Education in our Schools

slim

War Hero
Seems like government policy to provide everyone with the same education. Let all and sundry go to university and get a degree in subjects which in many cases serve no useful purpose other than to inflate the ego of the recipients.

Whether the suggestion I am going to make is workable I don't know. However I feel that it offers a viable alternative to the less academically gifted.
Many of our children drop out of school in their early teens and eventually leave school with no qualifications and numeracy and literacy skills almost non existent
At age 13 why not offer a completely different type of education to these drop outs. Let us retain English and mathematics as core subjects. Perhaps an hour a day on each. The rest of the school working week to be used for trade training. Why not let these kids learn plumbing, joinery, bricklaying, electrical skills and other skills useful to their working life. The maths could even be tailored to suit the course. Just think at sixteen kids could be leaving school with NVQ qualifications completely relevant to their needs.
 
chieftiff said:
It's not a new idea, see this link to White Paper Responses to the Tomlinson Report of 14-19 year old education.

http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/Database/youthcurriculum.html

Colleges are preparing to accept part time under 16's on vocational training courses now.

They have been doing thatfora few years now and works very well a couple of girls from my school left to do hairdressing and catering courses ( I left school at 16 in 1995)
 
slim said:
Seems like government policy to provide everyone with the same education. Let all and sundry go to university and get a degree in subjects which in many cases serve no useful purpose other than to inflate the ego of the recipients.

Whether the suggestion I am going to make is workable I don't know. However I feel that it offers a viable alternative to the less academically gifted.
Many of our children drop out of school in their early teens and eventually leave school with no qualifications and numeracy and literacy skills almost non existent
At age 13 why not offer a completely different type of education to these drop outs. Let us retain English and mathematics as core subjects. Perhaps an hour a day on each. The rest of the school working week to be used for trade training. Why not let these kids learn plumbing, joinery, bricklaying, electrical skills and other skills useful to their working life. The maths could even be tailored to suit the course. Just think at sixteen kids could be leaving school with NVQ qualifications completely relevant to their needs.

A bit like a secondary modern?
 

slim

War Hero
I attended a secondary modern Peter. That was in the sixties and the only practical subjects taught were woodwork (half a day a week) and metalwork (half a day a week) Rest of the week was taken up with Maths, English, Science, Biology, History. Geography, PE. RE, Music and Technical drawing. I think that if at 13 I had been offered trade training I would have jumped at the chance.
 

slim

War Hero
chieftiff said:
It's not a new idea, see this link to White Paper Responses to the Tomlinson Report of 14-19 year old education.

http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/Database/youthcurriculum.html

Colleges are preparing to accept part time under 16's on vocational training courses now.

edited to add the link I forgot to add, eg:

http://www.stroud.ac.uk/courses/vocational/vocational.html

I like the Stroud link chieftiff. Be nice to see it available from age 13 and not be offered through the pupils school
 
slim said:
I attended a secondary modern Peter. That was in the sixties and the only practical subjects taught were woodwork (half a day a week) and metalwork (half a day a week) Rest of the week was taken up with Maths, English, Science, Biology, History. Geography, PE. RE, Music and Technical drawing. I think that if at 13 I had been offered trade training I would have jumped at the chance.

Up here we did have trade schools, used to go past one every day when I went to school full of lathes and other fascinating machines. The building was listed and it is now a poncy block of flats.

Peter
 

slim

War Hero
At the end of the day is it better for a youngster to leave University with a Micky Mouse degree and a load of debt at 22. Or would he have been better served by an educational system which trained him/her for real jobs, earning real money in the real world and who by the age of 16 would have basic skills needed by many employers.
 
Oh b*gger, I think we agree again. I am certainly not a believer in one size fits all education. The fault if pre the incompreshensibles was that after the 11+ the die was set, and that was wrong. We need to have a system that actually gets people as far up the tree as possible and gives them the ability to be good citizens and earn a fair days wage for what they can do.

I would like to be one of these highly paid directors who gets telephone number bonuses every year but the reality is for various reasons that is not me, does that mean I am a failure, I don't think so. Is the security guard at the gate a failure no!

The education system should take peopleas far as they can go, and should balance this between pure academic study, life skills, and practical/trade skills depending on the capability of the student.
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
I think maxi has hit the nail on the head really, we all want to be the highest paid professional, unfortunately we are not all capable. There is a huge drive in education for equal opportunity, and rightly so, we should all be given an appropriate level of teaching assistance to reach our potential. The problem is by making quota's the govt has increased the aspiration of both parents and students. To say that 40% of students should go to university and achieve at least an Ordinary Degree is beyond stupid, it puts pressure on the education system to push young people beyond their ability and has resulted in a whole raft of obscure degree courses which in all honesty will result in students never realising an appropriate return on their education.

The flip side to this of course is that we don't want to undersell our youth and the difficulty comes in deciding at what point is one student more vocationally capable than academic? 13 or even 14 seems a very young age to me, puberty is just throwing hormones willy nilly around and completely messing with our brains at this age, ability is truly and often confused with rebellion.

Add this to the problem many colleges would face with young teenagers in their midst, it's worth remembering that even a qualified college lecturer like myself(and most aren't qualified) is only trained in the principles of andragogic education (the methodology and philosophy of adult learning as opposed to pedagogic) and the potential disasters are obvious.

A return to the days when a childs aspirations are his fathers or mothers occupation would be wrong, but to right children off at 13 to purely vocational training with basic literacy and numeracy thrown in is probably just as wrong.
 
chieftiff said:
I think maxi has hit the nail on the head really, we all want to be the highest paid professional, unfortunately we are not all capable. There is a huge drive in education for equal opportunity, and rightly so, we should all be given an appropriate level of teaching assistance to reach our potential. The problem is by making quota's the govt has increased the aspiration of both parents and students. To say that 40% of students should go to university and achieve at least an Ordinary Degree is beyond stupid, it puts pressure on the education system to push young people beyond their ability and has resulted in a whole raft of obscure degree courses which in all honesty will result in students never realising an appropriate return on their education.

The flip side to this of course is that we don't want to undersell our youth and the difficulty comes in deciding at what point is one student more vocationally capable than academic? 13 or even 14 seems a very young age to me, puberty is just throwing hormones willy nilly around and completely messing with our brains at this age, ability is truly and often confused with rebellion.

Add this to the problem many colleges would face with young teenagers in their midst, it's worth remembering that even a qualified college lecturer like myself(and most aren't qualified) is only trained in the principles of andragogic education (the methodology and philosophy of adult learning as opposed to pedagogic) and the potential disasters are obvious.

A return to the days when a childs aspirations are his fathers or mothers occupation would be wrong, but to right children off at 13 to purely vocational training with basic literacy and numeracy thrown in is probably just as wrong.

I think you missed my point that to return to the old concept of passing the kids down one way pipes at some pre-determined descision points is the problem. Of course the 3 Rs must always stay in the game to give people the basic skills required for the bad world outside along with some survival/citizenship skills. On this basis when some one is clearly at that point failing on the more academic side we introduce more practical skills such as technical drawing (plumbers brickies etc still need to be able to understand drawings etc) plus subjects like the old metalwork and woodwork (invaluable for future DIY and also helpfull in choosing future employment). Such studies are more likely to be 'interesting' for those who do not find pure academic study easy and if the system does not condemn them rather keeps the oportunity to undertake more academic study later we may well 'pick up' the late developer when they are still able to return easily if a year or so late to the more academic subjects.

After all education should be to fit people to make the best of their lives with the capability they are born with, rather than to try to fit them into some predertmined mould.

I take the point about those currently working in tertiary education 'teaching' by different methods to those in secondary, and the change to a more custmoer led education system will clearly need changes in provider training.

Peter
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
Peter, I didn't miss your point, and I am not disagreeing with you :lol:

I think all adults by their middle age actually understand all of the theories of education by experience, putting that knowledge into academic speak is an aside. The problem is we know adults learn in different ways, some prefer to do things, some prefer to reflect on things and some just prefer to theorise, to some extent children are the same, however. They are not the same! Vocational training requires students to take ownership of their learning, develop areas in which they are weak and consolidate areas in which they are strong, children are unable to do this, not because they don't want to, but because they haven't yet learnt enough about themselves.

The danger then is that a child failing in academic subjects could be moved to more vocational subjects only to fail again for reasons not of their doing. Are they then complete failures?...........incidentally inability to take ownership of ones own learning is the very reason that apprenticeships pre WW1 were 7-9 years long, that and the fact that most young apprentices served as nothing more than cheap labour until about 17-18 years old.

My own solution would be greater choice for students within schools to take a more practical approach, ie allow them to take Design Tech, Engineering Drawing, Physics, even vehicle maintenance etc together at GCSE level, still within the school environment. All too often now schools place restrictions on the subjects students may take together in order to give a balanced education, it may well be balanced but balanced for who? often just the timetable planner I am afraid!
 
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