Education is getting a shake-up. GCSE reform is just one of the governments latest plans to improve the school system. Here are some major changes to education over the years; we’ll leave it to you to work out if things are better or worse.
New changes announced by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan mean students will have to work harder to get a pass. The traditional A-G grading system is being replaced by a 1-9 numbered system.
9 is high, 1 is low. Should it not be the other way round?
Anyway students will now have to get a grade 5 to pass; the same as a low B or high C grade. Prior to GCSE reform a normal C grade was still considered a pass. So things are gonna be tougher; now are you glad you’re not at school anymore?
How long will it be before students are attempting to get the grades 5,3,1,8,0,0 and 8 in different subjects, so that they can turn their results paper upside down to spell “BOOBIES”?!
Back when you little things were innocent. It was pretty racy to be holding someones hand, or passing them a note.
In a piece for the Open University Professor Michael Reiss explains how sex education was very limited before World War Two.
Before that girls were tutored on self-control and modesty, whereas boys were taught about the temptations of “factory life”. Because it’s obvious that to lose your virginity you go to a factory, right?
Today, with high numbers of Sexting in schools maybe it’s a good thing that kids have all the facts. But is it possible sex education can go to far? Recently it was reported that Harvard University is now going to give an Anal Sex workshop as part of their Sex Week Program. Yes, that’s right. Anal 101. Maybe the UK government should have included foreplay lessons in the GCSE reform plan. Just kidding.
Back in the good old days university was free. You could even get grants to help pay for living costs. The Labour government spoiled things slightly by bringing in tuition fees. Which were then raised by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition. Guys, you really don’t need to try to out-do each other.
Despite the increase more young people are applying to university; in 2013, nearly 50% of young people were going. This was the highest amount on record.
Whether people are going to study or just for the cheap booze and banter is hard to tell. But the debt is going up, up, up. Some worry this will lead to people being priced out of an education.
Forget GCSE reform; is it time we had a reform of tuition fees?
The days of Home Economics, where girls were taught how to cook and clean, are long gone.
What ever your views on feminism, things have drastically changed. Subjects are no longer specified for girls or boys.
In the past boys and girls were kept separated; people thought that girls would struggle academically compared to boys. Now, academically girls are outperforming boys at GCSE level.
Typewriting lessons were once considered pretty rad. Computers arrived; they were for playing snake and creating presentations with clip art (a great way of not doing much and making it look awesome).
Now kids in secondary school are being taught how to code from an early age. Children use video, online tools and photoshop. Interactive online lessons have become popular; though so far this hasn’t meant we can work from home.
But… what happens to people who aren’t tech-savvy? If you’re a millennial who just missed out on the coding revolution; start crying, we’re screwed.
You might think your teachers are tough on you, but in the past it was a lot worse.
In the past, you could expect to be beaten if you stepped out of line. The practice of hitting misbehaving students with canes was still allowed until 1986. Mental, huh?
Now as attitudes have changed new rules to protect students are much, much stricter. Punishments are often designed to make students think about what they’ve done wrong. Does this mean children are less likely to misbehave?
As well as knowing you’re not going to be beat up, student’s mental wellbeing is monitored by teaching staff. It’s hard deciding which topics should be included in a GCSE reform; exam board AQA have decided to take suicide off their education curriculum as it was too upsetting.
Let’s get back to basics. Armpit hair occurs naturally on our bodies.
If you’re eating you may want to stop now. Hair is basically dead skin. Part of our skin is called the follicle. Hair cells are constantly growing. When they die they are compacted in the follicle and make a protein called Keratin. This is then pushed out of the body and you get hair.
Armpit hair starts growing around puberty. It’s unclear why we still get it; after all the days where our ancestors were covered in hair were long, long ago. It may be to keep us warm. Or to stop friction when the arm is used. Another theory is that it’s there to soak up our underarm sweat. Lovely stuff.
Armpit hair helps to transmit pheromones. These are substances released when you sweat into the atmosphere. They send signals to other members of the species. Pheromones cause alarm, tell you to back off and even make you horny.
This is not a modern thing. As far back as 4000 BC women were using stuff like arsenic to keep smooth. Just like an ancient version of Veet. By 500 BC the Romans used pumice stone to shave. They even created a prototype razor. But apart from that what did the Romans ever do for us?
Myth: Shaving your armpits is more hygienic.
Actually armpit hair means less smelly bacteria.
But it was around 1915 when the modern obsession with shaved underarms became all the rage. Before that point, fashion meant that women were covered from head to toe. New fashion trends meant that a woman’s whole arm was on show for the first time. Believe it or not, this was revolutionary.
A 1915 Harper’s Bazaar advertising campaign stated that sleeveless fashion and “modern dancing” meant “objectionable” underarm hair had to go. Why Harper’s Bazaar decided a shaved underarm was the definition of femininity is unclear. It may be linked to renaissance art where women are portrayed as completely hairless. Maybe that’s taking artistic license too far?
Myth: French women don’t shave their armpit hair.
This myth apparently started just after World War II. It’s untrue.
Whatever the reason, over the years it has become a societal norm that women shave their armpits and men don’t. Chest and armpit hair have traditionally been related to masculinity. However some men are breaking the trend. A lot of male athletes prefer a smooth cut and 16% of young British males shave their armpits.
Thousands of girls in China are taking part in an armpit hair competition. They are posting images of their underarms on a social media website.
Activist Xiao Meili started the competition to combat the view that you must have shaved armpits to be attractive. Shaving armpits has only become the norm in China in the past decade.
And before you take sides in this debate why not check out other famous examples of women who let it grow.