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02 October 2018


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As a mature student the second oldest in my group I took a three years course at Swansea's Teachers Training College.

The two year training had recently become a three year course and you could do a BEd by having a fourth year.

Prior to joining I already had a jaundiced view of the 'halls of academia' so kept a diary from day one.

The analysis at the end of that first term showed lecturers had missed one-third of all timetabled instruction.

It dawned on me what had happened was the clever 'Bs' in education administration had stretched the previous two year syllabus into a three year one. So everyone was happy.

The education minister because he had overseen this wonderful reform of teacher training. The local education boyos, the principal and the lecturers too because their notes could still be used without any further study etc.

This is how we were made into properly educated elites and fit to teach the proles' kids.

Always recall a lady from the demolished Tiger Bay clearances telling my mum, "I thinks if youse speaks good English youse kids speaks good English". That was after 20 years since the great 1944 Education Act.

Oh, by the way, being a lousy teacher in rural Australia I obviously would be better working as a kiap.

I'm not a great fan of acronyms, especially when they are sprinkled throughout otherwise comprehensible texts. Used in speech they are worse but I'll give you KISS as one of the good ones.

You have to be careful with the KISS principle though.

Remember 'Stop the boats!' and 'No great big carbon tax'? They were a bit too simple I thought.

I recall listening to a lecture being given by an imminent anthropologist in the South Australian Museum when the guy sitting next to me said, "Do you know what he's talking about?" We were about thirty minutes into the lecture.

We finally agreed that what he was on about had been said in the first five minutes of his speech. The rest of it was padding, jargon and bullshit.

A thought provoking article Chris which IMHO is absolutely correct concerning the EdBiz which came into being in the 1960s and continues to thrive mainly to the benefit of teachers rather than students with the poor student outcomes you describe.

Just as a matter of interest, KISS was an invention of Australian military in Vietnam and stood for Keep It Simple and Straightforward - our USA friends in their usual aggressive speech patterns changed the last word to Stupid.

In a similar way the old British/Australian military RTBF was changed by USA military to RTFM. Ah well, as my old man used to say "you can't stop 'progress'" - Australian military now use the USA perversions of these acronyms.

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