Organizing a Student Revolution/Protest

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Intel Inside, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Intel Inside macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm 14 and at my school they are putting a "vertical tutor group" system into place. You may be asking what that is? Well, it means that 5 students from each year group will be put into one tutor group.

    In my friends, some teachers and my view this is a horrible idea, and we think it's about time we're going to do something. We know all the benefits and drawbacks of the new "vertical tutor group" system and we are still not convinced.

    Today we had a spur of the moment protest on the field which failed horribly. It wasn't that no one turned up, because there were more than one thousand of us. It was that everyone went back to class because a few teachers came over laughing at us.

    So far we have a purpose for out protest/revolution. Now we need to know how to do it properly.

    Should we:-


    • Organize meetings before hand?
      Spread Propaganda?
      or should we try another spur of the moment thing?

    Now, I'm asking YOU how should we go about this.

    To summarize:-
    - we have the support of over 1000 students (aged 11-16)
    - We are fighting against rearranging the school into "vertical tutor groups"
    - We don't know what do to

    Once more, what do we do and have you ever attempted this at your school? Thank you for your time and answers
     
  2. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    #2
    What are these vertical tutor groups? You didn't explain it enough. What's their purpose? How does having them change the dynamic of your education?
     
  3. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #3
    Without knowing why everyone thinks it's a bad idea it's hard to say. Right now it just looks like you have trouble picking your battles.
     
  4. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #4
    I'm thinking that the school is not going to listen to 14 year old students no matter how many you get on the field

    They may patronize you eventually, but they will not be intimidated or swayed

    You will need to have the support of your parents on this and have them put pressure on the school board
    And that is assuming that your protest has a legitimate basis

    Politics and money my friend
    Learn the lesson early


    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    It seems like you don't want to have a tutoring group made up of peers from different age/class groups?
    Who is the tutor or is everyone tutoring everyone else?
     
  6. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #6
    This may sound obvious, but… did you get the press/media there?

    Get the story in the local papers, tv and radio.
     
  7. Intel Inside thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    #7
    Sorry, i didnt explain well enough.

    At the moment we have tutor groups of 30 students all the same age.

    But my school wants to make tutor groups up of students of all years.

    Eg-

    5 students aged 11/12 (year 7)
    5 students aged 12/13 (year 8)
    5 students aged 13/14 (year 9)
    5 students aged 14/15 (year 10)
    5 students aged 15/16 (year 11)

    There is one tutor (teacher) assigned to a tutor group, that will stay the same.

    So basically they are splitting everyone up, and moving friends apart.

    Also should i get the media involved and when ?

    EDIT- other schools in my area have tried to adopt the "vertical tutor group" system, but students have protested and everything stayed the same. That is what we are trying to do

    EDIT- We have the support of many parents and techers at the moment
     
  8. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    #8
    See above. ;)

    Yes, and asap.

    Trust me on this. Those teachers will do a whole lot less smirking and laughing at your attempts if there are cameras about. ;)
     
  9. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    For confused Americans a tutor group is similar to homeroom in the US. A 'vertical tutor group' would essentially be a homeroom with students from every grade in the school. The rationale is that with this system teachers don't have to deal with all 30 kids having the same problem at the same time, and that it will promote a family-like atmosphere, with older students able to help out the younger members of their homeroom.
     
  10. Intel Inside thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    #10
    Ok, will do i'll contact them tomorrow.

    Also im thinking that my next step will be organizing a meeting in the Main hall about protesting and opinions of other students. Also i might put up posters advertising the meeting.

    Is it right that the teachers/staff cant do anything about it because one of my rights are freedom to speach?
     
  11. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Portland, OR
    #11
    And hopefully exposing students to new people, new perspectives, and new experiences in a smaller group dynamic. How horrible!
     
  12. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    Jul 11, 2003
    #12

    It's school damnit. You can be without your friends for the lousy 15 minutes.
     
  13. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    "Between the Hedges"
    #13
    Is this the main motivation?

    You haven't articulated your grievance very well to this point

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  14. Intel Inside thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 19, 2008
    #14
    And then we have PSE, citizenship classes and assembles together ;)
     
  15. iAmAzN macrumors 6502

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    Oct 3, 2002
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    #15
    First off, I commend your activism.

    But can you explain to me as to why 'vertical student groups' are a bad thing?

    From what I have read, it sounds almost like college--having different aged persons in the same class.
     
  16. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    It never ceases to amaze me how quick people turn to revolution/protest/suing/taking etc. Aggressive tactics breed aggressive responses. What happened to good old hear each other out first? You might learn something!

    I wouldn't say protests on the field would help, nor does spreading propaganda. Because then you'll be known as the liars who don't understand but make lots of noise anyway. I'm not surprised they laughed.

    You need to find out exactly why they're doing this, and then methodically and systematically refute each of their arguments. If someone on the PTA is a lawyer or scientist, get them to help you structure your response. If your only argument is that you want to sit next to Tim this year, you're going to fail. Are you in the UK? It could raise some interesting child protection issues if an over 16 kid hits an under 16 one - that'd be where I started looking (but don't for a second think they haven’t considered this).

    AppleMatt
     
  17. annk Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

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    #17
    Hmmm...We had this in my school, and it was very positive. Kids got to know each other across the usual social boundary of which year they were in. We all got to have friends we otherwise wouldn't've gotten to know. I remember it as being very positive, both socially and academically.

    Then, it was the parents who were skeptical. The teachers were positive, and the kids didn't care one way or the other ahead of time, and really liked it once it actually was initiated.

    I'm just mentioning this so you can consider that there might actually be advantages to the system.
     
  18. Intel Inside thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 19, 2008
    #18
    We think that it is a bad thing because;-

    -We are happy were we are at the moment
    -It would be scary for the Year 7's (youngest) to be mixed in with the Year 11's (oldest)
    -At the moment there is a massive amount of "Spirit" in our tutor group, we all support each other.
    -It will be harder to have Year Assembles
    -80% of the school doesn't want it to happen
    -The school could spend the time and effort on other things like behavior in classes. e.g putting in a new discipline system

    Please may you stop questioning my opinion.

    Also, do my human rights apply in school (I'm in the UK) ?
     
  19. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    Catskill Mountains
    #19
    First of all, even though it's true your tutoring group essentially stays with you during your passage through school, it's not like you spend all day in it. What is it, half an hour a day? Suck it up! You can go back to throwing spitballs at your regular age-peer group in just 19 more minutes....

    Second, on the off chance you actually want to escape your school years with some sort of competence, the vertical tutoring approach means each tutor has a group with fewer kids in it who are about to take the GCSE. In that mixed-age setting, it should feel reassuring to you as a younger kid, that when the time comes, you too will get more personalized help getting ready for those tests.

    Meanwhile the rest of you youngsters working at sums or reading history or whatever, you are temporarily divided from your age class during the tutorial period, and where's the harm in that. You get to ask questions of the tutor if need be. You are not so distracted by being with 20 or 30 kids all of an age and all completely vulnerable to the pack mentality that is in all of us when we are kids. Honestly, what you do really do right now with that time?

    Has your mom or dad ever asked you something like "How could you think that was a right thing to do?" and in your heart you think yah, well, you had to be there... but now home at dinner you cannot really come up with anything to justify your behavior earlier today?

    Sometimes the answer "you had to be there" translates into "we just got carried away." The chance of a bunch of 12 year olds all getting carried away with some dumb prank is reduced when there are only 5 of you and the rest in a group of 20 are variously 9, 11, 14 years old.

    In the vertical group, you may have a better chance of bonding to the actual purpose of the tutorial time, which is about getting a leg up on your studies.

    Some teachers and parents believe that spending just a little time every day in a somewhat more family-like distribution of ages can help kids learn to avoid pack behavior, to nurture the younger amongst you if you are older, to see the worth of the older amongst you behaving in responsible ways if you are younger, etc. And perhaps to look out if a child in your tutor group is being bullied elsewhere, you can help find a way to get that situation remedied, where that kid maybe feels unable to mention it to peers or his regular teachers.

    I'm not saying I'd be for it. I'm suggesting why be against it without having a look into the possible benefits. I can imagine a time when I'd have liked my niece and nephew to have spent a little of each school day in a small group of children that were not all their same ages.

    Good luck with your protest if you go forward. But first, understand why you actually want to participate in the protest. That's called "thinking for yourself."
     
  20. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #20
    Um, convince the parents that are paying for the education to get involved (if you can convince them of your point). That would be the absolutely most effective method.

    Unless and until you are the ones that "foot the bill," all your protestations will fall on mostly deaf (and annoyed) ears. Also, as has been previously noted, pick your battles carefully. Failing at winning the argument on a relatively minor issue will only serve to lessen any potential credibility and chance for success in the future, when it might involve something that has a real impact.

    Or, in simple terms, "don't make mountains out of molehills." But then, at your age, tilting at windmills is fairly de rigueur. I know it was for me at the same age. If you succeed, you will have learned something valuable; failure, too, will provide a critical lesson. Don't forget to learn from the experience whatever the outcome.

    And just as an aside, what on earth does this have to do with "human rights"? Some perspective might be in order. ;)
     
  21. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    UK
    #21
    No. If everyone here played right into your hands, when it comes to presenting your arguments to the opposition they’re going to have a field day with you. Don't you think it would be better to consider counter arguments before you stand up and present your case? If not, please video and post what happens.

    Don't bring this up. You'll look like an idiot - what right are you claiming; the right to choose who you sit classes with? :rolleyes:. To answer your question however, your human rights apply everywhere. The best you could hope for here is right to associate freely or right to assembly, but they're preventing neither.

    Most of your current arguments are in-fact the same one but said in different ways; you're happy as you are and don't want it to change. That's not really an solid argument, is it.

    That's a very good point.

    AppleMatt
     
  22. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    #22
    And it shouldn't be scary. Year 11's are nothing to be afraid about and by having these tutor groups maybe you'd realize that. I honestly think that this would be a great thing to your school (based on limited information). Interacting with people you normally don't (especially since it's for only homeroom and assembly!) is a wonderful learning and social experience.


    No, you're a 14 year old who wants to protest some decision of the school. I think if your issue was legitimate you'd be getting a lot of support from the people here, but as of now, you lack the long term vision and understanding that might make this change actually be beneficial for you. If I've got it all wrong, you're doing an awful job of articulating your opinion and persuading me (and several others by the looks of it).

    Human rights. Hahaha.
     
  23. annk Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

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    #23
    I didn't mean to question your opinion, I meant to give you a perspective from someone who actually lived in the situation - for three years.

    If you are completely decided you don't want this, I agree that involving parents and possibly the media are good ideas. Be prepared, though, that since you've never tried the tutor system, you will be questioned on WHY you are so against it. If you want to win them over to your way of thinking, you have to anticipate their questions and have good answers ready. For instance:

    This is not a strong argument. There is no reason to think you wouldn't be perfectly happy in the new system.

    Well, our experience was the opposite; kids got along better across grade boundaries because being put together fostered a sort of family feeling. I would suppose there's some sort of statistics or documentation on this, so be prepared that the media would dig that up and confront you with it.

    That's great, but why would you not take that with you to the new groups?

    Is this really an insurmountable obstacle, or is it just something that would demand planning in a new way?

    Well, have they tried it? What can the 80 % back their opinion up with?

    One of the reasons a multi-age system was implemented in my time was to avoid the need for discipline, because kids ended up getting along together better. Again, remember that if the media get involved, this sort of thing might be investigated - how the system has worked other places, what the results have been. Make sure that your organisers have this info, too, so you can be prepared with rebuttals.

    Like I said, I didn't mean to question your opinion. I'm just saying that since this system may well have positive sides, too, you need to be super prepared to present your arguments, and you need to try to anticipate what the school leaders, your parents, and the media might challenge you on.

    Good luck. Hope it all turns out for the best, one way or the other. :)
     
  24. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    "Between the Hedges"
    #24
    Your happiness is not the primary issue in education

    Umm... scary? Did you really say that?

    Again... not a real issue

    Really? And how is this important?

    And that makes it right?

    Can't they do both?

    And you don't think the Adminstration won't question your opinion??

    This is the internet
    If you don't want to your opinion to be questioned... don't post ;)

    Honestly... you are young... we get it
    You don't like what is happening... we get that too

    But life will be full of things you don't like


    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  25. Intel Inside thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 19, 2008
    #25
    Just wondering for freedom of speech and freedom of expression, might come in handy when the teachers tell us we cant do anything.
     

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