Critics won’t acknowledge why faith schools succeed

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Re: Critics won’t acknowledge why faith schools succeed

#21  Postby Beatsong » Mar 04, 2010 10:54 am

Agrippina wrote:That is disgusting that the taxpayers are supporting a religious school.


Heh... Yep!

Whatever the other factors involved, I would be furious if I knew that my taxes were being used to finance a religious school.


Yep!

You might be even more disgusted and furious to learn that about a third of state schools here are religious. (Though to be fair, in some of those cases the religious denomination is fairly nominal and doesn't massively impact upon the curriculum).

Thus it's a major area of debate over here. One of the things that makes it difficult to win an argument about abolishing faith schools is the perception, reported in the OP, that they are better disciplined and achieve better results. But as some have pointed out, that may just be due to their skewed intake.

There is an argument about the difference in discipline between state and private schools, and how the fact that the parents are paying feeds into that, but it's a different argument.

Of course there is, if you're paying for private education, you want value for your money.


I'm sure that's part of it, but it's probably again more to do with the (a) the smaller class sizes, and (b) the different intake of private schools. They aren't dealing with students in extreme poverty; they have fewer students from one-parent families; far fewer with English as a second language etc. And when less wealthy parents manage to scrimp and save and get a half scholarship and can just afford to send their kid to a private school, they will have done so because they value education highly, and that value will probably be passed on to the kid.

Yes, parents of kids in private schools might be more likely to make sure their kids behave and enforce this with punishment where necessary. I suspect, however, that the majority of them don't need to.
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Re: Critics won’t acknowledge why faith schools succeed

#22  Postby Agrippina » Mar 04, 2010 5:24 pm

Beatsong wrote:
Agrippina wrote:That is disgusting that the taxpayers are supporting a religious school.


Heh... Yep!

Whatever the other factors involved, I would be furious if I knew that my taxes were being used to finance a religious school.


Yep!

You might be even more disgusted and furious to learn that about a third of state schools here are religious. (Though to be fair, in some of those cases the religious denomination is fairly nominal and doesn't massively impact upon the curriculum).

Thus it's a major area of debate over here. One of the things that makes it difficult to win an argument about abolishing faith schools is the perception, reported in the OP, that they are better disciplined and achieve better results. But as some have pointed out, that may just be due to their skewed intake.

There is an argument about the difference in discipline between state and private schools, and how the fact that the parents are paying feeds into that, but it's a different argument.

Of course there is, if you're paying for private education, you want value for your money.


I'm sure that's part of it, but it's probably again more to do with the (a) the smaller class sizes, and (b) the different intake of private schools. They aren't dealing with students in extreme poverty; they have fewer students from one-parent families; far fewer with English as a second language etc. And when less wealthy parents manage to scrimp and save and get a half scholarship and can just afford to send their kid to a private school, they will have done so because they value education highly, and that value will probably be passed on to the kid.

Yes, parents of kids in private schools might be more likely to make sure their kids behave and enforce this with punishment where necessary. I suspect, however, that the majority of them don't need to.


Yes, if parents are prepared to pay high prices for education, they must care about their kids' education, which could be the reason why our schools that charge high fees, even though they are state schools also have good results.

Our biggest problems are with the township free schools. It's all very well for the president to say the problem is being addressed, they say that at the start of every year and yet every year the matric pass rate never goes beyond 70% and that is putting it high. It's usually more like 65%. We really need to give education some serious attention.
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Re: Critics won’t acknowledge why faith schools succeed

#23  Postby Mojzu » Mar 04, 2010 9:09 pm

As others have mentioned it's more down to sociology then these schools being better.

In the UK kids who attend religious schools generally come from more privileged backgrounds (and surprise, surprise are more likely to come from religious backgrounds), those who attend state schools generally come from less privileged backgrounds. And to my knowledge a pretty strong connection has been made that the more successful/well off your parents are the more likely you are to be successful/well off.

There could be other factors influencing this, perhaps religious kids are more likely to follow authority figures for example, whereas kids who go to state schools are less likely to follow authority figures as either their parents or peers question authority a lot.
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Re: Critics won’t acknowledge why faith schools succeed

#24  Postby Emmeline » Mar 04, 2010 9:19 pm

About a third of state schools are faith schools too. Many of the local state schools just happen to be faith schools and parents send their children there just because they are the local school. This is particularly the case with primary schools in small towns and rural areas.

Where the difference kicks in is largely in cities (and in secondary schools) where more affluent parents make a definite choice between schools and the faith schools appear to be (from the data) serving fewer disadvantaged children than non-faith schools and therefore getting higher exam results.
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Re: Critics won’t acknowledge why faith schools succeed

#25  Postby Agrippina » Mar 05, 2010 8:50 am

I think that devout religious belief is a very strong reason for children being better behaved and more successful in school because religion teaches respect for authority figures even if the authority figures is only a god.

When kids are brought up to respect only the respectable and to question authority, they are likely to be more disruptive unless their upbringing also includes a respect for learning and encouragement to learn and a desire to want to learn, these children will behave and succeed at school because they want to and not because of fear. This is the ideal way for children to learn because they learn not only by absorbing knowledge but also by applying the absorbed knowledge.

Sorry I'm a bit vague this morning, my mind is all over the place.
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Re: Critics won’t acknowledge why faith schools succeed

#26  Postby I'm With Stupid » Mar 05, 2010 4:21 pm

We can't rule out cultural aspects when it comes to academic achievement, of course. Children from Asian and Jewish backgrounds do much better on average than the rest of the population (when adjusted for economic differences, of course). Some have suggested this may be a result of genetic differences, but my first thought would be cultural. Both of these cultures at least stereotypically place a high value on education. And the documentary I saw this on suggested that black kids (below average by the same measurements) whose parents adopted similar values would see similar results no matter what their income level was, etc. They also visited a school in the Bronx (I think) that had managed to successfully change its culture with dramatic results, despite the background of the kids being identical. So I'm pretty sure it's true that a well run school can do more with the same money just by focusing on a particular school culture. However, I'm not sure that religious schools in the UK as a group are any more capable of doing that than any other, and their success is still almost certainly down to the students they pick rather than the religious ethos. I don't see anything in Christianity or Christian culture, which puts a huge emphasis on academic achievement, and if there is, then centuries of Christian influence on our society means you are unlikely to be able to seperate it from the population as a whole, like you can with the distinct cultures of immigrants.
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Re: Critics won’t acknowledge why faith schools succeed

#27  Postby Agrippina » Mar 05, 2010 5:37 pm

I'm With Stupid wrote:We can't rule out cultural aspects when it comes to academic achievement, of course. Children from Asian and Jewish backgrounds do much better on average than the rest of the population (when adjusted for economic differences, of course). Some have suggested this may be a result of genetic differences, but my first thought would be cultural. Both of these cultures at least stereotypically place a high value on education. And the documentary I saw this on suggested that black kids (below average by the same measurements) whose parents adopted similar values would see similar results no matter what their income level was, etc. They also visited a school in the Bronx (I think) that had managed to successfully change its culture with dramatic results, despite the background of the kids being identical. So I'm pretty sure it's true that a well run school can do more with the same money just by focusing on a particular school culture. However, I'm not sure that religious schools in the UK as a group are any more capable of doing that than any other, and their success is still almost certainly down to the students they pick rather than the religious ethos. I don't see anything in Christianity or Christian culture, which puts a huge emphasis on academic achievement, and if there is, then centuries of Christian influence on our society means you are unlikely to be able to seperate it from the population as a whole, like you can with the distinct cultures of immigrants.


In SA with kids from Christian backgrounds the huge successes are not because they\re into the sciences but just a way to get into medical school. The fight for places is so aggressive that only the best of the best get in and then they have to fight the AA quotas as well. So they encourage their kids to do science and maths for that reason but also our universities insist on the subjects in the 'academic' school curriculum for entrance. You can't get into university with typing and home economics as your 'matric' subjects and also because of the lack of specialist teachers and financing, we don't get the options that other countries' schools offer.
Mostly our university entrance candidates have these options: English and another of the official languages, Maths (including algebra, geometry, trig and some calculus) Science (Physics and Chemistry) Biology, History, Geography. Then they have options from the following. Computer Literacy, Technical Drawing, Art (including art history) Home Economics and a few others I'm not sure about what else they've added since I last spoke to school kids. But the first six are what most kids do for university entrance. We don't have Latin, Greek or any of the classical subjects. Of course I'd like to see more options available but as a result of our past history, we have a lot of catching up to do. I'm pleased to see that our arts programmes are taking off again but even something like music appreciation isn't taught at our schools anymore, kids have to get outside training and join arts groups to get into dance, music etc. And most people doing law, theology and ancient history at university have to do bridging classes in Latin etc.
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