We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As you know, Eton College is not a university. It's a private (what they term "public" in the UK) prep school. High school. Eton is right to keep girls out of there. Girls are a fatal distraction to lads during the intense learning years, and vice-versa.
I don't know many 12 year olds who could read that, let alone answer the questions. Heck, in my experience, most college grads couldn't deal with it. I don't know that anyone coming out of the US public schools could deal with it.
Is it subjective? Yes. But teaching the facts is much easier, if you know your students can Think. And to answer those questions, you have to think.
If this partial list is accurate, it is not a bad bunch to have graduated from ones institution: Eton has produced nineteen British Prime Ministers, including Sir Robert Walpole, William Pitt the Elder, the first Duke of Wellington, William Ewart Gladstone, Arthur James Balfour, Harold Macmillan, and the current Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Old Etonians who have been writers include Henry Fielding, Thomas Gray, Horace Walpole, Aldous Huxley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Robert Bridges, George Orwell, Anthony Powell, Cyril Connolly and Ian Fleming.
Thought Churchill went here, but apparently it was Harrow.
That sons of the aristocracy should be politicians is no surprise. But where are those who made Britain famous? Where are the chemists, manufacturers, inventors, engineers, mathematicians, shipbuilders, merchants, and bankers?
The 2nd part of the exam with the made up language reminds me of the test they gave you to into the language program in the military. Exactly the same thing except they gave all the rules to you orally, rather than on paper. It was the coolest test I ever took. I scored very well on it, so maybe I would've been good enough for Eton!
The coolest test I ever took consisted of the outlines of about 50 pieces of mostly irregularly shaped paper. Each piece of 'paper' had dotted lines that indicated a place to be folded. The rule was that each piece of paper was to be folded along each dotted line, but no piece of the 'paper' could be folded so as to cover another piece of the same 'paper'. This usually required a 3-dimensional result.
You were then given five possible results and you were to choose which the paper would look like when folded. I believe we had an hour to do increasingly difficult folds.
It was weird and wonderful. I never found out what they were testing for.
If boys are so easily distracted that the mere presence of girls renders them unable to learn, maybe Eton should be set aside for the exclusive use of girls. We keep hearing that girls at better at school, anyway.
Where are the chemists, manufacturers, inventors, engineers, mathematicians, shipbuilders, merchants, and bankers?
Generally, the aforementioned were not of Establishment/Established Church background. Not Etonians. Recall the upper class aversion for people engaged in "trade." So Eton, the training ground for the aristocracy, would not be the place to find merchants or shipbuilders etc. Aristocrats went into government or the military, in addition to gallivanting about their estates. In The Evolution of Man and Society, C.D. Darlington makes the point that the British who were responsible for the science and engineering advances of the 17th-19th centuries were almost all [religious] Dissenters. That is, not of the Established Episcopalian Church, and not of the Establishment, but of middle class origin- or lower. Not Etonians. Also recall that Dissenters were not permitted to attend or teach at Oxford or Cambridge. Those Dissenters who were associated with Oxbridge, such as Isaac Newton, had to hide their religious beliefs.
Girls are much better at learning subjects selected by older girls, none of which subjects feature numbers, formulas, logic, rigour, mathematics, engineering or long intense hours ending with a revelation or a headache or both.
As a side note, girls are always pushing onto the committees that set curricula. Boys are busy interacting with matter and energy, from bats and balls to ruminating about relativity to flying multi-mach fighter jets.
And if you do not understand why young men are distracted by young women, I understand you.
It's easy enough to understand why young men are attracted by girls. What I'm suggesting is that, if they can't control themselves, and the only solution is to exclude one gender or the other, then why shouldn't it be the boys who are excluded? Especially if, as you point out, school doesn't suit boys?
Try recasting your comment this way: "[Boys] are much better at learning subjects selected by older [boys], none of which subjects feature [laundry list of things girls think are important]. As a side note, [boys] are always pushing onto the committees that set curricula. [Girls] are busy interacting with [other people, from networking to learning social skills to learning how to cooperate effectively]." Would phrasing it that way make you think the system was stacked against girls and needed to be reformed?