School Days Reminiscences -- Some Data

School Days Reminiscences — Some Data

School days and their impact on our lives has been a major topic of discussion here over the past six months when authors and bloggers have shared their reminiscences. (You can catch up on any reminiscences you missed here.)With no one else quite ready to share just yet, I thought it would be interesting to have a look over some aspects of the reviews.

The first questions I asked were related to where schools had been attended and whether the schools were government, private or independent.

Where did the interviewees attend school?

A total of twelve countries were listed:

  • USA (8)
  • England (7)
  • Canada (3)
  • South Africa (3)
  • India (1)
  • Wales (1)
  • Australia (1)
  • Malaysia (1)
  • Singapore (1)
  • New Zealand (1)
  • Malta (1)
  • Zimbabwe (1)
  • And the British Colony of Hong Kong (1)

Three interviewees attended schools in two or more countries (two attended in three).

This gives us quite an international flavour to the interviews.

Were the schools government, private or independent?

This one is a little more difficult to summarise as the systems seem to be classed differently from country to country. However, the majority of interviewees appear to have attended government schools, with a smattering attending private or independent schools, and some a mixture of both.

Was there an overall favourite subject?

graph - what was your favourite subject

Discussions on the posts indicated that there might have been a trend towards a liking for English and a dislike of physical education and maths. I think the trend away from PE and maths especially may have emerged through the discussions themselves, as when I went back through the posts, it wasn’t so obvious. However, I didn’t specifically ask which subject was most disliked.

English with its related subjects like reading and writing was definitely the overall favourite with eleven listing it as such.

The list of favourites includes:

  • English (11)
  • History (4)
  • Music (2)
  • Geography (2)
  • Social Studies (2)
  • French (1)
  • PE (1)
  • Art (1)
  • Humanities (1)
  • Maths (1)
  • Drama (1)

(Note: If people listed more than one, I may have included it.)

What aspect of school was most disliked?

As I didn’t ask the question about subjects that were disliked, but what was most disliked about school, I received a variety of responses.

PE did figure in the responses of six respondents, but the social aspect of fitting in and making friends, including when changing schools was listed by seven. Subjects such as maths, physics, geography, biology and geometry rated only one mention each. Other dislikes included disruption due to war, rules, long distances to and from school, and being picked out to answer questions. Others said that there was nothing they had disliked about school.

It is interesting that the social aspect of school and physical education ranked so highly. I wonder how much of the dislike for physical education was related to the social aspect of it.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your comments. Please share your thoughts.

 

 

37 thoughts on “School Days Reminiscences — Some Data

  1. Pingback: School Days, Reminiscences of Kevin Cooper | Norah Colvin

  2. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    I also disliked PE, which I think was partly due to lack of skill / hand-eye coordination, but gained a slight interest with cross country running, which requires stamina more than skill (not that I was ever any good at it, but I could do it!)

    When exercise is so crucial to health and well-being, it’s a pity schools didn’t find a way to engage kids of all abilities and none. It’s especially vital nowadays when kids are more sedentary and playtimes are cut down to the bone.

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  3. dgkaye

    Thanks for sharing the data with us Norah. I also believe that a lot of dislike for PE had to do with the social aspect of it. If you’r awkward in sports, you’re going to get teased. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. robbiesinspiration

    A lovely series of posts, Norah. I can’t remember what I said my favourite subject was. I like history and English but maths and accounting were fairly easy for me. My colleague asked me on Friday at work why I became an accountant and not a lawyer [my job is as far over into law as it is possible to get in finance] and I said that I was a bit lazy and accountancy and tax were easy for me while law required much more effort [smile].

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for being a part of the series, Robbie. You made a wonderful contribution with your own reminiscences and comments on the posts of others. I wouldn’t have ever given you the label ‘lazy’ (and not just because I’m not into labels 😂).

      Liked by 1 person

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  5. petespringerauthor

    I can’t say that I was surprised by any of your conclusions, Norah. P.E. was one of those things I loved as a student and as a teacher, but I certainly taught students who didn’t care for it. I think that comes in part from the notion that not everyone likes competition. I found that my students had more fun (granted, this was an elementary school) when we didn’t keep score. I’m a fairly competitive person, but I’ve also observed that a good part of American culture emphasizes winning above everything else. I’ve noticed that the first question commonly asked children by parents and grandparents wasn’t “Did you have fun?” but “Did you win?”

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    1. robbiesinspiration

      You make a good point, Pete. I never thought about it that way but some of us just don’t excel in sport. My oldest son was lapped while running around the house at the age of two years old. It never improved. He is not sporty. He is very academic and touring with him is like going about with a walking and talking encyclopedia. We all have our strengths and should be congratulated just for trying and participating but sport doesn’t work like that at school.

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    2. Norah Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Pete. I think you’re right about the glorification of winning. What happened to just having fun? Unfortunately, if there’s a winner, there has to be a loser, or usually many losers, as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Erica/Erika

    Hi Norah, Your post reminds me how the blogging community continues to learn from each other and we are ultimately students all of our life. This is likely why “School days reminiscences” is a popular and interesting topic. The comment on disliking PE due to changing body issues made sense, possibly for both boys and girls. Thank you for compiling the data. Thank you for an interesting series:)

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      Hi Erica. That’s a good point, thanks. We are all lifelong learners and, I guess, as writers, we enjoy learning about other people and what makes them tick. I’m pleased you enjoyed the series. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. Darlene

    I feel that the dislike for physical education is often related to the social aspect of it. Attending a rural school in the Canadian prairies, if you were not good at sports, you were not part of the in-crowd. A bookish girl was not very popular. This is a great summary.

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    1. Norah Post author

      I think that’s right too, Darlene. How could we be popular or good at sport if we spent all day reading? Can’t let those real people interfere with our fictional friends. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  8. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    That was a great thing to do, collating the data. If one was to lump history, social studies and geography together the combined number would be 8, a close second to English classes as favorite. It would indicate a bunch of writers interested in people and places, characters and settings. Either way, all together interesting. Thanks Norah.

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    1. Norah Post author

      That’s very true, D. Thanks for extrapolating that additional information. I guess we, as writers, are interested in people and places. Otherwise, what would we write about?

      Liked by 1 person

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  9. thecontentedcrafter

    This is interesting Norah. Off the top of my head I seem to recall the majority of your contributors are either teachers or writers or possibly both, which kind of explains the attraction towards English and the humanities in general I suspect. I wonder if the majority were also women? Teen and pre-teen girls commonly share a dislike of PE due to changing body issues, first menstruation etc and it’s often only those who have experienced success in sports who make it through that particular hurdle with their enthusiasm intact. That and really good teaching and guidance in that particular area of education. Of course, I could be wrong – I often am – it would be interesting to read others thoughts. I also just wanted to say to you that although I didn’t always manage to read all these particular posts I really enjoyed those I did and it was a most informative and interesting look into the many different takes on our years as students. Thanks for all your hard work and willingness to share the stories and experiences.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Pauline. I think you are right in what you say about girls and PE. It was certainly a contributing factor for me. I hated the big sports bloomers that we had to wear. And I hated the lack of privacy for getting changed for swimming lessons. I didn’t enjoy the physical activity much, but those things were worse. There were no excuses allowed at school but I was pleased when we could use our period as an excuse for not swimming at college. Some of us had dreadful issues with menstruation. 😂 When we had to do forward rolls and things like that, I always waited until the lecturer turned her back and then pretended I had done it. Maybe she knew and let me be. Either way, I successfully avoided it.
      Thanks for being a part of the conversations, Pauline. I always appreciate your contribution.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. thecontentedcrafter

        I remembered those bloomers after I posted my previous comment they were horrendous! I also remember a PE teacher publicly and loudly telling one girl she seemed to have just started her period every other week, perhaps she should see a doctor and the girl burst into tears.

        Liked by 1 person

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        1. Norah Post author

          Poor girl. What away to crush a spirit. Perhaps she’d already seen the doctor. On the other hand, sometimes, it’s so hard, as a teacher, juggling your feelings for the student with what’s expected of you as a teacher.
          The bloomers were frightful!

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    2. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

      Interesting hypothesis, Pauline. At university in the late 1970s, one of my fellow psychology students, who was also a competitive swimmer, did her project on why girl swimmers give up. She thought it had lots to do with muscular bodies and competitive traits being deemed unattractive to boys in the teenage years. So even those who excelled at sport gave up. I’m not sure how much that’s changed.

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Sally. I’m pleased you enjoyed reading the posts and this contribution of data. It is great to have your involvement. Thank you so much for sharing the post on SM.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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