Social Mobility Myth  -

        The fundamental problem with education is that it is so political. Although there is not always cures for illness, most illness have a beginning and end, and the the treatments are not disputed. The problem with education that the process is extremely complex.

       Children are not empty vessels where education can be poured into and it will remain in them for the rest of their lives. Although the desire of education ministers to increase standards is a perennial as the season, children are human beings, they are not computer or encylopedias, There must be natural boundaries of learning that children can resonably achieve.

         The standards dream is associated with the political ideal that we are all born equal and that all children are entitled to reach the same standard of attainment providing if they work hard enough. Although providing children with opportunity to achieve social mobility, the harsh reality is that the learning potential of children is not and never will be equal. Providing children with their legal human right to have the opportunity  to obtain their full learning potential should not be confused with enabling them to reach the same standards of attainment.

        Kortz () referred to the damage that having unrealistic expectations of what children can attain on their children's attainment. The evidence is that the standard war that has endured in the United Kingdom and the associated assessment climate has lead to many children education amounting to their learning about what they cannot do. It can be right as reported in England that children are being reduced to tears when doing Michael Gove Sats because they find it so difficult.


        The responsibility for the standards war appears to be Andreas Schliecher Pisa assessments which are creating doom and gloom in the media about educational standards in western countries as he cites the Far Eastern countries as proving what standards should and can be achieve. Subject like maths, where processing success relies heavily on working memory, will always remain very difficult for children to achieve success in.

       The problem with international comparisons is that there are a whole range of variables that will influence children's performance. Developing suitable language fluency is reading is fundamental to children's success across the curriculum. English, which is very irregular language, is a much more difficult language to learn to read in than in regular languages like Finnish and Italian. 

      The other problem with international comparisons what is classified as social deprevation many not be equal across the world. Not all children are registered in countries like China. Deprived families of manual work may not be able to afford to live in places like Shanghai, China and many leave their children in other provinces.

        If the Welsh Pisa 2015 are considered, which were deemed to be unsatisfactory, the root of the problems related to deficiency in significant problem in reading of socially deprived children. It must be accepted that the National Curriculum was overloaded. Creating a new curriculum will not necessarily resolve that problem.

        Hirsch () contended that in the United States that although catch-up programs for children with retarded reading difficult can be of value, the improvement are not always sustained when children grow older. Plomin () genetitist contends that half the population will always be average and that education increases the difference in children attainment, rather than closes it.  

Cambridge University

  Sue Garthercole of the Cambridge Institute of the Brain, which specialises on children with learning difficulties needs, they even have a children' s clinic referred in the Lernus lecure that illustrated children cognitive development from the 40 months of age to 10 years of age. The graph had two sets of line high and low potential for socially affluent children and deprived children.

  At 40 months the two sets of  lines for the affulent and social deprived remain seperate. A five years of age the affluent low potential line and social deprived higher potential line crossed. At ten years of age both higher potential lines were higher. The affluent line was higher than the socially deprived one.

            This clearly illustrates that not all children with low cognitive skills are socially deprived. Plomin genetist contends that two intelligent parents do not necessarily have children with high learning potentital. Two children with the same parents can have children will have different potential. He claims one is told well done. The other often is told to work harder.

        Although it may inappropriate to openly use the word, there will be remedial children, those who have low learning potential, and retarded children who are not working at their learning potential. This can be applied to children at any level of attainment. The children of average attainment who are at their learning potential and other are at retarded level. Plomin argues that 50% of average parents have children of high learning potential.

  The fudamental problem is that it can be difficult to determine what learning potential children have, but intelligence test of predictive of children's academic success. Sue Garthercole argues that working memory is the most reliable predictor of children's attainment in basic skills and that it can be reliably measured. The question is should it be?

Developing Research

         The most recent finding from the Cambridge Institute of the brain that intelligence and working memory is related to brain efficiency, the white matter that links the hubs of the brain, suggests that it cannot any longer be accepted that the learning potential of children is equal. Sue Garthercole contends that working memory cannot be trained (generally).

           The feature of working memory is that it has a spread of seven years at the age of 7, but as children grow older it grows three-fold from 4 to 15 years, but whilst most children working memory is clustered around the mean, the spread of it increases as children grow older. Fluency increase the working memory space available for learning. When children with low working memory achieve it. They will still have lower working memory capacity available in comparison with those higher levels of working memory.

         The implications of working especially for subjects like maths that is heavily dependent that earlier is not always better. Introducing concepts too early to children with low working memory can lead to failure and loss of confidence. The problem as children enter secondary education the differences in children working memory begins to spread, the quantity of what children need to learn increases, and children become more conscious of their learning strengths and weakness.

       Quigley refers to children in terms of vocabulary development face needing to learn a new vast technical language when they enter secondary school, many cope initially and then sink.  Many of these children will be amongst the 30% who will always find learning more difficult than their peers. They will be doing their best. None of us enjoy failure.


            The one certainty is there is no simple answer to social deprevation. Quigley refers to socially deprived children hear 37  million words than welfare families. Apart from the effects of low income consciencious socially deprived parents may not have the skill to support their children even it they have high learning potential. Parents of low socio-economic status will be more inclined to pass on thier genes to their children that means they will have low learning potential.

           The evidence in the Far East is that parents are making their children do a excessive amount of homework and sending their children to after school tuition, cramming schools, which means that can obtain extra and, or more individual support. Genetic dictate that learning will always be more difficult for some children to achieve than others. 

      The notion that a child will low I.Q. and working memory can become a professor mathematics is not going to happen. Life is not fair. Research into adult community education is that many adults are lacking in self-confidence and self-esteem. Self-worth should not be equated with academic achievement.


         Realistic. Reading.