CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

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loringa
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by loringa »

sejintenej wrote: Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:19 am As for the more practical subjects like physics, chemistry and biology and what we referred to as "manual" IMHO the big problem is the courts. We used to carry out experiments etc. but now with 'elf and safety those have to be dome by the teacher or preferably not done at all.
This is not my experience of the teaching of science or design and technology (DT aka manual). There is certainly more emphasis on the teacher being a suitably qualified and experienced person (SQEP) when conducting experiments and in working with machinery, and more PPE is worn. Whereas we probably made do with an apron or lab coat, ear and eye protection is the norm as well as higher-duty protective clothing, but that surely is a good thing? Teachers are undoubtedly more safety conscious in today's science labs but experimentation is still widely carried out, not just as teacher demonstrations but by the students themselves. It's still all about bangs and smells, just conducted more safely!

What is undoubtedly true is that schools like the University Technical Colleges (UTC) that have appeared over the past decade to provide a technical education targeted at those who will subsequently complete non-graduate technical training, have faced a number of challenges. Not least of these is the lack of SQEP instructors. This is partly down to teachers having to be graduates rather than the time-served technicians but the consequence has been large amounts of equipment not being utilised because the UTCs have no-one to instruct safely in its use. On the other hand, DT includes a wide range of other topics including both Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) which didn't exist in the past, whilst the availability of tools like 3-D printers have taken DT in directions those of us brought up on forges, lathes and band-saws could never have imagined.

As for the much maligned 'elf and safely let me categorically assert: this is a good thing! Some people don't understand the requirements or fail to acknowledge that risk has to be managed rather than completely removed, but having been part of the first generation that always wore hearing protection, always rolled our sleeves down in machinery spaces, and always wore our safety footwear, I survived a 35-year engineering career with no lasting damage thanks to applying common-sense and using my PPE!
sejintenej
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by sejintenej »

loringa wrote: Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:54 am
sejintenej wrote: Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:19 am As for the more practical subjects like physics, chemistry and biology and what we referred to as "manual" IMHO the big problem is the courts. We used to carry out experiments etc. but now with 'elf and safety those have to be dome by the teacher or preferably not done at all.
This is not my experience of the teaching of science or design and technology (DT aka manual). There is certainly more emphasis on the teacher being a suitably qualified and experienced person (SQEP) when conducting experiments and in working with machinery, and more PPE is worn. Whereas we probably made do with an apron or lab coat, ear and eye protection is the norm as well as higher-duty protective clothing, but that surely is a good thing? Teachers are undoubtedly more safety conscious in today's science labs but experimentation is still widely carried out, not just as teacher demonstrations but by the students themselves. It's still all about bangs and smells, just conducted more safely!
Not necessarily. When I was doing A level chemistry we had to make analine dye which involves hot 30N caustic sodo. Now, that is about as nasty as you can get with normal chemicals - 30N is as strong as you can get and it is worse than conc nitric and hydrochloric acids combined. Mr Potts was out of the room when a flask exploded covering two boys; BECAUSE we had been taught what to do the class combined to soak the victims so their uniforms were destroyed but they were unhurt. (Mr Potts was not best pleased at the mess at first!
The point I am making is that we were entrusted to do the experiment BUT we were taught to work out the dangers and treatments in advance. That lesson came into play when I was about 70 - scaffolding I was on collapsed under me making me unconscious and alone; I knew what to do and did it because of the forward planning Mr Potts and others taught us combined with the lessons from Dr Scott (the best lessons ever at Christs Hospital so they have stopped them!!!). I have some of the characteristics of haemophilia (as Dr Scott was aware) but it didn't stop me doing everything everyone else did - He had taught me how to control it (on one occasion to the consternation of the sicker nurses :P ) which is the important thing.
What is undoubtedly true is that schools like the University Technical Colleges (UTC) that have appeared over the past decade to provide a technical education targeted at those who will subsequently complete non-graduate technical training, have faced a number of challenges. Not least of these is the lack of SQEP instructors. This is partly down to teachers having to be graduates rather than the time-served technicians but the consequence has been large amounts of equipment not being utilised because the UTCs have no-one to instruct safely in its use. On the other hand, DT includes a wide range of other topics including both Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) which didn't exist in the past, whilst the availability of tools like 3-D printers have taken DT in directions those of us brought up on forges, lathes and band-saws could never have imagined.
my point exactly. OTOH the management of the UTCs should be held to account for wasting money on unusable equipment. Names for the sack please!
As for the much maligned 'elf and safely let me categorically assert: this is a good thing! Some people don't understand the requirements or fail to acknowledge that risk has to be managed rather than completely removed, but having been part of the first generation that always wore hearing protection, always rolled our sleeves down in machinery spaces, and always wore our safety footwear, I survived a 35-year engineering career with no lasting damage thanks to applying common-sense and using my PPE!
You used protective equipment when YOUR common sense indicated the advisability. For the same reason I became a human pincushion :roll: I agree about management but it is those who don't bother to consider if there/ what are risks before acting that have made elf and safety such a dirty phrase.
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Phil
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by Phil »

Some interesting and provocative points have been raised recently. In France some answers are offered.

Rockfreak
Wouldn't sixth form at a decent school (especially with teachers like Chern) or maybe a one-year top-up course at a uni (or even an old-fashioned style polytechnic) be enough for most people?
Sejintenej
the french system where they actually have more practical schools in many subjects. The standard is remarkably high
What follows was certainly true some years ago in French high schools, but was diluted somewhat after the 1968 upheavals in France. These high schools do indeed have a very high standard and this has been true (at least) since the days of Napoleon. This, in my opinion, is due to two main factors (neither involving funding, although that clearly has to be adequate.)

1. France is much more centrally governed than most W European nations. This is true for education and just about everything else.
2. In France pupils spend more hours learning in high school than in other nations (and certainly more than in the UK).

All French high school humanities curricula include philosophy (taken in a broad sense and including 4 parts; psychology, logic, ethics and metaphysics). Some years ago all French humanities students had 9 hours of philosophy in their last year of high school AND 4 hours of mathematics and 4 hours of science. The non-humanities students had the reverse (ie 4 hours philosophy and also of course their mathematics and/or science, etc). Today this is still true, but with reduced hours. If you have enforced central planning and enough teaching hours, such a curriculum is feasible.

This central planning was true for all of France and also its colonies, when they existed. It applied to high schools too. There were very few such schools in the colonies, but they existed and there the children of ex-pats were educated and also the elite of the local indigenous people (eg Africans). (In contrast in the British Empire the elite of the locals were often educated in UK public schools, eg King Hussein at Harrow and his brother at Bryanston. There are many other such examples.) The French central planning for education included every detail of the curriculum including content, text books printed in France and the date in which each planned lesson was taught. It is true (and a much repeated joke) that everywhere in France and all its colonies on a given date near the beginning of the primary school first year, all the pupils (black, white, Asiatic, etc) learned and chanted, “Our ancestors the Gauls, lived in caves and wore animal skins, … … “

Sejintenej
though a form of Latin is still used in medicine.
True, but this is dying out very fast, at least in the English speaking (medical) world. With the general desire to inform everyone and not use unintelligible jargon, Latin is being dropped by medical schools and doctors, whether in describing illnesses, features of anatomy or procedures, etc. In my youth I recollect many prescribed medicines (NHS and pre-NHS) were labelled as “The Mixture, to be taken … “
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by rockfreak »

Loringa mentions the days when we were brought up with forges, lathes and band-saws. I have fond memories of those days when I made some items of woodwork and metalwork that my parents treasured. But what I mainly remember is when Mr Henderson was briefly out of the forge and we would heat up pokers to red hot intensity and have sword fights with them, sparks flying everywhere. Funny the things you most remember.
loringa
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by loringa »

On that subject (and somewhat off topic), we used to replace the bunsen burners with the glass tubes from pipettes from use them as flame throwers. Quite lethal and with a very long range, I think we were lucky not to set the laboratory on fire.

This used to take place in Mr Matthew's chemistry lab when he had popped out yet again to the store room for a cigarette. Mr Matthews was, without question, the worst teacher in the school and he was incredibly lazy; in the year he ostensibly taught me (in the lower fourth I think), he marked our work precisely once.

As for 'elf and safety; we got away with it but I still think we were rather lucky to do so! It was, however, fun which is why we did it and, no doubt, exactly the reason accidents can happen in an environment such as this.
alterblau
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by alterblau »

I suspect that Fitzsadou must have been an Oxford man, for he ignores the contribution of Cambridge to ‘modern’ studies. The PPE degree course was introduced at the former in Nov 1920, but long, long before, in 1848, Cambridge led the way. As FH Muir says,
“In 1848 Cambridge introduced a Moral Sciences Tripos, which was criticised as introducing a ‘shabby superficiality of knowledge.’ This Tripos included, to the displeasure of many, a course in the new science of Political Economy.
This may have led Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881 and a graduate of Edinburgh University) to describe economics as
The dismal science
sejintenej
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by sejintenej »

alterblau wrote: Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:38 am
This may have led Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881 and a graduate of Edinburgh University) to describe economics as
The dismal science
Nice description!
Had to do it for my professional exams. Hated it - too many "experts" with totally differing ideas with each other expert having an idea as to who was right. (My forte has always been more scientific - black or white, right or wrong though some areas of modern physics are shading even that!)
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Richard
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by Richard »

Nuts to Cambridge. The Drummond Chair in Political Economy was established in 1825 at (wait for it)

OXFORD
scrub
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by scrub »

rockfreak wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:17 pmSo what is the general tendency of successful graduates from CH? Has there been a discernible bias in any one discipline?
Depends on how you define success. Assuming that means 'have completed a degree', then I don't think there's any noticeable bias. Granted, I haven't kept in contact with that many people, but of the ones I know who went to uni and completed a degree, there's a broad mix of Medicine, Science, Media studies, Journalism, English, Music, and few others I can't remember the names of, from all flavours of uni from what now calls itself the Russell Group, to post-92/Red bricks/former polys, and a few overseas institutions. A couple of us have PhDs and again, no noticeable bias there either.

Like I said though, I only have a small sample size.
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by rockfreak »

Loringa remembers being taught by Phallic. I never was but his lab was next to Pop B's so we out via Phal's lab. I just remember this apparently myopic figure wearing the perennial ginger sports jacket with the elbow patches, and the dangling fag. He never seemed to look at you. It was difficult to know quite where he was looking. On corps days he was one of those masters who was prone to dressing up in khaki and generally hanging about. Perhaps it was an opportunity to discard the sports jacket for a few hours.
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by Alex »

Here is one thing in ‘Phallic’ Matthews’ defence (although I acknowledge that everything said about him so far on this Forum is true). His method of teaching was in effect solely to dictate notes and do hardly anything else. But these notes were excellent. If one spent any effort at all on chemistry and attempted to learn (and reproduce) those notes, one learned much. But, as elaborated by others, he was a terrible example.

He was first employed by CH during WW2. Like a few other (possibly second rate, or female) teachers taken on at that time they were all allowed to stay on by Flecker as long as they wished, till retirement if necessary. This was so, even as capable, young men were being discharged from the forces after WW2 and joined or rejoined CH. That shows Flecker was an honorable sort of fellow. I suppose he felt, “You helped us when we needed you, so we’ll help you.”

When an ignorant junior I always assumed that Mr PG Matthews was ‘Fallick’ [sic] Matthews. When I attained (some) wisdom and understood what phallic meant and how it was spelled, I never understood where his ‘Phallic’ nickname came from. Does anyone know?
time please
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by time please »

I too always thought that his nickname was spelt with a f. Was that not due to the strange noise he made when inhaling?
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by AStaverton »

If phallic Matthews was a terrible example, then another (taken on during the Second World War) was a worse example, from today’s point of view. This was Francis Haslehust, who taught classics to lower forms. He was a reasonable chap and taught imaginatively, never using a textbook and always inventing his own sentences for translation. The Vietnam conflict was underway when he taught me and his sentences sometimes included aeroplanes (with their translation provided by him as “machinae”). He had no degree. Nothing wrong with all that you may say. True. But he was an alcoholic, who admittedly controlled himself well and was never seen rolling drunk. Every day his breath stunk of booze after the morning break.
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by Katharine »

Alex wrote: Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:42 am Here is one thing in ‘Phallic’ Matthews’ defence (although I acknowledge that everything said about him so far on this Forum is true). His method of teaching was in effect solely to dictate notes and do hardly anything else. But these notes were excellent. If one spent any effort at all on chemistry and attempted to learn (and reproduce) those notes, one learned much. But, as elaborated by others, he was a terrible example.

He was first employed by CH during WW2. Like a few other (possibly second rate, or female) teachers taken on at that time they were all allowed to stay on by Flecker as long as they wished, till retirement if necessary. This was so, even as capable, young men were being discharged from the forces after WW2 and joined or rejoined CH. That shows Flecker was an honorable sort of fellow. I suppose he felt, “You helped us when we needed you, so we’ll help you.”

When an ignorant junior I always assumed that Mr PG Matthews was ‘Fallick’ [sic] Matthews. When I attained (some) wisdom and understood what phallic meant and how it was spelled, I never understood where his ‘Phallic’ nickname came from. Does anyone know?
A Hertford OG, former teacher, asks whether female teachers were thought to be second rate, or was WW2 the first time Horsham had employed any? (my bold in the quote)
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Re: CH, Degrees and PPE (not the Coronavirus sort)

Post by eucsgmrc »

rockfreak wrote: Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:27 pm On corps days he was one of those masters who was prone to dressing up in khaki and generally hanging about.
I cannot imagine a better or more concise description of "the officers".
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