[Interviews with educationalists] Sample containing about 11670 words speech recorded in educational context

5 speakers recorded by respondent number C869

PS6FT X m (a, age unknown) unspecified
PS6FU X m (pu, age unknown) unspecified
PS6FV X m (b, age unknown) unspecified
PS6FW X m (sb, age unknown) unspecified
PS6FX X u (cd, age unknown) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 139401 recorded on unknown date.


a (PS6FT) [1] Peter, you're teaching a very interesting course to first year students called ‘Energy and Applied Physics’.
[2] Is this taken just by physics students, or other students in the university.
pu (PS6FU) [4] It's taken essentially by all the engineering students in their first year, which are over a hundred students, and approximately fifteen physics students plus some overseas visiting American students.
a (PS6FT) [5] What's the idea behind the course?
[6] Is it just an introduction to university physics?
pu (PS6FU) [7] It's an attempt to
a (PS6FT) [8] Do you want me to ask a different question?
pu (PS6FU) [9] No, no.
[10] It's a first year course which is attempting to teach the necessary basic physics that engineers require.
[11] I mean it's really trying to make up for the differences in the coverage that students coming into the university have had.
[12] They've had different syllabuses at school and masters have in fact omitted large chunks of the syllabus to get better results in the parts that they concentrate on, so you cannot assume that everybody has adequate abilities.
[13] So we're trying to bring everyone up to a certain level in certain selected topics — aspects of mechanics, heat, wave motion.
[14] Now this can be rather boring, as for some students it will actually be going over material that they have met.
[15] Of course one is teaching new material as well, but it's the repetition of certain subjects which can be boring, so we're trying to combine this with material which sees it in application, and in fact for engineers their whole orientation is towards applying ideas and not just to learning how and why nature works — that's the question that science asks, but engineering aims to apply and harness natural phenomena.
a (PS6FT) [16] What are the sort of basic principles you teach on this course?
[17] Could you give me an example?
pu (PS6FU) [18] Well, one talks about mechanics — Newton's Law, I mean is where it starts from, and the nature of work — forces moving, doing work, and the use of energy when forces operate.
[19] At the same time, one introduces the idea of thermal energy, heat, and in many situations the requirement is in fact is to start from energy in one form, such as heat from burning oil, to satisfy a requirement for energy in another form, in other words mechanical energy — the turning of a shaft — so somewhere there has to be a device which converts the heat energy into mechanical energy.
[20] That would usually be called an engine, and in a car the engine just burns petrol and produces the mechanical energy in the shaft which turns the wheels, so the course is learning about the nature of mechanical forces and energy, thermal forces and energy and of the conversion of one form of energy to another, and in the process you learn that there are fundamental scientific laws — in particular the second law of thermo-dynamics — which says that you can't necessarily go form energy in one form with a hundred percent efficiency to getting it out in another form, so this limitation on your ability to convert from one form into another without waste in fact comes into many, many processes and every day processes.
a (PS6FT) [21] So the students in fact do calculations concerned with real life situations, involving cars and engines and so on?
pu (PS6FU) [22] That's right.
[23] I mean we look at the motor car and see that as a energy conversion system it's approximately eighteen percent efficient.
[24] Most of the energy is thrown out of the exhaust pipe and in heat loss from the radiator, and in a erm small losses in friction inside the engine and gearbox, but most of it is lost in this conversion from heat from burning petrol into the mechanical energy of the rotating energy.
a (PS6FT) [25] Is that a question of bad design?
[26] Could cars be designed to be much more efficient than the eighteen percent you quote?
pu (PS6FU) [27] If you could burn the fuel at a higher temperature, then the second law of thermodynamics says that the conversion can be more efficient.
[28] That would mean perhaps engines might be designed of ceramic materials so you could, conceivably see engine development along new lines, and in fact there are some designs already which do incorporate ceramic materials which will withstand the higher temperatures.
[29] In ordinary cars the higher temperature is produced by having a higher compression ratio and one is used to having high performance cars which have a high compression ratio and need special grades of petrol to avoid knocking and pinking and other effects detrimental to the car, and of course that leads to the need for lead to be added to petrol to stop knocking.
a (PS6FT) [30] Yes, why aren't cars more efficient?
[31] Is it a question of economics, because if they were more efficient, that is if they used less fuel to get a given mileage, is it a question of the companies involved being unwilling to put the money into the development costs, or would cars that are more efficient cost a lot more money to buy?
pu (PS6FU) [32] I think it's a complicated situation, and in fact this is one of the ideas of the course.
[33] It's to say that there maybe some rather simple scientific idea behind some idea, but in practice there are so many other constraints and limitations, but all these have to be taken into account.
[34] Now for a motor car I think you can say that the practical desirabilities of a car, and the acceleration and performance and looks are very important, one could also say that the fact that many people have their cars bought for me by the firm they work for means that they will therefore buy a larger car than they would if it was their own money that they were spending, so the market for cars is perhaps not one which is determined by energy efficiency or even optimum efficiency in terms of people's and prestige is coming into it as much as these other factors and it is determined by who pays the money.
[35] But we're trying to, in the course, give engineers and physicists the opportunity to see something right through from a fundamental simple scientific idea, the scientific concept, to its application and to the limitations which are imposed by the scientific theory and by practicalities and economics, and of limitations on existing techniques.
[36] There's a danger that in a science course one concentrates purely on how and why nature works, or in an engineering course one concerns yourself only with how to apply and harness phenomena, not to understand sufficiently the nature of the phenomena and what are the inherent limitations.
[37] This course is trying to put science and engineering together, and at the same time tackle a broad field of energy which spreads through industry into the home, into transport, and to see how everything goes together — science, engineering, economics, social and human questions — they all come in.
a (PS6FT) [38] You talked a bit about cars — how about trains?
[39] Are they equally inefficient?
pu (PS6FU) [40] Yes, certainly, the original steam engine, as designed, the Richard Trevithick engine, was probably about one percent efficient.
[41] The modern steam locomotives, used until they were superseded by diesel, were perhaps ten percent efficient, and the reason that steam went out and diesel was introduced was because diesel engines are more nearly forty percent efficient.
[42] So the history of train transport has partly been a history of striving for greater efficiency and lower fuel costs — one percent at the very beginning to forty percent now with diesel.
[43] In fact electric trains are themselves very efficient, but they draw electricity from the National Grid which is produced perhaps at something like thirty percent efficiency on the power station distribution network.
a (PS6FT) [44] Is there any prospect of us having a workable electric car?
[45] We keep on reading about these, but they never quite seem to get onto the market.
pu (PS6FU) [46] I think that's the same situation as with nuclear power, which has taken perhaps fifty years from its discovery to its application on a large scale.
[47] Electric cars have been with us as milk floats for many years.
[48] There they have been exploiting the advantages of low pollution, the ability to stop and restart every few hours — sorry, every few yards — and electric cars may be introduced as much for their ability to produce low pollution, low noise, and as petrol becomes more expensive and electric cars become more widespread and better engineered and more efficient and cheaper, and more socially acceptable, then I think we will see electric cars.
a (PS6FT) [49] You said that it takes a long time for development between the first idea being mooted and a workable application of the particular physical principle, and you cited, what, fifty years for the development of a nuclear power station — is there always that time lag in technology?
pu (PS6FU) [50] There seems to be.
[51] I think it's quite well known.
[52] We have been seeing this from the development of the transistor to its becoming very widespread now, being replaced and developed in the form of integrated circuits so now we have the microprocessor chip.
[53] This represents a continuous stage of development, from the original discovery of the transistor.
[54] I think we will be able to say that in ten years time the microprocessor will really be with us.
[55] It will be part of everyday life and that revolution will have been completed, and I think that's maybe forty years, but it's along time from the original discovery of the transistor.
a (PS6FT) [56] There's a lot of effort being put into various forms of energy transfer and energy production these days.
[57] We are all frightened that fossil fuels are going to run out in the foreseeable future, and I wonder if i could ask you about one or two possibilities.
[58] One is nuclear power stations.
[59] I suppose in the nineteen fifties we all thought that was the answer to energy production, but there seem to have been a lot of problems over these since then.
[60] Are we going towards a greater nuclear power age or not?
pu (PS6FU) [61] I would expect that we will use nuclear power, but you have to get it into perspective.
[62] At the moment, nuclear power contributes approximately three percent to our national consumption of fuels, a small figure and even if we multiplied it tenfold that would be thirty percent.
[63] That would, in fact, be a huge increase in the nuclear power programme.
[64] More, I believe, than would be acceptable to people, so that nuclear power in itself will never be the solution to our energy problems.
[65] It has inherent difficulties.
[66] At the moment nuclear power stations can't be turned up and down to meet fluctuations and demand, and the fluctuation from the morning and afternoon peak demand to the middle of the night trough in demand is at least a factor of two to one, but nuclear power stations cannot be turned up and down to match that.
[67] They supply a constant load, therefore, so the user, the electricity user, has to be persuaded to even out his use of electricity, so night storage heaters are sold to people, just to be switched on at night, in order to provide a smoothing of the demand load.
[68] And of course heating your house in the middle of the night is not what everybody wants, so there has to be an attractive price to persuade people to do that and to invest in the storage heaters, hence the half price electricity.
a (PS6FT) [69] I see.
[70] How about solar energy?
[71] Any prospect of that providing a significant amount of our energy needs?
pu (PS6FU) [72] Well, yes, it can provide some need, but the simplest way in this country would be use it to provide domestic hot water.
[73] Now, because of the seasonal variation, it can provide a lot of your hot water in the summer, but not very much in the winter and over a year, with a rooftop solar panel installation, you could perhaps expect to heat half your hot water by solar energy.
[74] If you then assumed that half the houses in the nation were converted to solar water heating in this way, you found find that you save one and a half percent of the primary fuel.
[75] Solar water heating may contribute one and a half percent to our total fuel saving requirement, which is very small in itself.
a (PS6FT) [76] Any chance of some of the wave energy schemes being developed to useful proportions?
[77] We've read a bit about these recently.
pu (PS6FU) [78] Wave energy is attractive because the energies involved in very small distances of coast line are huge, witness the destruction of the Devon village by waves, with big boulders being flung up and destroying houses.
[79] That shows how much energy is available, and it is very attractive to try and harness this, but since the turn of the century there have been over a hundred patented devices to extract energy from the waves, but we still don't have a single commercial one operating.
[80] However, there are a number of attractive and promising schemes under very active development at the moment, but the sea is such a hostile environment — it's corrosive, force is involved for anything sitting on the surface as they are exposed to the force of the waves which is colossal, and if they are on the sea bed then perhaps there are maintenance problems, and getting the electricity ashore has not yet been solved.
[81] So I think we can say that it will be many years before we have a workable wave energy extraction scheme.
a (PS6FT) [82] Not so many years ago the country was covered with windmills.
[83] These are all gone.
[84] Is it a possible solution to go back to good old wind power in our energy search, or is that not on these days?
pu (PS6FU) [85] I think wind power is perhaps one of the alternative energy sources which is erm nearest to being able to be applied and utilised immediately.
[86] However, if you consider one large modern power station, that would require approximately one thousand windmills each the size of the largest electricity pylons we see these days, and since the best sites for wind energy are on hilltops, where the wind is strongest, or around the coast, where again it's strong, this would require placing large numbers of windmills on the best hilltop views or beautiful coasting situations, and I think that would be as unacceptable as would an explosion in nuclear power stations — sorry, I don't mean a — expansion in nuclear power stations.
[87] Of course, windmills could be placed offshore, then perhaps there might be something attractive to seeing these structures out at sea at some distance — they could even be beyond the horizon — but they thought that they are whirling round usefully providing our energy I think could make them acceptable, and there is no doubt that the worldwide research and success in windmill research at the moment would suggest that wind power is within sight, but the economic investment and the problems of siting certainly mean that it will be only introduced gradually.
a (PS6FT) [88] We should do that one again [laugh] .
[89] Do you want to talk again about windmills?
pu (PS6FU) [90] Maybe we should do if you want to ask the question again.
a (PS6FT) [91] Are you sort of winding them down?
pu (PS6FU) [92] No, no.
[93] I think it was just that one.
[94] I just got a bit erm mixed up in it.
a (PS6FT) [95] Okay, well shall I do windmills again just as
pu (PS6FU) [96] Yeah, unless you want to go to another one then just come back
a (PS6FT) [97] I'll come back, I'll come back to windmills. erm
pu (PS6FU) [98] Incidentally, erm have you got enough on the course itself?
a (PS6FT) [99] I erm possibly, have you got a lot more to say about the course?
pu (PS6FU) [100] There's one thing that I — whether you want to discuss the seminars, I mean this is something
a (PS6FT) [101] The teaching method?
pu (PS6FU) [102] Yes, something to do with whether science is fact or not and the need for discussion.
a (PS6FT) [103] Okay, I'll slot that in and we'll do that.
[104] What I was going to do is to go on and talk about, bring out electricity again as something which crops up.
[105] I would say something along the lines of you've had several, talking about several ways of energy production, but once you start talking about energy transfer and storage one seems to get to electricity fairly quickly and do you want to say anything about that?
pu (PS6FU) [106] erm yeah, we could do, we could do.
[107] Yes, I mean certainly storage, I mean is important.
[108] One can say things about that.
a (PS6FT) [109] We've talked about various types of energy production, various methods of producing energy, there then is the problem of energy transfer and energy storage, where we seem to be talking almost solely about electricity.
[110] Is that the only reasonable way of storing energy and transferring it around the country for example?
pu (PS6FU) [111] Storage is quite fundamental.
[112] Transport, for instance, requires that every car or lorry can carry its fuel with it, and petrol is in fact probably the most ideal fuel from almost every aspect.
[113] In terms of the weight you have to carry around, it is a light fuel.
[114] In terms of the concentration of energy, it will occupy the smallest volume, and I don't think it's and accident that we use petrol.
[115] So transport requires stored energy.
[116] Electricity for transport requires batteries.
[117] Lead acid batteries are just at the moment very heavy compared with petrol, but there are many alternative types of battery being researched.
[118] Quite exotic in some cases, but I have not doubt that some of those will ultimately be used and be commercial, but energy storage comes in every aspect of use of energy.
[119] We have at home our coal store, or our central heating fuel tank.
[120] These are our personal energy stores.
[121] In the old days factories used to have huge coal heaps outside in their yards.
[122] As we've in fact transferred to oil, those coal heaps in many cases have actually been cleaned up and build on, so as oil runs out it perhaps will not be possible to reconvert back to coal use in some factories simply because the space for storage won't exist.
[123] In houses for heating it's conceivable that you could have a huge hot water store in the basement, or a store made up of round pebbles, heated by hot air, which you could then use by circulating cool air through them to produce hot air at other times.
[124] That, in some cases, that has been explored for the storage of heat in the summer which you would then use in the winter, but everywhere one comes back to storage nuclear power stations cannot be turned up and down quickly at the moment, so either with electricity you have to have a uniform demand for electricity, or you have to, say, burn gas to provide an alternative way of generating electricity which can be turned up and down at will.
[125] In fact, gas, of course, is such a valuable fuel — it can be piped to people, in other words it's easy to distribute — it can be stored, by compressing it in tanks — in fact the national storage of gas at the moment which helps you to meet fluctuations in demand is the thousands of miles distribution pipeline, some six feet in diameter at sixty atmospheres in pressure, full of gas, and the volume of gas stored there is quite adequate to meet the fluctuations in demand.
a (PS6FT) [126] I suppose a couple of centuries ago most of the commercial production of energy, if you could call it that two centuries ago, was via windmills and perhaps watermills, but why don't we go back to wind power?
[127] Surely we could get rid of some of our fuel problems by setting up some windmills?
pu (PS6FU) [128] Yes, I think erm windmills are on the threshold of being reintroduced.
[129] Much worldwide research has been quite successful, so that amongst all the sources of alternative energy wind power is perhaps the nearest to being exploited commercially again.
[130] However, if you want to replace one large electricity power station, you would require approximately one thousand windmills, each the size of the largest electricity pylons at the moment, and the best situations for the location of these is where the wind is blowing strongest — that is on hill tops or around the coastline, and there would be obvious social objections to putting large pylons, or windmills, on all the best scenic locations in the country.
[131] They could, in fact, be located offshore in shallow water, and lying on the beach watching these large structures with their whirling blades in the murky or hazy distance might be quite satisfying [...] thought that without doing anything they are just providing the nation's energy, or some of it.
[132] However, there will be a time lag.
[133] It's not ... they have not yet been developed to be wholly reliable, and there are problems to be solved to do with the fluctuation in the wind power, but I think perhaps some of those are exaggerated.
[134] It's very rare that there is no wind over the whole country, and to some extent when the wind drops so does the demand for fuel.
[135] I mean there is extra heating requirement in buildings which are cooled much faster when they are subject to high winds, but I think we can see these coming up in the next ten, fifteen years we will start to see these.
a (PS6FT) [136] The aspects of energy that we have been talking about this evening erm are part of your course, are they discussed in this form by the students taking your course?
pu (PS6FU) [137] Well we do have erm some discussions seminars where between ten and fifteen students are able to discuss matters relating to the course.
[138] Some of these are scientific matters, and in fact their skills in the use of these scientific matters.
[139] Some of them can be issues relating to these energy matters that we have been discussing, and in fact one of the aims of introducing this form of discussion is that science is often seen as a very factual subject — that you just receive and learn the facts.
[140] If, in fact, you ask fifteen students for their version of the facts and their interpretation, on most occasions you'll get about fifteen different answers, so in terms of the learning process there is much need for discussion for and a better understanding.
[141] If you've ever tried to explain something to somebody, that's a very reliable way of revealing to yourself that you didn't understanding something that you thought you did understand.
[142] Trying an idea out on somebody is a very good way of exposing flaws in your argument, and in fact if we look at the present energy debate, so much of it is concerned with interpretation which one would have thought, taking a simple view of science, were just factual matters that we realize that this discussion of science is perhaps more difficult than people would imagine, so there is opportunity in the course to try and help students to become more fluent in scientific discussion, discussion of scientific ideas between themselves, and of their own ideas about science.
[143] And of course energy is a very fertile field.
[144] It's not yet at a very developed and sophisticated level for ideas like wind energy, solar energy.
[145] That's all in its infancy and therefore is very suited to discussion of what might be and what will determine ... what scientific matters will take place.
a (PS6FT) [146] I think that this course is a very attractive one.
[147] I also know it's quite a popular one, because as you know, Peter, I have taught some of the students involved in the course and I know that they enjoy debating these issues
pu (PS6FU) [148] mhm
a (PS6FT) [149] very much indeed.
[150] Thank you for telling us about it.
pu (PS6FU) [151] Thank you for asking me.
[152] Thank you.
a (PS6FT) [153] Ken
b (PS6FV) [154] Okay, it's all yours Mike.
a (PS6FT) [155] Ordinary cars seem to be rather inefficient, but what about the possibility of electrical cars?
pu (PS6FU) [156] Well, we have seen electrical cars in the form of milk floats for many years, and of course they're particularly suited to intermittent use, stopping and starting every few yards.
[157] So, it's quite clear that the electric car is a technical ... technically feasible form of car, however if you ask why do you want an electric car there would ... could be different reasons.
[158] The milk float requires a vehicle suitable for intermittent use, so does the fork lift truck.
[159] It will perhaps be, in certain parts of the world, that the need to cut down pollution is the most important factor — witness Los Angeles, San Francisco — and there electric cars are non-polluting and therefore would be appropriate to use there.
[160] If it's simply a matter of producing a vehicle which uses less fuel, however, the electric car, surprisingly, does not really offer any advantages over petrol cars.
[161] Though an electric car itself may be an inefficient machine, with a battery, electric motor and transmission system, all of which are individually efficient, the car requires electricity from a plug in the garage to charge up its batteries and the Electricity Generating Board and Power Stations are themselves inherently inefficient and they perhaps introduce a fact of only thirty percent into the overall conversion of primary fuel, that is coal, oil, gas, or nuclear, into electricity.
[162] So the efficiency of electric cars is, in fact, comparable with petrol cars.
[163] With regard to nuclear electricity, however, if we have nuclear electricity, which can't be turned down conveniently, then electric cars mostly would be sitting in garages overnight recharging, and that is when the natural trough in consumption of electricity occurs and therefore the use of electric cars could help to smooth the demand for electricity.
[164] The present batteries, lead acid batteries, of course are very heavy and mean that before you start the electric car has a very heavy load to carry around.
[165] If you have very few batteries then its range is limited, if you have a lot of batteries then the weight of the load is too great, so much work and research is being devoted at the moment to the development of alternative batteries.
[166] Some are quite exotic, requiring to be operated continuously at high temperatures.
[167] However, there is no doubt that these will become commercial in due course so that we may see electric cars, especially for local running.
[168] Then for long distance use we may require garages where you can simply exchange a battery pack for a fully charged one which you slide into the car.
[169] That would require considerable reorganization of the garage and energy distribution network to provide a widespread network of battery exchange stations.
[170] So it remains to be seen whether we may have such a network, or perhaps even assuming that nearly all the cheap oil runs out, whether we might in fact manufacture petrol artificially from wood, coal, or gas, simply to provide the excellent fuel with its wonderful storage characteristics for long distance transport.
a (PS6FT) [171] We've talked
pu (PS6FU) [laugh] [...]
a (PS6FT) [172] We've talked about various ... erm We've talked about various methods of producing energy.
[173] One we haven't mentioned so far is hydro-electricity.
[174] Is that still a viable method of energy production?
pu (PS6FU) [175] In this country it can never be a major contributor of energy.
[176] Worldwide, on the other hand, it is a major source, especially of electricity.
[177] However, we do have the Severn Estuary, which is one of the world's best sources for the harnessing of tidal energy.
[178] In that you allow the tide to come in and then effectively close her down, so storing the water at the high level of the tide and you let it out through turbine generators when the sea is low, and the water running out, therefore, generates electricity.
[179] You can elaborate the scheme so that the electricity can be produced when the water is both flowing in and flowing out, and you can have extra divisions to ensure that electricity can be produced at all hours of the day or night, regardless of the condition of the tide.
[180] However, if you ask how much energy would damming up the River Severn to make a tidal energy scheme ... how much energy ... how much energy would that contribute, then it would probably only contribute three gigawatts the equivalent.
a (PS6FT) [181] [laugh] Yes, how big is a [laugh] gigawatt?
pu (PS6FU) [182] The equivalent of about three large electricity power stations.
[183] So our potential for hydro-electric and tidal power is, in fact, limited.
[184] It is, however, used at the moment in North Wales and being considered in Scotland near Loch Lomond, as a method of storing energy.
[185] One takes a high level reservoir and if there is more electricity available than the demand requires, then some of that can be used to pump water up into the high level down.
[186] Then at peak hours the water can be allowed to run out through hydro-electric turbines to contribute to meeting that peak demand.
[187] So much of the hydro-electricity around the world is, in fact, used as a storage of energy, and at present there is a scheme under discussion round Loch Lomond for building a high level dam and storage system with power station in a region of particularly scenic beauty, of great importance to the Scots.
[188] So one sees how the simplest idea of a very clean form of fuel can still have environmental disadvantages, and I think there will be a considerable debate as to whether that Loch Lomond hydro-electric scheme will be built or not.
a (PS6FT) [189] Is the energy demand in this country still increasing, or has it levelled out nowadays?
pu (PS6FU) [190] The domestic energy demand has remained constant for very many years.
[191] The demand industrially of course, has to some extent followed the fortunes of the national economy.
[192] In electricity, the shortages of the sixties led to a considerable investment in new power stations, so that at the moment we in fact have far more electricity power stations than we need.
[193] Of course if there was a sudden upsurge in industrial activity and demand, that situation could be reversed, but international trends clearly don't suggest any dramatic increase in industrial production, so we have an excess of electricity demand at the moment.
[194] Transport, of course, is tending to increase all the time, but there could be, and almost certainly will be, a trend of smaller motor cars to make better use of fuel by having less consumption.
[195] I'm just thinking now.
a (PS6FT) [196] There's some very interesting figures you see about.
pu (PS6FU) [197] In fact domestic demand is quite interesting.
[198] Though we feel ourselves to be much more comfortable now than we used to be, there has been very little increase in domestic fuel demand over fifty years or more.
[199] In the old days we used to have very inefficient coal fires, burning in open grates, which to produce a reasonable heat used a significant amount of fuel.
[200] We replaced them by closed stoves or by central heating boilers, which were so much more efficient that they essentially have used the same amount of fuel and we have simply become more comfortable in the process.
[201] We don't require much more energy for cooking than we ever have, because our demand for cooking is essentially determined by how much we can eat.
[202] On the other hand, as we have changed to electricity, because of the inefficiency of the electricity generating process this has reflected an increase in the primary fuel consumption by the nation for domestic purposes, and this is true of most western countries that the consumption in the home has not increased, but changing to electricity increasingly has led to burning more oil and coal nationally to produce this constant home demand.
a (PS6FT) [203] Peter, as you know, I've taught this course, tutored some of the students in it, and I find it myself a very challenging [laugh] and interesting course if only because the students are always unearthing new facts and figures about energy which catch me by surprise.
[204] Quite apart from the fact that they find it very interesting, I think that people outside the university would be pleased to know that a course of such down to earth practical [...] is taught in a place which they sometimes regard as being rather airy fairy.
[205] Thank you very much Peter.
pu (PS6FU) [206] Thank you, Brian.


a (PS6FT) [207] Thank you.
[208] Stephen you're doing research at university into processes of comprehensive schooling.
[209] I wonder if you could tell me something about this.
sb (PS6FW) [211] Well what this has involved me in has been a long study of a single school.
[212] I spent two and a half years working with a single comprehensive school, looking at the change in that school from a system of streamed teaching to a system of mixed ability teaching.
[213] Because of the way that the school changed over from having a system of streaming in its first three years to a system where mixed ability is introduced year by year from the first to third year, I was able to follow two groups of pupils through the school, one lot of pupils in their streamed classes and then another lot following them on in their mixed ability classes, and try and discover something about the differences in their experience of school in the two different modes , in the streamed and the mixed ability classes.
a (PS6FT) [214] What were your general conclusions?
sb (PS6FW) [215] I think the general point would be really a favourable impression of mixed ability teaching.
[216] There's a lot of worry, I know, among parents and also advisers, local authority people, about mixed ability teaching, about its impact on standards.
[217] I think the one clear thing to come out from my study is that with very careful preparation and with adequate thought about teaching reference, that a school can successfully go over to mixed ability teaching without any necessary impact on the standards of performance of the pupils.
[218] And this has really been justified recently in the ‘O’ level results of pupils who have now been through the mixed ability system and finished their ‘O’levels in the school, and they performed well — in some areas better than the streamed pupils did previously.
a (PS6FT) [219] What about the brighter children?
[220] Don't they suffer?
sb (PS6FW) [221] Well again this is certainly a worry that is often talked about in terms of mixed ability teaching.
[222] The school was aware of this and specifically created a post of responsibility for the brighter child and gave this to a senior member of the staff, and that member of the staff was responsible for looking at the effects of mixed ability teaching on specifically identified brighter pupils, and I don't think the school would say that they totally solved the problem of what to do with the brighter child, but I think it's a problem which exists even in streamed classes, because the sort of pupils we're talking about are pupils who are exceptions in their own right — we're not talking about whole groups of pupils who previously have been in top streams, we're talking about half a dozen/ten individuals in any one year group and they are equally as difficult to deal with in a streamed situation.
[223] In some ways mixed ability, with its orientation towards individual approaches to learning, provides the possibility of focusing more on those children than even was possible in the streamed situation.
[224] So I think the school is in a position of wanting to think more about the problems of the brighter child, but they were not unaware of it and were attempting to deal with it.
a (PS6FT) [225] Yes, your conclusion is based surely on rather a small sample — two classes from one school?
sb (PS6FW) [226] That's right, although the examination results were taken for each cohort.
[227] I looked at one, well in fact two classes in each year group in detail because I really wanted to focus very closely on how the pupils experienced the school in the different modes of grouping.
[228] What has happened previously in a lot of educational research is that large samples have been taken.
[229] We know something numerically about different systems, but we know little about them experientially, we know little about what it feels like, what the impact is upon individuals in the two different systems, and I really wanted to swing to the other type of research and look in more detail at how different pupils would respond to the stream situation, not simply in terms of their performance measured in tests, but in terms of their attitudes to school, their attitudes to their life outside of school, their involvement in sub-cultural groups or in youth clubs, this kind of thing.
[230] So it really necessitated small samples of pupils who I got to know fairly well, rather than a large sample.
a (PS6FT) [231] Did the pupils know that they were being studied, did the teachers know that they were being studied and did the teachers know that they were taking part in an educational experiment?
sb (PS6FW) [232] Yes, they knew my role in the school, both the teachers and pupils.
[233] I think obviously the younger pupils didn't grasp very clearly.
[234] I normally explain to them that I was writing a book about the school and they certainly understood that.
[235] The teachers were in on my research from the beginning.
[236] I originally gained the co-operated of the headmaster, who allowed me to come into the school, and then I found the teachers enormously co-operative in fact, far more co-operative than I really high a right to expect.
[237] They asked me into their classes to watch them teach, they gave me time for interviews, they allowed me into staff meetings and departmental meetings and I erm at various points in my research I attempted to feed back to them some of the material I was coming up with, and we would have meetings to discuss this.
[238] I would use those meetings then to refine my ideas.
a (PS6FT) [239] From the viewpoint of this being an objective experiment, I would be a little bit worried about everyone knowing the nature of the experiment you had in mind because, as you probably know, in industrial studies there's a well known effect, I think it's called the Hawthorne effect, which merely by studying a group of people you change their behaviour and their output simply because they know that you are taking an interest in them and they've got some idea of your expectations.
[240] Are you sure this didn't happen in your study?
sb (PS6FW) [241] Well I was certainly aware of this.
[242] I think it is adequately dealt with as a problem because of the erm really the length and the depth of my involvement with the school.
[243] I was there, as I have said, for two and a half years, so it would have been difficult for the teachers to erm respond to my presence erm in an artificial way because I was there for such a long time.
[244] Really I think I am able to demonstrate in a written account of the research that I am presenting a very real account of their teaching and their problems, as well as their successes erm sometimes I was able to observe lessons that went wrong and were very erm difficult for the teachers, as well as the lessons that were successful, so I don't really think it [...] the problems at the end.
a (PS6FT) [245] You are, then, in favour of mixed ability teaching in comprehensive schools?
sb (PS6FW) [246] I would be, yes.
[247] I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
[248] Perhaps the point I haven't brought out, which was another enormous effect from the mixed ability teaching, or the mixed ability grouping, was the improvement in the pupils' behaviour.
[249] One of the problems with the stream situation was that those pupils who found themselves in the bottom streams, who found that they were perhaps not regarded so highly or so positively by their teachers, tended to respond with misbehaviour in their classes, with occasionally vandalism around the school and generally a negative attitude towards the school and their teachers in general, and the immediate effect of the mixed ability grouping was to eradicate behavioural problems of that kind almost entirely.
[250] There were no longer groups of pupils in any one class who were against the school and were wanting to disrupt the teaching of their teachers and really problems were reduced to individuals in each class, one or two pupils, which didn't present the same massive problem to teachers as the bottom streamed groups have done previously.
[251] So this was a very positive outcome, which the teachers, not unexpectedly, were very pleased about — this improvement in the behaviour of pupils.
a (PS6FT) [252] Does it require a special sort of teacher, a special type of teacher, to do this satisfactorily.
sb (PS6FW) [253] I think it makes a lot of demands on the teacher.
[254] It's not something that is done easily or lightly.
[255] Some of the newly qualified teachers, perhaps, found some difficulties initially in coping with the wide range of abilities their mixed ability classes presented them with, and in some ways the school was not well provided with in-service support for mixed ability teaching and had to do a lot of their own work in terms of the appropriate methods to choose, the appropriate resources, the appropriate materials to develop.
[256] So, not every teacher was one hundred per cent successful with mixed ability teaching, but I don't think one can ever expect that with a new method.
[257] I think that now that the system has been running for a number of years in the school that it's possible for each department to support new members of staff and introduce them to the appropriate methods and approaches to mixed ability classes.
a (PS6FT) [258] What proportions of comprehensive schools now have mixed ability teaching?
sb (PS6FW) [259] Well it's a difficult question to answer in a way because the pattern on grouping differs enormously from school to school.
[260] There are still very few schools that have mixed ability groups in all of their first three years, but more and more schools are introducing some mixed ability groups in their first three years and about thirty per cent have mixed ability grouping in their first year now, something around fifteen per cent have mixed ability in the first three years.
[261] Beyond that there are very few.
[262] When the C S Es/O Levels arrive at the beginning of the fourth year, most schools decide to separate out their pupils into different groups, although in the school I was studying and in one or two other schools it's possible to parallel C S E examinations with the existing ‘O’ level examinations and therefore to continue to teach the pupils in mixed ability groups, and that happened in English in the school I was studying.
[263] In other schools it has happened in other subjects.
a (PS6FT) [264] Presumably the case for streaming gets stronger as you get higher up into a school?
sb (PS6FW) [265] Certainly the constraints of examinations make it more and more difficult to cope with the range of abilities in a mixed ability class.
[266] I think this hits different subjects in different ways.
[267] It happens perhaps sooner in languages and in science than it does say in history or English or geography, and certainly language teachers find much more difficulty in teaching mixed ability classes and one tends to find that languages — French/German — are the first to abandon mixed ability, usually in the second year, sometimes the third year, of comprehensive school.
a (PS6FT) [268] Is it Government policy to move in the direction of mixed ability classes?
sb (PS6FW) [269] I don't think one could say policy, no erm I think the move in this direction is a drift really.
[270] There's been no guidance from the government, but they certainly don't seem to be against mixed ability teaching.
[271] There has been a recent H M I report which has asked some questions about mixed ability teaching and expressed some worries about those teachers who perhaps don't have the adequate support and preparation for mixed ability teaching, but they are certainly not against it, or the H M I is certainly not against mixed ability teaching.
a (PS6FT) [272] What research in this area needs to be done now?
sb (PS6FW) [273] Well I think really what one must look for now is more detailed research on what actually goes on in mixed ability classrooms.
[274] Really we still know very little about what teachers actually do in the classroom and it's all very well standing back in university and saying teachers should do this and should do that, but in order to be able to offer guidance I think we really need to do more research in mixed ability classrooms to discover how teachers at the moment are dealing with the situation and where we might offer them more support, and that's the direction I'd like to see research going; rather than more of the grandiose large-scale quantitative studies, which collect lots of figures and statistics, I'd like to see a lot more studies in actual classrooms looking at actual teachers teaching, looking at what they do and how we can improve that.
a (PS6FT) [275] Do you have plans yourself to engage in further research in this area?
sb (PS6FW) [276] Well I hope to look more at mixed ability teaching.
[277] Really it's a problem of time and resources erm the difficulties are that one has to spend a lot of time sitting in the classroom working with the teacher, or observing the teacher and it's difficult to find that time when one is teaching at university.
[278] So often the push is in the opposite direction, to doing research which doesn't involve one in long-term contact with the schools and this, of course, is one of the reasons why this type of research isn't so often done, but I hope to do some more work in classrooms, yes.
a (PS6FT) [279] Well good luck in that programme of yours.
[280] Thank you very much, Stephen.
sb (PS6FW) [281] Thank you.
a (PS6FT) [282] Did I ask you most of the questions I ought to have asked you?
[283] How does being in a mixed ability class affect the social development of children?
sb (PS6FW) [284] Well that was one of the interesting things to come out of the study, something which was totally unexpected as far as I was concerned, and that was it seemed that the pupils in the mixed ability classes developed more slowly socially than the pupils in the streamed classes.
[285] This was manifested in a number of ways, particularly in that pupils still in their second year in the mixed ability classes would be talking about playing with their friends, and generally their attitudes towards the teenage culture of pop music and magazines and fashions and discotheques didn't seem to develop so quickly as it had in the streamed situation.
[286] I think really this comes from the problem of those pupils in the streamed situation, in the bottom streams in particular, who found that they wanted alternatives to school when they were in an inferior position in the school, they were devalued if you like by finding themselves in the bottom streams and so they tended to look for out of school things, alternatives to school, from which to gain their satisfaction and they would look to the pop media, to fashion, to football, to these kinds of things.
[287] And in the mixed ability situation this certainly did not happen in the same way, so the children in a sense remained children longer in the mixed ability situation, and again this was something that the teachers found very pleasing in that the pupils were remaining involved in the school much more and much longer in a mixed ability situation.


a (PS6FT) [288] Carol, you've been doing some research into women and education.
[289] I wonder if you could tell me a bit about this.
cd (PS6FX) [291] Well, I'm basically interested in the way in which education, or formal schooling, has attempted to prepare girls for their lives in the future, whether it prepares them for a life of, say, motherhood and working in the family, or whether it's encouraging them to do work outside the home and try and achieve in the areas that men traditionally achieve.
a (PS6FT) [292] Do you think that women's education should be the same as men's education?
cd (PS6FX) [293] erm in certain respects, yes.
[294] I suppose not entirely so.
[295] If anything I think women's education now has to compensate a little erm and provide for those areas in which women start in a way that could be considered a handicap to men.
[296] They start behind men in certain ways because of the sort of training they are getting in school, in the home I mean, and in so many respects I think schools have to try and compensate for that.
a (PS6FT) [297] Do you find that women's schools do a better job of educating women than mixed schools?
cd (PS6FX) [298] Umm, again that's very controversial.
[299] There is quite a bit of research, I think, to show that women do better at maths and science in single sex girls schools.
[300] On the other hand, my own feeling would be very much that schools have to prepare children for taking their life in the community and the community is mixed sex, it's not single sex, so I have a slight aversion to single sex institutions.
[301] I was brought up in one myself, but it is true that girls on the whole do better in the subjects traditionally regarded as male subjects in single sex schools.
[302] I think this is because they don't practice being feminine with the boys around and so they get on with the work more.
a (PS6FT) [303] Why aren't there more women scientists and engineers?
cd (PS6FX) [304] Well, because society hasn't regarded science and engineering and feminine occupations [laugh] .
a (PS6FT) [305] Do you think it would be a good idea if there were more women that went in for these areas?
cd (PS6FX) [306] Oh, certainly so, certainly so, yes, I think it's terribly important.
a (PS6FT) [307] Do you think that women can bring an element to these professions which is different from the element that men contribute?
[308] I don't like answering that question in the affirmative, because there's a too easy supposition that lots of people have that women have feminine qualities which are sort of softness and sensitivity to people and generosity, rather than slightly more achievement-oriented qualities, you know, aggressive qualities than men have.
[309] It's too easy, I think, to assume that women aren't aggressive and are sensitive and men are more aggressive and less sensitive because that's the way society has wanted them to be in the past and children have grown up and lived up to those stereotypes, so I don't think we can actually say yet that women can offer anything distinctive until we've given them the chance to be themselves really [laugh] .
a (PS6FT) [310] I suppose the old fashioned male view of women in society is that they should actually be in the home — that's their place.
[311] What do you feel about that?
cd (PS6FX) [312] Well, um, I feel very strongly about that [laugh] .
[313] If women want to be in the home then certainly let them stay in the home.
[314] I mean I wouldn't ever think it a good idea to encourage women to leave the home if they thought that their job was in there looking after small children, but it's very obvious nowadays that a very large number of women don't want to in the home any more.
[315] I don't know what the recent statistics are, but something like almost half married women now do work outside the home anyway.
[316] You could argue that some of them work outside the home because they have to, for financial reasons, but I think it's indisputable that a ever-growing number want to work outside the home and I think it's very important that they should be allowed the scope to do so.
[317] erm there's no doubt that our society, whatever kind of sentimental things it says about the status of the housewife, gives the housewife extremely low status, and that power and status and respect in society are accorded to people who achieve things in the work world occupationally outside the home, and given that that is so I think women, to increase their self respect, have got to achieve things outside the home, yes.
[318] That doesn't mean to say they shouldn't achieve inside the home too, but it does mean that they should have the chance of doing both if they want it, and I think perhaps most do.
a (PS6FT) [319] There's a lot of emphasis these days about individuals growing as individuals, but are you really saying that because women are obviously individuals they ought to be given the opportunity of growing in a way that they could only do if they had jobs?
cd (PS6FX) [320] Given the kind of society that we have at the moment, I think so, because in the home — I mean aside from being defined as a housewife — you're really defined only in relation to other people, so what you say about self definition, erm self fulfilment, is absolutely crucial.
[321] In the home you're a wife, a mother, a daughter, an aunt, a grandmother, a niece, but you're only defined in relationship to somebody else and your function is mainly one of servicing other people, of creating a context in which other people live.
[322] You know, you get the house straight and send the kids off to school.
[323] The house is all straight and you're tired and then the kids come home from school and upset the house again, so you remake it again for the next day.
[324] Housework and organizing a home and looking after small children is very much context creating all the time, and you're doing is in your capacity as a relation of, you know, certain males, other people of your family.
[325] erm if you're going to have a self at all in our society I think it has to be one that's defined in relation to the occupational world.
[326] It's very difficult to attempt self definition without relating to the occupational world, and you get into the sort of situation where women only have private selves, they don't have public selves at all, which certainly creates problems of self definition for them [laugh] .
a (PS6FT) [327] Do you think there are any areas of employment which are not appropriate for women?
cd (PS6FX) [328] I don't think I'd like to say that there were until they've had the chance to find out [laugh] .
[329] I think no.
a (PS6FT) [330] Do you think it's harder to be a women than a man in today's world?
cd (PS6FX) [331] Oh certainly, certainly, erm boys grow up on the whole fairly secure in the knowledge that they have both work cells, occupational cells and also that they'll be able to have families.
[332] Most women grow up absolutely torn and still somehow knowing that they have to make some kind of choice.
[333] I mean either they opt for a family, or they opt for a job.
[334] If they want to opt for both they're going to have a very, [laugh] very hard time, that's indisputable.
[335] The creches aren't there.
[336] The day provision for children isn't there.
[337] Women still, on the whole, have to achieve more than men to get to the same level in certain ways, but I think basically it's this question of choice.
[338] To have both a family and interesting work means a terrible struggle, and yet I think that those are the things that make for human happiness.
[339] I mean they are certainly the two most important things in my life, and I would have thought in most people's — both work and good relationships with a family.
a (PS6FT) [340] To return to your educational interests, what sort of changes would you like to see in education to make it more applicable, perhaps, to twentieth century women?
cd (PS6FX) [341] Well mainly that it shouldn't evade the issue.
[342] The things I find so tragic, and I was talking to some girls erm in a sixth form college recently, and the thing that I find saddest is that the schools evade the issue.
[343] Girls somehow grow up thinking that perhaps they can do both, but they think that can have, you know, five or ten years off work and then go back to it.
[344] It's not possible to do that any more.
[345] You only have to look at the unemployment amongst married women who would like to be teachers.
[346] Just because of the employment situation generally, it's increasingly difficult to get back into work after raising a family if you've had time off.
[347] I mean certainly you can't achieve as much as a man does, but also the jobs just aren't there any more, not so much, and the main change I'd like to see in education is that it would help girls cope with this dilemma.
[348] I mean at the moment it just evades it.
[349] I mean when I think of all the money that was poured into my education and nobody ever mentioned the kind of decisions one would have to make in the future and the problems you would have in trying to make use both of your education and have children and have the happy family life that our society encourages you to have and that we all perhaps want.
[350] erm schools just don't help girls to have both and so a lot of the talk about underachievement, and I don't like that word [laugh] , amongst girls really ignores the fact that girls aren't underachieving when they don't go all out for occupational success, when they don't set their goals very high in schools, they are being very rational because if they do achieve they are going to be faced with immense [laugh] problems.
[351] It's easier sometimes not to achieve and just to settle for family life than it is to achieve and to set your occupational sights quite high and then to have to face the [laugh] terrible and fight of having both a job and children.
[352] So that's the major change I'd [laugh] like.
a (PS6FT) [353] Have you done any particular studies in the educational context.
[354] Have you studied mainly in schools, or have your studied at colleges and universities as well?
cd (PS6FX) [355] I go into schools quite a lot because I'm concerned with the training of graduates as teachers, and I'm very interested in what goes on in schools.
[356] Academically, my own research is historical research.
[357] I've been working mainly on girls' education really from about eighteen ninety to about nineteen thirty and that's what has mainly occupied me research wise.
a (PS6FT) [358] Education, particularly for women, in that period must have changed enormously?
cd (PS6FX) [359] Oh yes, certainly, yes.
a (PS6FT) [360] Could you give me some idea of how it has changed?
cd (PS6FX) [361] Well, it was very, very class based in the nineteenth century, the late nineteenth century.
[362] erm towards the end of the century it was just about possible for middle class girls, or a few middle class girls to get a reasonable academic education at one of the G P D S schools — we've got one in Hove, you know the girls' public day school trust foundations — but only very few went there and got what would be equivalent now to a kind of secondary education and a very, very, very, very tiny minority of those girls could go on to university if they faced an enormous amount of opposition [laugh] when they got there and also to get there in the first place, but for most girls there was only a basic elementary education, which increasingly stressed the sort of domestic side of a girl's vocation.
[363] I mean, elementary education for girls the board schools was very much a case of training them to be good wives and mothers and so on.
[364] There wasn't any chance really, well there was nothing which we could [laugh] call ... there was no encouragement for girls to achieve anything academically or really encouragement for them to do anything much with their lives after they left school, aside from in the home, except for perhaps being domestic servants, something like that, which is after all the category of employment which absorbed most women until quite late on.
[365] But there have been an enormous number of changes.
[366] I mean the very small number of girls that did get to university at the turn of the century had to endure the most extraordinary trials and hardships.
[367] I mean most of them had to go chaperoned to lectures and things.
a (PS6FT) [368] You're a married woman, and you have a child, how are you managing to cope in your own life with the dilemmas?
cd (PS6FX) [369] The price of considerable exhaustion [laugh] .
[370] I think life is easier for me than it would be for a lot of working women because of the university creche, which enables me to go to work and sort of see my daughter at lunch time [laugh] , that sort of thing.
[371] It would be very difficult otherwise, I think.
[372] The creche is a great boon.
[373] It's well organised and nice and my daughter likes it.
[374] It's possible to cope.
[375] I think life would be easier if I could live with my [laugh] husband who, because of his own professional commitments is in Cambridge every week.
[376] We see each other at weekends.
a (PS6FT) [377] Does your husband accept that perhaps he ought to be looking after the baby alternate weeks, or is that not a solution to the problem?
cd (PS6FX) [378] Oh, indeed so, erm our domestic life is extraordinarily complicated [laugh] but when, after my maternity leave expired and when I'd finished having time off and breast feeding the baby, he in fact looked after her for a term in Cambridge and I came back to Sussex and taught during the week and went back to my daughter and husband at weekends, and now he's actually taking leave in his turn, if you like, so that he can be the back-up here while I teach and do my work this year.
[379] What we do at the end of the year we haven't quite worked out, but we are very much committed to sharing child care and professional space if you like, but we are very privileged in that academic work allows one the flexibility to work in the hours that you find convenient and so on and allows you the flexibility to make this kind of family arrangement.
a (PS6FT) [380] But this certainly isn't true of most other jobs and professions.
cd (PS6FX) [381] Oh, no, it certainly isn't true of most other jobs and professions [laugh] .
a (PS6FT) [382] Yes.
[383] And maybe then you would like to see society move towards a situation in which the role of women was recognised in such a way that it was possible for them to leave their babies in creches, would you, or
cd (PS6FX) [384] Certainly much more day care provision generally, yes.
[385] I mean really nice, well organised, well funded creches are marvellous places.
[386] They are very happy places and they make for a lot of happiness with parents too I think.
[387] Children get a lot out of them, much younger I think than most people assume, but I would also like to see changes in the organization of work for both men and women to make possible much more flexibility.
[388] I mean if women have been stunted by being kept in the home, you could argue that men have been stunted by being too much over-identified essentially with the work world.
[389] We all know what happens to men in our society when they retire.
[390] In many cases they get very depressed or they even die, because their image of themselves is very much bound up with work and [...] .
[391] I mean what I would ideally like is the society in which women could be both private and public people, and men too, so men would identify more with relationships in their families and so on and slightly less with work, and women less with the family and more with work, and I think that would make for much greater flexibility all round and I think children would benefit too.
[392] I think, the more I've seen actually of my own small daughter, and I adore her, but I think a small child for sort of every hour of the day is really too much for most adults.
[393] I mean it's very nice to be with a child, a baby, for about three or four hours, but after that you are quite grateful for somebody else to come and play with it for a while, and talk to it for a while.
[394] But I think that if both fathers and mothers share in the upbringing of small babies they are better parents and the child definitely is happier.
[395] It gets more stimulus and is just altogether happier.
a (PS6FT) [396] And I suppose there's a sense in which the child gains because the parents are that much happier and fulfilled?
cd (PS6FX) [397] Yes, the frustrated mother can't be generous and so forth with her child, and on the whole I think the emphasis that people used to put on mothers staying at home was very misguided, because a mother who's having to sacrifice all her outside interests for the sake of her child is just a frustrated mother, and it's not good for the ... also the problem is that you then have fairly energetic women devoting all they have to children, then they over-invest in the child's own achievements, so in fact you are putting a great psychological burden on the child because it has to grow up fulfilling expectations of an adult, which is not right for a child.
[398] I think you can be much more relaxed about the way your child's growing up if you're not over-investing yourself in the way it grows up, if you follow me.
a (PS6FT) [399] Yes.
cd (PS6FX) [400] Just altogether less demanding on the child as well as on the mother [laugh] .
a (PS6FT) [401] How do you feel about the Women's Liberation Movement?
cd (PS6FX) [402] Well, when you sort of fire a very broad question at me like that I'm not quite sure what to say because there are lots of women's liberation movements; there are lots of women who are interested in feminism broadly defined.
[403] But the movement — I suppose on the whole I am sympathetic towards the movement, but we have different images of what that movement is. erm the sort of image in the media is often very misleading.
[404] I mean I think there are groups of women all over the country very interested in feminism and doing lots of good work and providing support for women who do want some sort of change, and so if that's what you mean by the women's liberation movement I think it's a very good thing.
a (PS6FT) [405] Are you encouraged by the direction the society is taking at the moment in relation to women and education?
cd (PS6FX) [406] erm in some ways I am.
[407] I am depressed by the lack of provision for small children, because although we have things like the Equal Opportunities Commission and the S S R C funding, very generously research into what they call women's under-achievement, educationally and occupationally and so on, that doesn't seem to be the area in which things ought to be being done.
[408] It's quite clear why women don't achieve in the way define by the general public.
[409] They don't achieve because they have to choose, and the only way to get women achieving in a sort of relaxed way is not to force them with the choice between occupation success and families.
[410] If you force people to choose between a family and a job I suppose, you know, women lots of women choose the family erm the only way women will achieve more educationally is to be able to combine the two things and not always have to make these crippling decisions and choices between two things which most human beings want, so there is a lot of money being spent on research into sex inequality and so on, and that's encouraging, but I think it's being spent in slightly the wrong way and I think there's a tendency to evade the crucial issues which are, of course , rather deep social issues about the organization of the family and work and they take a lot of changing, so I am ambivalent about that one.
a (PS6FT) [411] Well, thank you very much, Carol.
[412] Ken, we're going to stop for a moment.
a (PS6FT) [413] We've talked a lot about women being educated, isn't is just as important to educate men about women?
cd (PS6FX) [414] I think so.
[415] It's difficult to know in what way you would actually set about doing this.
[416] I think in a very general way that men perhaps should be encouraged to realize that women also want to speak up for themselves.
[417] They don't really like being told what they want by men.
[418] It's difficult, though, because if you talk to adolescent boys in schools they are violently opposed to women's liberation, or they hate the name women's liberation, because they are very defensive perhaps about their own masculinity at that age, and their own masculinity is defined very much in terms of being superior to girls and having mums who wait on them at home, so it's difficult to challenge that kind of supposition at that age.
[419] I think later on perhaps it's easier erm but basically I think boys need to be discouraged from assuming that they know what women's position is.
[420] I think — it really begins in the home this because it's — mothers can do quite a lot in not educating their own sons to think of them as servants.
[421] A lot of women do this.
[422] They are very tolerant about boys' mess in the home and untidiness generally, and in a sense they lay the foundations right from the very beginning of boys growing up to think of women as kind of household servants [laugh] — this attitude, you know, boys will be boys and they make a mess and poor mum has to do all the washing.
[423] It's really quite misguided because it does encourage those assumptions that mothers are there to tidy up after sons and of course then sons when they grow up and get wives want to replace their mothers.
[424] So women themselves can do something about educating men in the home, starting with their sons.
a (PS6FT) [425] Fine.
[426] Okay, Ken?