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  1. #2351

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    The bottom of the class we talked about that was keeping the rest of us behind? Bloody good at Design&Technology (woodwork/metalwork) But you only got an hour of that a week. They really could have done with abandoning onesize fits all education a long time ago.

    However the process of robo-insemination is far too complex for the human mind!
    A knee high fence, my one weakness

  2. #2352

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    Yup. And here comes the proper leftie in me.....no expense should be spared.

    By all means, do your best to ensure there's as little financial wastage as possible, but the education of our youth isn't something to be done on a shoestring at all.

    Let Teachers teach. They're trained, and for the most part really know what they're doing. A friend of mine runs a 'Marvel and Manga' club after school. She's massively over subscribed, and somehow runs that club on a tiny bursary. She's got kids reading by choice - and it's all kinds of kids, not just your average spotty little Herbert you'd expect to like that sort of thing.

    It may be a medium still looked down upon, but comic books (it'll be a cold day in hell before I insist they're actually graphic novels!) have literary worth. The best ones cover surprisingly tricky subjects, and present a variety of view points.

    Imagine how much more invested a kid with reading difficulties would be in a comic book adaptation of Shakespeare would be, compared to simply reading the script? You don't even need to abridge the text - comic books don't have a defined length. And they're already out there!. Is that not a more flexible approach?

    If education reaches out to kids, gives Teachers more opportunities for 'good work, nice one, you're really coming along', then kids are more likely to be switched on in the classroom. Nobody likes being told 'not good enough, try harder'. Nobody - even at the best of times when we know damn well we didn't do as well as we could. But to be told that when you just can't engage with the subject because you find that take boring? That's crushing.
    Last edited by Mr Mystery; 09-13-2016 at 02:03 AM.
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  3. #2353

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    I think the problem is that school is meant to give everyone roughly the same baseline knowledge to progress from. If you start specialising kids at a young age, you risk coddling them away from a tough subject they might eventually succeed at. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up, which is why I picked Media Studies of all things. If I'd been sacrificing other subjects to do that from a young age, then I doubt I'd be where I am now, tbh. You also run a greater risk of children being "nudged away" from certain subjects by their teachers.

    Also while I do think the reading material in high school is dull, most schools now have pretty extensive libraries you can borrow books from.

    The main problem is the standardised testing, though. If everyone is being tested by the same standard on the same paper, then everyone would need to study the same things, otherwise they don't have the same chances of passing. If someone decided they really didn't want to know trigonometry, that's an aspect of the test you've lost.

    By the way, a lot of the stuff that seems useless in school mathematics is essential basics for engineering. Programming also requires a thorough knowledge of Algebra and such, as well as pretty much any discipline in science. STEM needs people to know this basic maths, is what I'm getting at.
    Read the above in a Tachikoma voice.

  4. #2354
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Mystery View Post
    Why? Why why why? I'm sure as adults we've all picked up promising books we've struggled to get through - imagine being someone not confident with their reading being asked to spot the one joke in a Shakespeare play? How off putting is that? Why not give them something else? Hell, even an autobiography of a footballer or what have you - anything that they might actually want to read??
    Unrelated, but I'm snickering at "the one joke in a Shakespeare play". The majority of the lines that aren't obvious drama are all dirty jokes. Also how the heck is he considered high class literature when the majority of the plays are all dirty jokes? And I mean really crass toilet humour jokes much of the time. I guess language and culture have shifted enough that the majority of the audience doesn't recognise them now.
    Kabal of Venomed Dreams

  5. #2355

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    I thought it was all dick jokes?
    It's probably more only a certain section of society generally goes to watch a live Shakespeare performance and I'd assume that's why?

    However the process of robo-insemination is far too complex for the human mind!
    A knee high fence, my one weakness

  6. #2356

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    From the outset I must say I went to a grammar school, the expectation was everyone would go to a red brick university. I got there without tuition or extra help.

    There is a problem of elitism, about a third of my class were coached how to pass the exam to some degree or another, they all came from the same "feeder" school, so while some were taught in primary schools how do the exam, others had private tuition. It was fine for the first couple of years but when you hit GCSE that's where you noticed the difference and those who were naturally talented excelled and those who weren't didn't.

    I also knew a lad who had tuition since he was in year 2, he failed all the 11 pluses in the area and his parent's just paid for him to attend a public school.

    Grammar schools should not have more money thrown at them then any other school. Mine was in an "educational action zone" so received additional funding, which was perhaps completely unwarranted. But the school did mentorships and after school activities with the local comprehensive. It then won "sports college" status and got additional funding for that, and with that came additional outreach and letting community groups use our facilities.

    If we accept the notion that apprenticeships are equivalent to bachelor degrees we show that academic routes and no-academic routes are equally valid, yet we have an educational system which currently teaches children the same way until they are 18. That means for those 13 years non-academic children are forced down a route and through a system which does not enable them to succeed.

    Perhaps a system like in Germany would be much better, they have three types of schools:

    Gymnasium - these are academic schools whose purpose is to prepare those children to attend university

    Realschule - these are less academic but offer a broader range and cover much of the same stuff as the gynasium and include mandatory languages (equivalent to a USA high school diploma)

    Hauptschule - these are less academic still, covering the same basic stuff as the above two but at a slower rate, but prepares it's pupils for vocational type further education and practical skills.

    This system from the outside seems fairly good, the same "core" is taught in all the schools with different schools progressing at different paces. Unfortunately, the schools are ranked as top middle bottom, so there is still societal pressure to attend a gymnasium and not the hauptschule.

    I am not sure 11 is the right age to split the kids into different streams but when should be? Before GCSE possibly?

    Every child is different and learn things in different ways, yet we have an educational system that teaches children all the same way despite what their style of learning is or aptitude for different things.

    Notionally, if you are against the "elitism" of grammar schools then are you against streaming children in different sets? Or sitting different papers. So also should we not send children with learning difficulties to the same schools?
    In bottom set classes today up and down the country you will find a mix of children who are SEN (special educational needs) with those who misbehave and those who simply don't get it. It does not do any of these three groups any good to be lumped together.
    Similarly, the pressures on teachers to get children the 'C' means that a child who could be pushed up from a B to an A or A to A* gets less attention than those D/Es that might get a C.

    We teach to the middle which does a disservice to the brightest academic children.

    So if grammar schools are to be part of the solution, we also need schools to teach children in different ways not just academic, but in vocational topics and practical topics from budgeting to baking. And let us not forget that it was the labour desire to get everyone to do a degree that basically pushed the academic only option down the school.

    With my own children I would encourage them to sit the 11+ and if they failed that I would pay to send them to public school.

    Unfortunately not every child is born equal and nor do they have equal opportunities and these things are very cyclic. If you don't read to your children then they will be disadvantaged and may struggle with literacy, which makes them unlikely to read to their children and so on and so forth.

    Because of these compound issues you can say quite clearly, that less than 3% of grammar school entrants have free school meals, compared to the surrounding areas which is 18% but is this showing that they aren't good for equality, or are their other issues at play. Most grammar schools are old, industrial revolution era old, put on the edge of towns, but now owing to urban expansion are inner city areas, which tend also to be more deprived.
    Or "Pupils are less likely to attend a grammar school if they attend primary schools with a high proportion of pupils from deprived backgrounds." it is a bit common sense you could probably make the same comment about young adults going to university.
    Fan of Fuggles | Derailment of the Wolfpack of Horsemen | In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

 

 

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