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 Post subject: Pride and Prejudice
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:49 pm 
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Last edited by Belinda on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:08 pm 
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Hi, Belinda

First of all, I am not an English graduate.

I read your post earlier on in the SATS KS 2 section. An interesting question is also raised re: '' In many other countries those students that score highest are actually congratulated by the rest of the class!"

I was actually brought up in one of those countries. Our parents and ourselves feel PRIDE in our academic success. We believe that apart from being clever, hard work also plays a vital part in success. So to celebrate success, it also means hard work is being congratulated and recognised.

I remember that not long ago, I watched a child's documentary film on BBC. Majority of the boys choose to be rich rather than clever because BEING CLEVER is NOT COOL. I feel a bit sad about it, I must admit.

So going back to your question, I think it really depends on the culture and the belief of an individual to see whether academic success is a pride or prejudice.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:27 pm 
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I think this is an interesting and quite complex topic.
I think in this country in some aspects of life we are good at celebrating others achievements particularly sporting achievements. We feel a vicarious pleasure in our favourite football player scoring a goal for example and we may not be too bothered in this case about the other team's feelings. However at the end of a game a certain sportsmanship shows respect such as a handshake, pat on the back, etc.
Academically we also should feel proud of ourselves and others who do well but I think the sportsmanship rule is probably still best applied in terms of modesty (very British I know) and in terms of an acknowledgement of others efforts in return hopefully with an acknowledgement of our own.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:11 am 
I am an English graduate and I always thought Pride and Preduice was about social standing and people making assumptions about how other people regarded them due to their social standing.

As far as education is concerned, despite the fact I tutor for grammar school, I think parents [/i]generally set too much store by their child's intelligence and don't worry enough about their manners, kindness and happiness. Yes, by all means do your best to get your child into a good school, but don't let their level of intelligence define them as people or measure your parenting skills (as many people do now) by how well they do at school.

And I'm afraid I do find it worrying that 11years olds care about what subsections of Sats they have achieved. Who has made them care this much?

I also feel we micro-manage their lives too much and are then surprised when they can't cope with new or difficult situations.

Okay, rant over.

Grumpy old woman.



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 Post subject: Re: Pride and Prejudice
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:16 am 
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Belinda wrote:
I'm hoping I may hear others' views on 'Pride... and Prejudice'. It stems from a thread on the Sats KS2 topic.

The dictionary/thesaurus explanation of 'pride' alone is going to cause me a sleepless night! On the one hand it's self-respect, dignity, and self-worth; on the other, it's conceit, vanity, arrogance, even narcissism!

What a strange word it is!
Help! Do we have any English graduates on this site? I’ve read the book, watched the film – twice, and thought I understood it!

When is it wrong to be ‘proud’ of academic achievement? Is it not the prejudice that is the issue?
A very confused Belinda tonight!


Sorry - I'm not an English graduate (will an A-level do? :lol: ) but I think the second definition, the negative one, is the one intended to apply to the characters in the book (in particular Mr Darcy) whilst the first, more positive, definition is the one we as parents feel when celebrating the achievements of our children. After all, anything they do reflects on us - which explains why we also feel so mortified if they do something bad.

Academic ability is just one of a number of talents and gifts that a child might possess, unfortunately it is not valued in this country as highly as - say - sporting ability. This attitude is even enshrined in law - schools in areas where academic selection is not permitted can still select a percentage of students on the strength of their musical, sporting, artistic or technological expertise, or even flair for foreign languages, but NOT if they can pass a test showing high IQ, good mathematical skills, or a gift for writing. So it's not surprising that there appears to be a degree of prejudice against academic achievers, and the media doesn't help either - documentaries about gifted children tend to focus on quite extreme cases and there is often a negative slant (IMO) to the reporting. Such programs often fail to point out that these are only the children whose abilities have been recognized (and are, by definition, a self-selecting group that has agreed to take part in the program), and that there are a lot of extremely clever and hardworking children in our schools who could potentially achieve great things if only their gifts were acknowledged and nurtured. However, this is difficult, since - as Essex Mum pointed out, many young people make the equation clever=uncool. It makes you wonder how many of these kids deliberately hide their ability to conform to peer pressure. Quite where the riches they crave are expected to come from is anyone's guess! Somewhere along the line the link between effort (whatever your academic ability) and success seems to have been lost!

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Marylou


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:27 pm 
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Last edited by Belinda on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:03 pm 
Oh dear, I am clearly on another planet! :roll: I thought Mr Darcy (I love you) was the proud one because he was to proud to associate with people below his station, and Elizabeth was prejudical. To be honest I think they were both proud and prejudist at times.

There is nothing wrong with being proud, but I think people should have "inner" pride - excellent post fm.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:05 pm 
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Last edited by Belinda on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:27 pm 
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Unlike 11+ exam papers, I don't think Jane Austen can be reduced to a set of right and wrong answers, so don't worry Belinda! Also, I don't think you need to be confused as to whether pride is right or wrong. Like a lot of human behaviour, it is a spectrum. In moderation, it is good, but in excess, it is bad. Like for example, I sometimes catch myself thinking about how good I will feel telling people about my children's academic or sporting success. This implies that my motivation for helping my children do well is partly to show off to my friends, which makes me feel ashamed. Am I really bad, or is it just human nature and lots of other people have feelings like this sometimes? I think it is true that there is a tradition of understating your own achievements in this country - it is one of the "gentlemanly virtues" - and I disagree that this is a bad thing. I think it is something to be proud of (oh - is that a paradox!) If you want a literary reference on pride, what about the famous Kipling one: "If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same..." - that is something I'd aspire to (but fall well short of). A more stupid quote is: "A gentleman is someone who can play the accordion, but doesn't". Quite funny, but I sort of get the point. IMO, the least gentlemanly thing you could do would be to call another person a retard. If one of my children did that, I would be devastated. But I can't see anything wrong with wanting to know the full details on the SATs results. I asked and got all the details from my school (in this case QCA as mine are years 3 and 5). But I didn't tell anyone else about them, except one person who asked me directly. CONFESSION: I was really glad to be able to tell that one person and enjoyed it very much. I'm no saint! But I hope I kept it low key and they didn't notice my pride too much.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:05 pm 
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What an interesting thread Belinda. I too adore 'Pride and Prejudice', especially the BBC version with Colin Firth, starring :D

Some very interesting ideas and thoughts too.

The thing that does stand out, is that most all sorts of un-academic activities(?) are PC to be praised and have pride in. Is that because they are perceived to be activities where we understand that the high achievers in these, have had to work/train/practise very hard on a daily basis, to attain these high standards, and that high achievement in academia is only achieved by those who are naturally bright...i.e not having to work for it? Therefore if they have not been seen to work/train/practise for it, any achievement in this, is of less worth/praise?

Just a thought.


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