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August 27, 2007

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Dipper

I think you'll find the correct URL for God's own county is http://www.yorkshireccc.com/

Sam H

His dad also provided the posh school with fees up to £22000pa, how many comprehensives have cricket teams?

modernityblog

I always wonder about role models, isn't part of it the reinforcement of hierarchy, and the leaders and the led?

you wrote "It's also about individual students' perceptions of what's feasible, and what the pay-offs to learning are. "

but is decision making at that time of life (16-19) so calculating? I am not so sure, I think it's all a bit more haphazard, at least for working-class kids

I wanted to be an electrician, but didn't think of the prerequisites required for an apprenticeship, so passed it up. I did a few meaningless jobs and then got into computing by chance (finding I had natural ability for problem-solving), and like you I knew no one that had been to University, so that option didn't even enter my mind

on the other hand, there is a "poverty of ambition" in the working class, which is a real problem

I suspect that middle-class kids get a lot more guidance and are told that the world is their oyster, so that decision-making is largely done for them. However, with the working classes it's different and unless you are very determined and a bit lucky you won't get a halfway decent job.

But back to the point, how rational and strategic are our own decisions at such young age?

Steve

"But back to the point, how rational and strategic are our own decisions at such young age?"

Isn't that the point of role models though. At that age we don't make rational and strategic decisions very well. Role models allow us to grasp that there is something more than our restricted view of what is possible.

Of course this does require "traditional" role models as Chris describes not the slightly daft idea of holding up sports/pop stars as role models.

chris

Yes, Steve. What I'd add is that having sportsmen or pop stars as role models is useless. Almost no youngster has the talent of Micah Richards or even Rihanna. So they cannot expect to emulate them. But many have (or should have) the intelligence and capacity for hard work of a Damon Buffini. So following his footsteps should be a reasonable aspiration. Sure, they won't have his luck. But they stand a good chance of getting a decent career if they do so.

modernityblog

Steve,

I see your point but as Chris writes which role models?

stars from Big Brother? Chantal? Ziggy ?

I say that because when I shop locally there is a rack of magazines solely dedicated to the goings-on of C list "celebrities", the interior of gaudy fourballers houses and vacuous nobodies

and it seems to me that the dominant role models are not very good role models , and given the commercialisation and popularisation of celebrity, then it is hard to see how those poor role models (vacant celebrities) can be overtaken by other examples, of say socially worthwhile jobs: doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers?

commercial pressures and television are a stronger influence on children/young adults than we would probably like to admit, so you're left with the role models of: Paris Hilton, Peter Doherty, Kate Moss and there's not much you can do about that in a relatively free world

gaddeswarup

I think that this is an important topic but do not know too much about it. Googling, I foind that one Rober Merton coined the term:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_K._Merton

Matt Munro

Your example isn't a role model though, a role model is someone whose actions you seek to emulate, a teachers suggesting you go to Oxford, and you following that suggestion is an example of obedience, not role modelling. If you had an elder brother who had been to Oxford and you followed him, that would be role modelling. Modelling means doing, not saying.

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