The Education System

Any issues with what nappies to buy, home schooling etc. In fact if you have kids or are planning to this is the section for you.
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boboff
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Re: The Education System

Post: #232621 boboff
Fri May 20, 2011 8:20 am

Mike, I am in no way offfended, infact I love the fact we can discuss matters where we have different views, It's Great, and no tutting smiley's in sight!

http://www.st-josephs-pickering.n-yorks.sch.uk/past_test_papers.htm

This is the site we used for past papers for my daughter recently.

This is the test standard for 11 year olds, and in no way would you see "CAT" as a challenging spelling test.

In total it amounts to about 3 hours testing over 4 days, you will see the marking standards and the emphasis on use of a variety of grammar and punctuation, and it does offer marks for hand writing.

These tests are national ones, and as you would expect there is a large range of marks, BUT Mike I think these tests are well thought out and challenging, you do get graded, and you are told what place in the class you have come, they are used to assess your educational needs in Senior School.

I really wish personnally that I had better English education, as I struggle with verbs, adverbs, sub junkets or what ever they are called, and I am not that good with spelling, basically because I was to lazy to learn things by rote when I was as school.

Anyway, my point is look at the tests, and assess whether it is now correct to state things like " a 12 year old can't spell CAT when it's written down in front of them"

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Re: The Education System

Post: #232623 Green Aura
Fri May 20, 2011 8:26 am

boboff wrote:tutting smiley's
Mmmmmmmm! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: The Education System

Post: #232626 Susie
Fri May 20, 2011 9:10 am

boboff wrote:I really wish personnally that I had better English education, as I struggle with verbs, adverbs, sub junkets or what ever they are called, and I am not that good with spelling, basically because I was to lazy to learn things by rote when I was as school.


I managed to get a degree in English (including papers on old english & linguistics) without ever really knowing anything about grammar, I mean I must have picked it up but there were some very strange gaps in my knowledge. My partner taught me grammar (when I was doing phd proposals, that isn't just how we spend our evenings. Although to be fair that would be a top evening for him, I shall ask him about ablative absolutes tonight and watch his eyes light up).

I'm not sure whether I'm a tragic indictment of the education system though or if I just wasn't listening :wink: . There are definitely gaps in my knowledge when I compare myself to people I know who were educated privately/ at grammar schools (I didn't rote learn anything and I still don't know my times tables) but it's swings and roundabouts because I know other things.

Besides, I normally have either a calculator or an ex-grammar-school person to hand, so all is well.
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Re: The Education System

Post: #232627 Lilyfae
Fri May 20, 2011 9:21 am

MKG wrote:Not quite what I meant, Lilyfae. I am a product of that same grammar school system - although I was there a long time before Maggie's name was newsworthy. It wasn't a bed of roses. But I came out recalling a lot, knowing a lot, understanding a lot, having a solid background in areas I would otherwise never have seen - oh, and having been taught debating skills to boot - and with the qualifications to go on to a successful higher education period and several interesting careers which earned me a fair amount of money. Nearly forgot - my father, far from being middle class, was a miner.

Impractical and reactionary, I know, but ...

Mike


Well mike you were one of the lucky ones (no doubt your perception of school was enhanced by having passed the 11+ - my father in law was in a comp the same time as you and his teachers were unable to teach and were often locked in the stationary cupboard whilst boys dangled each other it the third floor window- most of his peers are what you call functioning illiterate- and that's in the time of caning)

The thing is people who had a solid education under the old system fail to realise that as the world has changed politically,socially, economically, culturally & technologically the world that apparently worked for a lucky few & baby boomers does not exist today- as old jerry says we can get recall knowledge & instant gratification with a few clicks & children are obsessed with visual stimuli that they can get 24/7 not on a Saturday morning at the pictures.
Education on the frontlines is trying to ( unsuccessfully in places I grant you) adapt to these changes to create capable adults but we can't if people live in the past of what was great for them, but doesn't necessarily work for today's generation raised by parents & grandparents who are often bitter & distrusting of education because the glory days didn't work for them.


Btw what your science teacher did is not any different from what the best pedagogues today do, stories & information has it's place in every classroom but sometimes you have to get active to make it stick.

Oh & when I was referring to Thatcher I wasnt using the 'catchall' that most people do, I was referring to a specific policy from 1984 after s cabinet minister observed history lessons in a school in his constituency and said he was disgusted at the children being asked to 'imagine they were in a town suffering from the Black Death' (an example he drags out even til today to demonised history teaching).and couldn't tell him who won Trafalgar or who was King after William of Normandy.
Thatcher responded by stating history education should focus on the order of kings & the glory of Britain & it's territories as was enshrined in the first National Curriculum a few years later as 'the making of the uk' a dire trudge through time from William to The Stuarts as if nothing else ever happened apart from Hitler & WWII done to death every year from 14-18!
Sorry, am history teacher, I sometimes refer to things without realising they aren't common knowledge :oops:

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Re: The Education System

Post: #232630 Masco&Bongo
Fri May 20, 2011 9:49 am

I started training to be a teacher, and left my teaching degree 3 years into a 4 year course (not a PGCE, a BA Hons with Teaching or some such).

All my life I had wanted to be a teacher, and I hated it. I didn't hate the kids, I hated the adults involved. We had hours and hours of lectures about how to teach, and lesson planning and writing evaluations (as well as our specialise subject) etc. Then we went into school, and found out that 'real' teaching was nothing like that. It doesn't matter how well you plan your lessons, and how you evaluate them; actual teaching is completely different.

One thing that sticks in my mind is the difference in schools. I taught in 2 primary schools in Preston, Lancs (where I was living at the time).

School 1 was exactly where you would want to send your child. Nice village location and friendly involved interested parents. 99% of the children exceeded expectations. Most of the 10 year olds I taught had reading ages of 13 and above. They were engaged and interested; lessons went as planned, with all learning outcomes met (and exceeded). We did projects on the Aztecs - this included lessons on art, maths, home ec, science etc. They were quick to grasp abstracts and be able to apply them to their real lives. They had hobbies outside school - many of them were in sports clubs, or had music lessons etc.

School 2 was a proper "Jeremy Kyle" school. On an estate in one of the rougher areas of the town; known for drug dealing, prostitution and general crime. The school was a nice building, and had had a lot of investment in it. However, the children were something else. Most of the 10 year olds didn't have a reading age of more than 7. They were struggling with "Run, Ben, Run" type of books and basic addition. They struggled with the most basic of concepts and had no imagination. I couldn't have said "Can you imagine what it would have been like in...." as they wouldn't have understood it. After sitting with a 10 year old girl and noting that no-one at home had signed her reading off at home for weeks, I asked her why. Very matter-of-factly she said "Cos my dad is too busy. He says I'm a waste of f--king space" and she used the actual f-word. On speaking to the teacher, this was apparantly normal for the area. Most parents were functioning illiterates. The worst day was a Friday there. There was some concern about one of the 9 year old boys. He wasn't best known for personal hygiene and cleanliness etc, however it was noted that by Friday, he had been wearing the same clothes all week and had stolen food from other children. It turned out his mother was a local prostitute, who had left on Monday night with a 'boyfriend' and hadn't returned to the house yet. This child had been coming to school every day by himself. There were no clean clothes in the house, and he had been living on cold beans and stale bread. The house had no heating or hot water. I was horrified - the child was non-plussed - this was normal life for him. It turned out that many of the children at the school had parents who were known drug dealers/takers or prostitutes, or criminals.

I know which school I would have liked to teach in.... sadly, every other teacher also wanted to teach there.
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Re: The Education System

Post: #232632 boboff
Fri May 20, 2011 10:07 am

Discusting, cold beans!

That is a sad story, and one that is repeated all around the country, but the schools are judged in a massive way by the amount of "added value" Silk Purces and sows ears are a given, and a rural primary or one in Chelsea where all the kids a bi-lingual before they start school, will have foundation level assessments made of the intake, and then this is compared to the Yr6 results in time. Surely a school that can take a load of below avergae ability kids and make them average is a much better school than a school which has a load of smart arses to start with, and ends up with a load of smart arses at the end.

Do you think the prostitute was on Double Time for a week then?
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Re: The Education System

Post: #232651 grahamhobbs
Fri May 20, 2011 1:43 pm

Oldjerry you are beginning to hit the nail on the head. Our education consisted of being disciplined for work, we were taught to do what we were told. to stand still, sit still, to shut up, all very good for when we got to work. The thing was, there was work, grammar school kids went on to be technicians, engineers, managers, whilst secondary school kids largely went into a trade and for many I mean a real trade where you learnt real skills. Now the top 50%, like the grammar school kids, go onto university and mainly on to decent jobs (although this is no longer anything like guaranteed), the bottom 50% however have little to look forward to, 20% on the dole, another 20% working in McDonalds, a checkout or a 6 months 'project', and this for the rest of their lives. The working class has been de-skilled. Without being able to look forward to meaningful work in which to take pride and at the same time constantly being fed that you are only 'someone' if you simply consume, have a flash car, big tits, appear on the X-factor, etc then how will we motivate kids to bother to learn.

I went to secondary school and the great memory was of the comradeship. Against what MKG says about giving medals to the winner, we looked down on those who wanted to promote themselves above others. Some guys were better at somethings and others in other things. I was brilliant at maths, I didn't look for special recognition or praise, I'd share the homework I'd done with others who found it difficult, we weren't competitive in that way. Kids should be encouraged to do their best but not to beat others, or do we agree with this dog eat dog society.

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Re: The Education System

Post: #232670 JulieSherris
Fri May 20, 2011 4:39 pm

Well, I went to school through the 60's & 70's and just like in the good old Monty Python skit, our schools were tiered.

So, there was the local comprehensive for the 'thick kids'. A lot of these kids came from the 2 largest council estates in the town & as a young teen, my Mum wouldn't let me even mix with them out of school. Anyway, we looked down on them, as did everyone else.

Then there was the 'good' comprehensive school, we looked down on them as well, although they looked down on the other school.

Next, was us at the Technical High School. The kids from the 2 comps looked up to us, but whilst we looked down on them, we also looked up to the local Grammar kids - who looked down on everybody.

There were apprenticeships. PROPER apprenticeships, not these cheap labour token label type that have tried to spring up in recent years. My hubby did his engineering apprenticeship with British Steel & at the age of 51 is still considered to be higher educated & qualified than someone who has a degree in the same field.

Now, my biggest bugbear with this thread? Is not the topic, which I admit, has been interesting to read and overall I find myself in Mike's camp when considering each point.
It's the spelling. Especially from the teacher members. :( These are the very folks teaching the adults of tomorrow & they are the biggest spelling culprits.

I'd get red biro over my books no matter what the subject, and annoyingly, I'm one of those people who see a spelling mistake at 80 metres! :wink:

In Blackpool, I took issue with a local hotelier who had a new sign painted that boasted 'Spar Bathrooms'..... :roll:
One year, my new year's resolution was not to part with my money at ANY establishment which had spelling mistakes on the advertising... it didn't last past January when our local shop had 'coffey' on sale :roll:

Anyway, take note you lot & go write this list out 50 times please - I will be testing you all later, so be warned.
(And don't any of you try to tell me it's your typing because there's a spellcheck on this that shows you before you even hit submit where you've made a mistake!)

ciriculum = curriculum
Acadamies = Academies
etetc = etc
excisted = existed
Baca Lauriet / baccalauréat= Baccalaureate
reuslts = results
descibe = describe
allot = a lot
Wheather = Whether
permiates = permeates
balme = blame
collegues = colleagues
youselves = yourselves
reguardless of qulification. = regardless of qualification
emphisis = emphasis
Govenment = Government
proffession = profession
higly = highly
dowhhill = downhill
Discusting = Disgusting
Purces = Purses
non-plussed = nonplussed
Offfended = Offended
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Re: The Education System

Post: #232675 MKG
Fri May 20, 2011 5:40 pm

,,,and she's going to beat us all later. :sunny: :sunny: :sunny:

There are magazines about the Julies of this world :lol: .

Anyway - I came on to apologise. Having started what has turned into a heated-ish, but fascinating, topic, I find I have so little time to answer anything so far today - especially Boboff's test papers, which I will certainly comment on given a little more time. Oi'll be back.

Pick the bones out of that one, Jewly!! :iconbiggrin:

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Re: The Education System

Post: #232676 Lilyfae
Fri May 20, 2011 5:47 pm

None of my extra words rather than bad spelling is up there though please do forgive my typing as it's on an iPhone rather than boot up my proper computer, the entire touch-screen keyboard is about 5cm wide and 3cm tall so sometimes I might hit the next key or the auto-correct text might change the word to something apple recognises rather than I meant- :oops:

Though I try my best I am a bit verbose :oops: and might miss, when speedreading,over a word that isn't spelt wrong (btw iPhone tried to change spelt to Spike then :shock: ) but is incorrect or wrong for the syntax all the same. I apologise if that happens as I am very hot on spelling, grammar and syntax so much that I am the essay guru for GCSE & A Level History as it can make a difference in grades.

That said I had to bite my tongue the last time I went into the classroom of a senior member of staff in my department who spelt Caesar as Ceesor and was making the year 7s write it down! Not all teachers have outstanding spelling admittedly!

Anyway What I like about this forum is that we have been able to have this debate & passionately with no hard feelings- or at least from here :? as on other forums the slightest debate can lead to bitterness & banned members for simply having difference of opinion.
This is what modern education is missing - real debating!

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Re: The Education System

Post: #232679 julie_lanteri
Fri May 20, 2011 6:30 pm

love it Julie!

I spotted my "baccalauréat": that's actually the French word for baccalaureate (I've got all French qualifications apart from my PGCE) :p

And you know what, it's frowned upon to ask the kids to copy words out. "It's not an English lesson", "content over form" etc. In languages, we regularly correct mistakes in both languages. Best bits? When they give us a piece of homework that they swear wasn't done with an online translator, with half the words misspelt in English...

""... it's repetition/reinforcement that's going to help that child ..."
Sounds just like rote learning to me. And there I was beginning to think that was a crime"

Does rote learning mean learning something by heart/ learning parrot fashion? That's frowned upon too. Which is totally stupid in my opinion because there are things you just need to know! Timestables, verb endings, spellings etc. It's not going to come from the sky or just by looking at it for a very long time. What gets me is that not knowing the basics has a terrible knock on effect as it makes everything else so much harder.

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Re: The Education System

Post: #232680 JulieSherris
Fri May 20, 2011 6:30 pm

MKG wrote:There are magazines about the Julies of this world :lol: .


Ha, and then there are the men that buy them... Mike! :wink:
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Re: The Education System

Post: #232681 MKG
Fri May 20, 2011 6:44 pm

Just got time for this one ...

I'm beginning to detect a worrying (to me) prejudice against success. I'm not pointing fingers (even if I quote or paraphrase anyone) but I suspect that identification of smartarses, detection of my "luck" as a young schoolboy, even a seeming dislike of schools which worked as opposed to those which failed, all point to (dare I say it?) prejudice. I simply don't believe Malcolm's assertion that he and his friends worked toward never outstripping anyone else (I'm sure that's how you remember it, Malcolm, but it smacks of jealous justification to me). Human beings (that's us), and therefore children, are predisposed to competition. It's the nature of the beast (and let's not get into arguments about the rectitude of that statement. Anthropology, biology, history and the more sensible bits of sociology suggest this to be true).

So - has there been a positive, if unconscious, effort to remove competitive and challenging situations from education? I'll just make my position obvious on this one - I think there has been such an effort, although I don't think it has been unconscious.

Over ... (bzzzzzz hmmmmmm bzzzzzz click, click)

Mike

EDIT: Julie_lanteri is, with every additional post, becoming closer to being my candidate for the next Minister for Education.
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Re: The Education System

Post: #232682 JulieSherris
Fri May 20, 2011 6:48 pm

julie_lanteri wrote:.....
Does rote learning mean learning something by heart/ learning parrot fashion? That's frowned upon too......


Yep, repetition works wonders. And mainly it's down to muscle memory - at least in my experience.

Many, many, many moons ago (well, he IS 51) my hubby learnt a very complicated little trick with his fingers where (for example) he puts the 3rd finger against his 7th fingers (out of his 10 fingers, not that he has 7 fingers on one hand, you understand) :lol: and that's how he STILL works out calculations. He tried to teach me his method, but I sort of 'see' numbers so his way of doing things looks really confusing! But, it works for him, bless :iconbiggrin:

Even as late as 1997, I was a mature student studying chemistry & our Professor made us learn certain things by rote - Avogadro's law being one - I can still rattle on how moles work & that the Avogadro Constant is 6.02214179(30)×10 to the power of 23, elements per molecule. What good it does me when I'm knee deep in chicken poo is neither here nor there - but at least I still remember! :cheers:
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Re: The Education System

Post: #232683 MKG
Fri May 20, 2011 6:52 pm

Errrmmm ... that's "elementary entities per mole" Julie. As you know :iconbiggrin:

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