what's the threshold for that tag by the way?) people raise their kids to expect from themselves, they aren't even worth touching.


I grew up, from 8 anyway, in a single working mother household. Me and 2 siblings + mortgage. My mum was unqualified, and for most of my childhood worked on the lowest paid level for the NSW health dept. I think her salary was just less than $30K (~1989-1995). I think you can see that my feeling of what is 'rich' is reasonably low. Basically, I always thought of anyone who did not get any portion of family assistance as quite rich. In senior high school, some people would spend their Austudy; I couldn't believe it! What did their mum buy their groceries with? Cause I saw that's where mine went. We lived comfortably, but there wasn't any spare money.

As for a threshold, I don't have an arbitrary one. But I earn $60K now and feel quite rich. I earn more than my wife for the first time, but only until April, then her pay leapfrogs mine. I'll be happy on this much money for a long time. We don't get any government benefit - that may be my definition of 'rich'.

My bro-in-law's ex wife moved back home after their break-up, she goes from retail job to retail job. She can quit if she wants. She just goes home, where everything is provided. I get the impression there's alot of adults in Australia living at home. They don't 'have' to work. If they get fired, they just go home, and mummy and daddy still pay the bills. Then they go and get another job. We bought my car from a woman who was selling it as her boyfriend bought her an MG, so she didn't need her holden anymore. When we arranged to pick it up, she said anytime was fine, as her "boyfriend doesn't work". Now he may have been a drug dealer or something, but I think family money/payout is more likely.

I think you may have misunderstood what I meant by having to work. There are so many people who don't have to work to keep a roof over their heads.

One of the reasons we have interviews & that in proper businesses they are conducted by people who have a fucking clue what they are doing is to avoid exactly what you are doing here. I recruited professionally for nearly 5 years and I'll tell you this for free, there are fabulous people, as well as arseholes who come out of both private and public schools. Rarely does this have anything at all to do with where they were educated in my experience & not a single one of the prejudices you've spouted here apply on either side as reliable descriptors. It's just personal bias, pure and simple.


Thank you for the free advice. I appreciate your experience in applying what we're discussing here.

One thing I have NEVER experienced though & I am 40, is a conversation with people who were privately educated, about not hiring someone purely on the basis of them coming out of the state system or even that you know what to expect from 'such people'. I find the apparent easy acceptance of bigotted things said about people as long as the tag 'rich' is tacked on to them on this forum though, to be completely outrageous & hypocritical. I simply had no idea that having money, beyond a level yet to be objectively accounted mind you, meant being fair game in the disparaging generalisations stakes.

My apologies, I never meant to sound disparaging. Maybe my slightly impoverished upbringing (there are many who were worse off than me) has left me bigotted in regards to those I can label as 'rich'. That is something I will think about.

However I don't think I displayed any bigotry in this discussion. I find it difficult to apply a 'bigot' tag to someone who is curious as to whether private schooling helped a student achieve more than they would have under public schooling, and whether that makes an impact on their work. From what you've said, it would appear it may not, despite my experiences to the contrary.

Logic please
20th December 2010, 10:19 PM
@Threat: given the discussion to date, I will leave a detailed response to your last post to RMT, if RMT chooses. However, I take issue with a couple of specifics:

However I don't think I displayed any bigotry in this discussion. I find it difficult to apply a 'bigot' tag to someone who is curious as to whether private schooling helped a student achieve more than they would have under public schooling, and whether that makes an impact on their work. From what you've said, it would appear it may not, despite my experiences to the contrary.
IMO, the key line, from your post that started this whole shebang:

I know if I am ever in a hiring position, being private schooled will definitely count against an applicant.
Is that not "bigotry" against private-schooled applicants? I will stand corrected if you can show where you retracted or modified this comment.

I don't see it as:

spoiled rich layabouts who only ever rob society of it's resources.

Vs.

the intellectually turgid, teen pregnancy, being-illiterate-is-cool, whats-wrong-with-the-dole, bogan culture
Reading the thread, the linking of these two unrelated points smacks of quotemining. Not only have the quotes been taken out of context, they are completely separate discussion points (and separated by about 15 posts). Again, I will stand corrected if you can show how the two posts were contextually connected.



My recurring thoughts, reading the justifications for your disposition against private-schooled applicants, are:

No matter what resources or assistance (or lack of) are brought to bear by the school, in the end all final-year students are subject to the same centrally-administered and assessed testing, are they not?
Isn't that testing meant to provide an independent standard of comparison in respect of all students?
With so many other variables potentially affecting individual student performance (eg: individual teacher skill, individual student intelligence/aptitude/motivation, family/personal circumstances, influences and support, exam day performance anxiety, etc, etc), is giving such a weighing to one (arguably irrelevant) factor like whether the school was public or private, appropriate?
Your disposition against private-schooled applicants, appears to be largely anecdotal, rather than evidence-based?
I don't think you've yet covered how home-schooled students, fit into your worldview. :cool:
Just my $0.02 ;)

Sir Patrick Crocodile
20th December 2010, 10:23 PM
What do you think Threat? I've been to two (2) private schools. In fact pretty much most of my primary school was at a private school, with just a little over 1.5 years of high school being in a private school too (before I got expelled and I got in the state system) - so what do you think? 7 years in a private school vs 5 years in a public school.

Do I come with a spoon in my arse?

Threat
21st December 2010, 07:40 AM
What do you think Threat? I've been to two (2) private schools. In fact pretty much most of my primary school was at a private school, with just a little over 1.5 years of high school being in a private school too (before I got expelled and I got in the state system) - so what do you think? 7 years in a private school vs 5 years in a public school.

Do I come with a spoon in my arse?

Your family was definitely wealthier than my family ever was Croc (the fact that your family had the wealth to afford private school proves this, unless you were scholarshipped), but I would not say you were born with a silver spoon up your arse. That was a line used by someone else, so I used it in my replies. I don't know how much wealthier your family was.

Threat
21st December 2010, 08:01 AM
@Threat: given the discussion to date, I will leave a detailed response to your last post to RMT, if RMT chooses. However, I take issue with a couple of specifics:

IMO, the key line, from your post that started this whole shebang:

Is that not "bigotry" against private-schooled applicants? I will stand corrected if you can show where you retracted or modified this comment.



I don't think its bigotry, unless you define every way of discriminating between applicants as bigotry. Is it bigotry to think a scholarship winner is ahead of a non-scholarship winner? Is that not "bigotry" against the non-scholarship winner?

Reading the thread, the linking of these two unrelated points smacks of quotemining. Not only have the quotes been taken out of context, they are completely separate discussion points (and separated by about 15 posts). Again, I will stand corrected if you can show how the two posts were contextually connected.



I'm not familiar with the term 'quotemining', I think these two quotes show more bigotry than I ever did. They are not intended to be connected, except as a way of wording my response.

My recurring thoughts, reading the justifications for your disposition against private-schooled applicants, are:

No matter what resources or assistance (or lack of) are brought to bear by the school, in the end all final-year students are subject to the same centrally-administered and assessed testing, are they not?
Isn't that testing meant to provide an independent standard of comparison in respect of all students?



Yes & Yes.



With so many other variables potentially affecting individual student performance (eg: individual teacher skill, individual student intelligence/aptitude/motivation, family/personal circumstances, influences and support, exam day performance anxiety, etc, etc), is giving such a weighing to one (arguably irrelevant) factor like whether the school was public or private, appropriate?



IMO, yes, albeit a small weight. And not just directly, but I'd want to know more about the effect the private school had on the individual student. Mainly, did they do so well because of their privilege, or because they are a hard worker no matter where they schooled? As an employer I'd prefer to hire the latter.



Your disposition against private-schooled applicants, appears to be largely anecdotal, rather than evidence-based?
I don't think you've yet covered how home-schooled students, fit into your worldview. :cool:
Just my $0.02 ;)


Purely anecdotal, so I am aware it is not very useful evidence. This is why I have paid attention to Riddlemethis' much broader experience than myself, especially in her work as a recruiter. I am fully aware of my bias, and the fact that only anecdotal evidence has fit it thus far. I am taking all this in and reflecting on it seriously.

Home schooled students? Geez. Well unless they're remote, their family has gotta be some kind of nuts (religious or super hippy, etc.). But once again, you'd have to get to know the applicant and find out more about it. They can't help what situation their parents bring them into.

Fearless
21st December 2010, 08:59 AM
Home schooled students? Geez. Well unless they're remote, their family has gotta be some kind of nuts (religious or super hippy, etc.). But once again, you'd have to get to know the applicant and find out more about it. They can't help what situation their parents bring them into.
Threat, I have heard it said before; your broad brushed generalisations are a good source of frustration.

I'll assume you are aware of how your posts come across so I wont be surprised of peoples responses generally.

I would advise you to be a bit more mindful about it in future though.

What if I said I was home schooled, what would you be saying about my family?

Unless you mean it, can you re-read your posts before you post them.

Cheers

Fiery
21st December 2010, 09:01 AM
I homeschool my kids.

Aldaron
21st December 2010, 09:29 AM
Home schooled students? Geez. Well unless they're remote, their family has gotta be some kind of nuts (religious or super hippy, etc.).Or they might have taken our situation to the conclusion. With all the bullying and problems my son encountered at school, we considered home-schooling him rather than send him to a private school. In the end, it wasn't practical, but we are neither religious nuts nor super-hippies, I can assure you (although my wife has a tie-dye dress she wears from time to time).

When prejudice crashes into reality, it usually comes off worse...:)

riddlemethis
21st December 2010, 09:52 AM
Threat you have displayed yourself as a walking billboard for everything that can be ordinary about the Australian psyche. And you don't even see how culturally indoctrinated you are. It's all about the 'us & them', dehumanising people based upon a (limited) perception of difference & a stiffled understanding of human motivation. It's a one way enmity that breeds mediocre thinking & elevates it to a virtue. I appreciate you saying you are taking some of this stuff on board and perhaps one day it'll sink in. I'm not holding my breath based on this performance though.

Logic
21st December 2010, 12:16 PM
In relation to the OP...

In my opinion it is extremely hypocritical to christen/baptise your child if you are an atheist. If one partner is religious and one is not I can see how that could become quite an issue.....hence, I discussed these things with my partner prior to committing to the long term with him (he is also an atheist).

The one thing we disagree on though is private religious schooling. I believe it is also hypocritical as an atheist to send your child to a faith based school and am wary of RE at private school not really being educational regarding religion, but more of the programming in one religion type.

(note: I am aware of special circumstances such as with Praxis, where sometimes you may not have a choice due to availability of special support).

My partner went to a private religious school (I went to public) and he says he just sat through RE lessons and can't really remember much of the religious stuff. I argue that it was lucky he was strong minded and not impressionable or gullable or it could have turned out differently.

He argues if there were no good public schools in the area in which we lived he would send his child to a religious private school. I said I'd rather move house. We hope to move in the next couple of years, and I will be checking up on the local public schools prior to purchasing to avoid a major shit fight.

Threat
21st December 2010, 12:58 PM
I homeschool my kids.

I would too, if I lived in USA. ;)

Threat
21st December 2010, 01:29 PM
Sorry everyone for the home schooling comment, it was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but also not well thought out. I don't really have an opinion on home-schooling. I would note though, that even now, my wife and I could not afford to live on one income, so home-schooling is out of our price range. If we already owned a paid-off house, maybe we could afford it?

I do think that students have more chance of good results in school, and access to better resources if they go through private schooling, hence why parents are often willing to pay for it (though as shown in this thread there are many other reasons they are willing to pay for it).

Since that is the case though, I find private schooling similar to hereditary title. Your parents money improves your chances. Some parents have the 'choice' to send their children to a private school (for whatever reason, the bullies, location, better school, results, etc.), some do not. The reason doesn't matter if you can't afford it. It is an advantage bought (except for {some} scholarships).

I do have a good friend + his wife who went to Camberwell Grammar (? - I'm relatively new to Melbourne), and despite living in far from there now, they are talking about their ~1yr old going there or somewhere similar closer when he reaches school age. IMHO, it's such a waste of money, but seeing their faces when you mention 'public school' and you realise they'll mortgage their souls to avoid it. We've had this conversation without offense being taken on either side. He puts on a toffie accent when talking about his private schooling. I find that interesting.

Sir Patrick Crocodile
21st December 2010, 01:53 PM
Threat:

What do you think about people who go to private schools?
What do you think about people who go to public schools?
What do you think about people who are homeschooled?
Why should any of the above be used to discriminate potential job applicants?

Reason I am asking is that you seem to be going from one state of opinion to another rapidly.

And please stop going on about how wealthy my family is over yours; you don't know my family and I don't know (and don't care) about yours. Let's leave such assumptions out of this.

Fiery
21st December 2010, 02:10 PM
Reason I am asking is that you seem to be going from one state of opinion to another rapidly.

I like to think that as a person participates in a conversation such as this that there is thoughtful contemplation and learning taking place. Perhaps thinking maybe for the first time ALL the way through a subject when it was just a mostly off-the-cuff remark in the first place.

That being the case, it would be a natural progression for thoughts to change.

Can you imagine if Threat popped up, said "Private school kids only succeed because mummy and daddy bankrolled their transcripts" and after 358 more comments was STILL saying that. How often have we watched that on Fantasy Island? *cough* Leveni *cough*

It partially seems that some of Threat's argument re: private schooling is almost an argument from incredulity in the sense that "I can't imagine how families can afford private schooling without being fairly well-off, THEREFORE they have opportunities that single-income families don't have and can't afford." If that were the baseline thinking it would be fairly easy to assume that grades being equal, a public schooled kid probably had to work harder to get where he or she was.

If you ram his words TOO far back down his throat and keep him on the defensive, how will he have the chance to say, "shit dudes (mates) I hadn't thought about some of this stuff in this way, I guess I need to rethink a few things, thanks for helping me work through shit." or some such.

*shrugs*

Maybe asking him where he stands now, or if he could explain more clearly his thoughts on the matter without trying to quote him chapter and verse for not remaining consistent throughout the thread?

Sir Patrick Crocodile
21st December 2010, 02:14 PM
That was what I am trying to ask. Of course, I don't need any of that "your family is wealthier than mine" or any of that other irrelevant babble.

Aldaron
21st December 2010, 04:38 PM
I believe it is also hypocritical as an atheist to send your child to a faith based schoolWell, it might be hypocritical, but it would be sheer lunacy to send your child to a shoddy public school based on ideology.

You think kids aren't going to be exposed to nonsense at a public school? My son's Year 2 teacher was trying to tell us he had ADHD and practically demanded we take him to a psychologist to get her diagnosis confirmed.

We took him to a paediatrician, who tossed the idea out after talking to him for an hour and a half and pointing out that he'd lost his grandfather, grandmother, cousin and dog in the space of about eight months. She never forgave us for taking him to a doctor, rather than her own pet psychologist.

Or how about the Year 3 teacher telling the kids about homeopathy being a great way to treat insect bites and sunburn, among other things.

If you think there's no bullshit fairy-tales taught in public school then you may well be sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting "La! La! La!"

I really couldn't give a fuck if the school is faith-based or not. I'm more interested in how my son is taught maths, English and science, and how the school deals with little thugs that think it's fun to kick the shit out of the quiet kid.

If that makes me a hypocrite, so be it. *shrug* I like to think of myself as pragmatic, rather than ideological.

Logic
21st December 2010, 06:45 PM
Well, it might be hypocritical, but it would be sheer lunacy to send your child to a shoddy public school based on ideology.

I wouldn't send my child to a shoddy public school...like I said, I'd relocate house if I had too.

I think sending your child to a religious private school is giving passive approval to the promotion of religion and the programming of young minds...and morally and ethically, I can't do it.

Lord Blackadder
21st December 2010, 07:40 PM
Opinions are like bumholes, and everybody has one, but can't tell how much their own might stink.

Speak for yourself - I only fart rainbows and sunshine. :p

Back on topic:

Ultimately, regardless of whether you send your child public or private, you need to determine which school has the ability to give your child the best all-round education available. If you send your child to a faith-based private school, you need to be prepared to have discussions regarding religion with your child (because it will rear its ugly head). If you send your child to a secular public school, you may have to be prepared to provide extra tuition outside of school hours, as some (not all) public schools are strained for resources. It comes down to doing your research and making a considered decision. Good luck! :)

Aldaron
21st December 2010, 09:27 PM
I wouldn't send my child to a shoddy public school...like I said, I'd relocate house if I had too.Yes, but here in the real world people have, like, jobs and stuff that they can't just easily change.

I think sending your child to a religious private school is giving passive approval to the promotion of religion and the programming of young minds...and morally and ethically, I can't do it.Sorry, but that's simply crap. It's like the people that jump up and down and yell and scream because someone puts up some tinsel around Xmas time. Jesus Christ on a fucking pony, there are more important battles to fight!

I've already pointed out that:

1) There is no more "programming" than there is "programming" the Tooth Fairy into young minds if the parents don't push the religion onto the kids at home, and

2) There is plenty of promotion of nonsensical garbage in public schools.

Religion doesn't have a monopoly on mindless ideology...if nothing else this thread should clarify that.

Logic
22nd December 2010, 06:54 AM
Yes, but here in the real world people have, like, jobs and stuff that they can't just easily change.

I'm not sure why you think I don't live in the real world...I have like, a job, and like, a mortgage and like, stuff. I plan to put some serious thought into having children and making sure I am located in an area where I can best service their needs. That's why I'm 30 and don't have any yet. When I have kids they then become the most important thing in my life and I will make sacrifices for them.

Sorry, but that's simply crap. It's like the people that jump up and down and yell and scream because someone puts up some tinsel around Xmas time. Jesus Christ on a fucking pony, there are more important battles to fight!

This is an important battle. Passive support of religion is what gives them the power to still be getting massive tax breaks and other concessions.

I've already pointed out that:

1) There is no more "programming" than there is "programming" the Tooth Fairy into young minds if the parents don't push the religion onto the kids at home, and

2) There is plenty of promotion of nonsensical garbage in public schools.

Religion doesn't have a monopoly on mindless ideology...if nothing else this thread should clarify that.

If you don't want to call it 'programming', what would you call exposing kids to and promoting say, catholic teachings, and only catholic teachings? It's only giving them one point of view and is not teaching them to think rationally or critically. Parents can try to counter-balance that at home, but we were talking about the school itself.

I am sure public schools also promote some crap, however at least they don't force one religion onto my child. Although, they are trying to through RE (vs ethics classes). At least you can opt out in public schools.

Like I said, I am uncomfortable supporting any religious organisation, just like I don't buy weetbix anymore or donate to the salvos. You don't have to feel as strongly about it, but I do.

Fiery
22nd December 2010, 07:05 AM
deleted. sorry. I really don't know enough about this subject to get involved and my perspective is too far removed from your experiences in another country.

Aldaron
22nd December 2010, 07:13 AM
Would it not be wiser to judge a school on an individual basis??Wiser? Definitely.
But easier? Nah...as we've seen quite a few times on this thread, a lot of people find it easier to make broad brush-strokes and throw everyone in together.

Logic (the poster, not the concept) seems to think that critical thinking skills can't be taught at a religious school. Of course they can. A lot of religious scientists are very good at critical thinking skills, it's how they get to be scientists. They simply don't apply them to their religion, which I think is silly, but if the religion isn't being shoved down the throat of my child, and he is being taught the subjects I want him taught, and learning the skills I want him to learn, then it's not a problem as far as I'm concerned.

And as far as not donating to the Salvos, or buying Weetbix...well, I'd rather donate to the Salvos than most of the other charity groups, because they do get out and do something. And I have to buy food somewhere - personally, I'd rather support Sanitarium than Nestle...

It's not only religious groups that do harm.

Logic
22nd December 2010, 08:12 AM
Logic (the poster, not the concept) seems to think that critical thinking skills can't be taught at a religious school.

Taken out of context...I was talking about religious studies, not all studies run by religious schools.

A lot of religious scientists are very good at critical thinking skills, it's how they get to be scientists.

The cognitive dissonance they must experience would be mind blowing (excuse the pun)...It amazes me!

And as far as not donating to the Salvos, or buying Weetbix...well, I'd rather donate to the Salvos than most of the other charity groups, because they do get out and do something.

So do mediciens san frontiers and they don't require drug addicts needing rehab to attend mass each day.

And I have to buy food somewhere - personally, I'd rather support Sanitarium than Nestle...

I'd be careful with that 'I have to buy food somewhere' train of thought...it can be applied to many other things, you often have a choice in what you chose to buy. Eg. you could buy free range chicken not caged chickens, or 'I have to get my puppy from somewhere, a puppy farm will do'.

Nestle aren't exactly winners either with their use of cheap labour in under-developed countries I will agree. They are moving towards fair-trade products in their chocolate range which is at least a step in the right direction. There aren't a lot of 'good guys' in the corporate world.


You didn't answer my question...

If you don't want to call it 'programming', what would you call exposing kids to and promoting say, catholic teachings, and only catholic teachings? .

riddlemethis
22nd December 2010, 09:02 AM
I'm not sure why you think I don't live in the real world...I have like, a job, and like, a mortgage and like, stuff. I plan to put some serious thought into having children and making sure I am located in an area where I can best service their needs. That's why I'm 30 and don't have any yet. When I have kids they then become the most important thing in my life and I will make sacrifices for them.



This is an important battle. Passive support of religion is what gives them the power to still be getting massive tax breaks and other concessions.



If you don't want to call it 'programming', what would you call exposing kids to and promoting say, catholic teachings, and only catholic teachings? It's only giving them one point of view and is not teaching them to think rationally or critically. Parents can try to counter-balance that at home, but we were talking about the school itself.

I am sure public schools also promote some crap, however at least they don't force one religion onto my child. Although, they are trying to through RE (vs ethics classes). At least you can opt out in public schools.

Like I said, I am uncomfortable supporting any religious organisation, just like I don't buy weetbix anymore or donate to the salvos. You don't have to feel as strongly about it, but I do.

With all due respect Logic, it's impossible to make choices for hypothetical children. You have no idea what you get until you get them, what their needs are won't necessarily even be evident until they are 'in the system'. It's where the rubber meets the road that you will make adequate, sensible decisions which aren't based entirely upon ideology (which yours are now). Life is a negotiation & never moreso than where your kids are concerned.

riddlemethis
22nd December 2010, 09:12 AM
Logic, you also seem to be labouring under a misapprehension that most religious schools are evangelistic. I went to a religious girls school & never went to mass once in three years, could count on one hand the number of prayers I was required to recite out loud & never, I repeat, never had an RE class - it wasn't even on the syllabus except as an elective. And all this was, ahem, over 20 years ago. I was far more programmed in feminism there, than religion. This model seems to stand pretty well for all my friends kids who are now at religiously affiliated schools, especially non-catlick ones, who do communion etc in primary levels. My experience in the public system of trying to opt out of having children be infected by a quite evangelical brand of xtianity is not so pleasant.

Aldaron
22nd December 2010, 09:14 AM
Taken out of context...I was talking about religious studies, not all studies run by religious schools.Then I apologise. I was under the impression you were suggesting that critical thinking skills weren't taught at religious schools. No, critical thinking skills aren't taught in religous studies...but then, they're probably not taught in music or art, either.

The cognitive dissonance they must experience would be mind blowing (excuse the pun)...It amazes me!I agree wholeheartedly, but the fact remains that there are many scientists who are also religious. I doubt there'd be many who were batshit crazy fundamentalist types (though there are a few), but there are plenty of scientists who are practicing Catholics, for example.

Yes, the cognitive dissonance would blow me away, too (it did, in fact - that's why I ended up an atheist), but we humans are very, very good at compartmentalising stuff we want to compartmentalise.

"No, of course I don't believe in ghosts!" scoffs the scientist, who goes on to say "Well, belief in God is a whole different thing."

So do mediciens san frontiers and they don't require drug addicts needing rehab to attend mass each day. Yep, and United Way is pretty good, too. I was merely making a point that the Salvos aren't too shabby when it comes to helping out the less fortunate - I wasn't really talking about their rehab programs.

I'd be careful with that 'I have to buy food somewhere' train of thought...it can be applied to many other things, you often have a choice in what you chose to buy. Eg. you could buy free range chicken not caged chickens, or 'I have to get my puppy from somewhere, a puppy farm will do'. Umm...yeah, I know. I do buy free-range eggs, and I do get my pets from respected breeders (rats, mainly, as an aside).

But my point was that if you wipe out Sanitarium because they're owned by a religious group, Nestle because of their appalling trade practices, Uncle Toby's because of "ABC", "X" because of "Y" and so on, you end up with a bit of a quandrary.

Personally, I find it extremely difficult to go shopping and make sure I'm buying from the right companies. Yes, I take the Green food guide with me. Yes, I read up on this stuff as much as possible. But when you're standing in the shops, trying to decide what to get, sometimes you have make the choice of the best of a bad lot.

Nestle aren't exactly winners either with their use of cheap labour in under-developed countries I will agree. Actually, it's more their pushing of women in developing countries to use baby formula made with filthy water rather than breast-milk that pisses me off.

They are moving towards fair-trade products in their chocolate range which is at least a step in the right direction. Yep, pushed by consumer activism.

There aren't a lot of 'good guys' in the corporate world.Which is pretty much what I'm saying. Sometimes you have to choose between Mao and Stalin and Hitler. You don't get to pick Gandhi.

And when it comes to a comparison between Sanitarium and Nestle...well, Sanitarium is pretty tame.

Sorry about missing the question. I'll have a shot at it now:

"If you don't want to call it 'programming', what would you call exposing kids to and promoting say, catholic teachings, and only catholic teachings?"

If the child is living in a Catholic home, forced to live a Catholic lifestyle, saying the rosary each night, going to Mass every Sunday, engaging in all the rituals, and going to a Catholic school where all they're exposed to is Catholic teachings, then yeah, I'd call it programming.

But that's not the case in what I'm talking about. For a start, my son's not going to a Catholic school. His school is run by the Anglicans and Uniting Church. There is no requirement for baptism or to be a practicing Christian in order to attend, or we wouldn't be attending it.

Secondly, he's not being "programmed" because he gets two hours a week of "Christian Education" classes. I watch what they do in these classes pretty closely, and 90% of it is ethics. They discuss issues like abortion, euthanasia, immigration, racism, bigotry, homosexuality. The overwhelming attitude of the classes is not indoctrination, it's discussion, respect and trying to find common ground. The teachers take the role of adjudicators in the discussion, and the kids get to hash it out.

My son routinely scores top marks in Christian Education. Not because he quotes scripture, but because he, in the words of his teacher, "always shows compassion, empathy and understanding, and always brings to our discussions a point of view that makes others stop and re-evaluate their own."

Personally, I think that's a pretty reasonable attitude.

This is the only formal exposure to religion that he gets. He doesn't have it reinforced at home, he doesn't have it reinforced anywhere else.

If he's being "programmed" by his religious class teacher(s) then he's also being "programmed" to like The Beatles by his music teacher (which is far worse - The Beatles are the most over-rated band in history; now, if it was the Stones or Queen...) :)

Logic
22nd December 2010, 09:43 AM
With all due respect Logic, it's impossible to make choices for hypothetical children. You have no idea what you get until you get them, what their needs are won't necessarily even be evident until they are 'in the system'. It's where the rubber meets the road that you will make adequate, sensible decisions which aren't based entirely upon ideology (which yours are now). Life is a negotiation & never moreso than where your kids are concerned.

I understand that and realise that I have low credibility in the child rearing stakes as I have none. I know it's easy to be the 'perfect parent' when you only have 'hypothetical kids'. I guess I will find out what it's really like if/when it happens. However as a reasonably intelligent person I still think a lot of potential issues can be avoided by a certain amount of thought and planning prior to having kids.

I still maintain that it would have to be hugely exceptional circumstances, such as in the case of a special needs child, for me to send my child to a private religious school, due to my opinons regarding support of religious organisations expressed earlier.

Logic, you also seem to be labouring under a misapprehension that most religious schools are evangelistic. I went to a religious girls school & never went to mass once in three years, could count on one hand the number of prayers I was required to recite out loud & never, I repeat, never had an RE class - it wasn't even on the syllabus except as an elective.

I wouldn't say 'evangelistic' but yes I was making an assumption that all religious schools hold religious services of some kind (prayer at weekly parades etc) and regular RE classes. I am surprised to hear that that was not the case at your school and stand corrected.

Sorry about missing the question. I'll have a shot at it now....

But that's not the case in what I'm talking about. For a start, my son's not going to a Catholic school. His school is run by the Anglicans and Uniting Church. There is no requirement for baptism or to be a practicing Christian in order to attend, or we wouldn't be attending it.

Is the school profitable? I have read about the incredible amount of profits some private schools make (with the help of government funding as well as parental contributions) and it makes me uncomfortable to think that my money is lining the pockets of the, for example, Anglican and Uniting Churches. Does this concern you?

Secondly, he's not being "programmed" because he gets two hours a week of "Christian Education" classes. I watch what they do in these classes pretty closely, and 90% of it is ethics. They discuss issues like abortion, euthanasia, immigration, racism, bigotry, homosexuality. The overwhelming attitude of the classes is not indoctrination, it's discussion, respect and trying to find common ground. The teachers take the role of adjudicators in the discussion, and the kids get to hash it out.

Sounds surprisingly liberal. Are you worried that the 'adjudication' on issues such as abortion are tainted by the christian ethos?

My son routinely scores top marks in Christian Education. Not because he quotes scripture, but because he, in the words of his teacher, "always shows compassion, empathy and understanding, and always brings to our discussions a point of view that makes others stop and re-evaluate their own."

Sounds like you've done a good job raising a decent human being :)

If he's being "programmed" by his religious class teacher(s) then he's also being "programmed" to like The Beatles by his music teacher (which is far worse - The Beatles are the most over-rated band in history; now, if it was the Stones or Queen...) :)

That's a whole other argument :p

riddlemethis
22nd December 2010, 10:06 AM
I understand that and realise that I have low credibility in the child rearing stakes as I have none. I know it's easy to be the 'perfect parent' when you only have 'hypothetical kids'. I guess I will find out what it's really like if/when it happens. However as a reasonably intelligent person I still think a lot of potential issues can be avoided by a certain amount of thought and planning prior to having kids.

I still maintain that it would have to be hugely exceptional circumstances, such as in the case of a special needs child, for me to send my child to a private religious school, due to my opinons regarding support of religious organisations expressed earlier.:p

Actually they needn't be so exeprional at all really. Our son is bright, but this is countered by a mild sensory processing disorder & anxiety issues. The educational model in the state system plays completely against his natural learning style & within a year we had a child whose progress was slowing, performance & behaviour erratic, refusing to go to school & was 'checking out' of the process. One teachers response to my observations of this was 'maybe he's not as smart as you thought' (!!!!) and anothers was 'what are you worried about, he's still ahead of the other kids' (!!!). It might not surprise you to learn I don't give a fuck how he stacks up against anyone elses kids, I just want a happy child, who is excited about school & the opportunities it offers. I changed him to a local private school (completely secular luckily) and within a fortnight the school refusal had ceased. Within a month the teacher approached me and said 'i think your son needs an Occupational Therapy assessment; he's really smart but can't seem to organise himself physically to really demonstrate what he knows'.

Honouring the individual rather than the ideology is extremely important & it needn't be in the face if extraordinary problems. There's nothing extraordinary about my sons problems - he's every not sporty, quirky, naughty kid you went to school with, whose individuality was ignored by an archaic system.

Aldaron
22nd December 2010, 10:13 AM
Riddlemethis - I think one of the problems is that people simply don't get how the idea of a "one size fits all" or even a "many size fits most" concept just doesn't work with real kids. Take 100 kids and you have 100 categories.

Now, nobody thinks that every educational institution can individualise their programs to each and every child, but they can increase the granularity of their programs. If they do, however, they need more resources - thus, cash-strapped public schools often can't manage it.

riddlemethis
22nd December 2010, 12:49 PM
Riddlemethis - I think one of the problems is that people simply don't get how the idea of a "one size fits all" or even a "many size fits most" concept just doesn't work with real kids. Take 100 kids and you have 100 categories.

Now, nobody thinks that every educational institution can individualise their programs to each and every child, but they can increase the granularity of their programs. If they do, however, they need more resources - thus, cash-strapped public schools often can't manage it.

The thing is it's almost a nonsense to say it's entirely down to resources. Intention & understanding of the problem are far more important. Not that it doesn't help, just that it's reasonable to say that if learning is approached as the multifaceted thing it is & the system delivers education in a balanced & multifaceted way to ALL children, the outcome should be more children with a well rounded education & more children engaged in the process for longer. Such ideas are slowly being incorporated into state systems, but it requires a huge shift in focus regarding not only how we assess education outcomes, but also how we train education professionals. And then whether the shift can be made fast enough for the world our kids are moving into.

Logic
23rd December 2010, 06:41 PM
Is the school profitable? I have read about the incredible amount of profits some private schools make (with the help of government funding as well as parental contributions) and it makes me uncomfortable to think that my money is lining the pockets of the, for example, Anglican and Uniting Churches. Does this concern you?

...............

Sounds surprisingly liberal. Are you worried that the 'adjudication' on issues such as abortion are tainted by the christian ethos?

Aldaron...are you over this discussion or did you accidentally miss my questions? Either way is cool - just let me know please.

Aldaron
23rd December 2010, 07:49 PM
Aldaron...are you over this discussion or did you accidentally miss my questions? Either way is cool - just let me know please.No, I've just missed them. I'll hit this one...let me know if I've missed any others.

Sounds surprisingly liberal. Are you worried that the 'adjudication' on issues such as abortion are tainted by the christian ethos?The adjudication is to ensure that each student has his or her say, and that the discussion 1) remains on topic, and 2) arguments, not people, are attacked.

Abortion was a good one, actually. My son asked the teacher his opinion on it while the discussion was going on. The teacher's response was along the lines of: "Most churches see abortion as wrong. But our society says that everyone needs to make up their own mind. I personally think abortion is wrong, but it's not my place to tell you what to think about it, and since I'll never need to have one, my opinion on it doesn't really count."

Honestly, I don't see how you could get a better response. It's the essence of "live and let live".

I personally think shoving a piece of steel through your eyebrow or tongue is ludicrous, but it's not my place to tell anyone what to do or what not to do with their body. Same thing, IMO...

The point I'm making, I guess, is that the school my son attends is a Christian school, but it is neither indoctrinating nor fundamentalist. The Christianity put forth as the school's ethos is the "light side" of Christianity - it is a philosophy of tolerance, acceptance, non-judgementalism and compassion. There is no hint of the "dark side" - bigotry, hatred and pushing conformity, nor is there any anti-science bent.

Really, it's just the same ethics we've taught him with a light dusting of religion over the top of it. *shrug* He gets more crap about Jesus and religion off the Internet than he does at school...

Logic
23rd December 2010, 09:01 PM
Is the school profitable? I have read about the incredible amount of profits some private schools make (with the help of government funding as well as parental contributions) and it makes me uncomfortable to think that my money is lining the pockets of the, for example, Anglican and Uniting Churches. Does this concern you?

Thanks for the answer. Sounds like your son is lucky to have a good teacher. Now, for the next question (above)....

Aldaron
24th December 2010, 07:42 AM
Is the school profitable? I have read about the incredible amount of profits some private schools make (with the help of government funding as well as parental contributions) and it makes me uncomfortable to think that my money is lining the pockets of the, for example, Anglican and Uniting Churches. Does this concern you?To be honest, I don't know if it's profitable or not. I haven't examined any of their financial statements (if such are available - I've never looked). Since they've opened a couple of new campuses over the last few years, I presume they are.

I don't see my money as "lining the pockets" of the Anglican and Uniting Churches. I see my money as well-spent on getting my son the best education I can, ensuring that his school experience is as positive as possible.

I'm not a "you don't have kids, you don't understand" type, believe me. But I do think this is related to the saying that when you're young you want the world to be just, when you have children, you just want it to be safe.

I have principles, absolutely. But they go out the window when it comes to the well-being of my son, and I make no apology for that.

Logic
24th December 2010, 07:48 AM
Thanks for answering Aldaron.

communalist
29th December 2010, 12:10 PM
Huge thread, with a wealth of personal insight. Thanks for that. Please allow me to add my own to the mix:

My youngest brother is married to a Catholic, a nice enough person in her own right, if not a little confused...

They have one daughter, now aged 3 (give or take a month or two). Soon after the birth of this delightful, bright child, they decided to involve her (and by default we, her extended family) in a 'naming ceremony'. I know, it took me by surprise too.

Now, from time to time I overhear 'mother' talking with 'niece' about 'god': "Yes honey, God loves you..." That sort of rubbish.

'Mother' is a trained primary school teacher (3-years at uni, I believe), but restricts her professional output to Catholic schools only: "They are better", says she.

'Father', I don't think (it has never come up in conversation) is a 'believer'. Pretty rational sort of fella; I would at least assume him to be agnostic.

The whole deal is: Why did they have a 'naming ceremony' over a Catholic (I would assume) baptism? Perhaps it had something to do with the fact they were married by an Army chaplain ('Father' was in the armed forces at the time)?

Anyway, they are holidaying with me in a couple of weeks time. If the subject comes up in conversation, I'll try to elicit some answers. Generally speaking, religious discussion is 'frowned' upon in our extended family. However, and based on my new-found understanding of just how prevalent religious 'beliefs' are becoming in what I always assumed were secular state schools, I think it is about time I played a more active role in exposing the myth. That, and the fact that non-secular private (including Catholic) schools continue to receive funding from the state purse.