Playing Devil's Advocate

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
In today's news: the Amateur Swimming Association says not enough primary school children can swim.

Why is this newsworthy? Why do they think this is any more important than, say, not teaching children the art of Judo? Just because one person enjoys swimming doesn't mean somebody else should be forced to do it.
 

Wallace

Traveler 34122
Perhaps it is because learning to swim could save your life, learning Judo almost certainly would not.
 

RobH1

Well-Known Member
Slow news day, just like the Hummy forum. At least it inspired one member to action. ;)

I'm a swimmer, a good 'un too. I've taught school children, but they get no continuity or encouragement from their generally non swimming parents.
Swimming is enjoyable practised solo or joining a group, it keeps you fit, and doesn't make you look like a dying swan when on holiday if you can't participate in anything if the water level is above your knees.
Here in the Lakes it is compulsory to have school swimming lessons and quite right too given the amount of rivers and lakes in the area.
During the recent half term holidays it was noticeable as usual that there were no children/teenagers at our local leisure centre pool proving that swimming is low down the scale of activities.

More room for me though :D
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Perhaps it is because learning to swim could save your life, learning Judo almost certainly would not.
Tell me under what circumstances it might save my life? A knowledge of Judo could defend me from an attacker on dry land, a knowledge of swimming is only going to save me if I have stupidly put myself in a position of needing to.

Being enjoyable is in the eye of the beholder and irrelevant to committing school time; as a source of exercise it requires expensive facilities and there are ways of being fit which are more readily available.

I propose it is a conspiracy by swimming enthusiasts to keep public funds pouring into a pursuit they would not be able to afford privately.
 
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gomezz

Well-Known Member
If you met a mugger on the canal path it would give you the option of swimming to safety?

(only to catch Weil's disease ... :( )
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
The judo would have saved me from the mugger (I did think about it before I chose that particular counter-example!), the mugger would end up needing to swim and/or dying of Weil's.
 

MikeSh

Well-Known Member
Tell me under what circumstances it might save my life?

Hardly a day goes by without a news report of people dying in water related incidents. Yes, many would still drown even if they could swim, but your chances of survival are much better if you have experience of being immersed in water.

Examples of unexpected water? Ferries sinking, beach accidents, falling into a river, your car entering a river, floods (popular these days).
Of course, if you live on top of a hill and never go anywhere then learning to swim won't be of much use, but then neither would judo :)
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Now let's eliminate the statistics of drownings where the drownee has chosen to be in or on water, and compare what's left with the drownings in the process of learning to swim and where the drownee could already swim.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
If nobody can counter that one, it looks like the Devil's Avocado might have a point and it's public policy that's wrong! One in the eye for evidence-based government.
 

catnap

Member
I went to secondary school in London in the mid 60s. We were taken for occasional swimming lessons by one of the more brutish teachers (there was considerable competition for that distinction). He berated those like me who didn't show much enthusiasm or aptitude telling us that learning to swim may save our lives. When I countered that surely we were more likely to drown if we learned to swim I was hit on the head with his metal whistle (which he always carried - attached to a long piece of string so that he could lash out with it) and pushed into the swimming baths. Those were the days. (In fairness I was a bit of a know-it-all git).
 

RobH1

Well-Known Member
Every day we hear pupils are not learning enough to equip them for the workplace.
Why is this newsworthy? Why do they think this is any more important than, say, teaching children the art of Judo?
Just because one person enjoys learning doesn't mean somebody else should be forced to do it.
 

gomezz

Well-Known Member
Many teachers complain that children are not learning enough at home to equip them for the schoolplace. Should they ignore that want and let them continue to run feral?
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
You just have to hope that the various groups (Government, Governors, Teachers, Parents etc.) who decide what should be on the curriculum are level headed enough to come up with a good balance, Almost everything with the possible exception of English and Maths is up for grabs. I have seen schools where Geography, History, Music, Art, Religious Education etc. are all optional, unfortunately it isn't practical to make all subjects optional. I personally would have been a lot happier at school had I not been forced to play football for 5 years :)
 
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