Education in our Schools

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by slim, Dec 7, 2006.

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  1. 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.
  2. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

  3. 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)
  4. A bit like a secondary modern?
  5. 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.
  6. I like the Stroud link chieftiff. Be nice to see it available from age 13 and not be offered through the pupils school
  7. 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.

  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. chieftiff

    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.
  11. 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.

  12. chieftiff

    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!
  13. That is very much my view, but it does mean the system becoming less academically biased and looking towards fitting people for life and vocational qualifications rather than being wither somewhere people can hang out till they qualify for the Bru, or somewhere that generates fodder for the degree mills.

    Just because we hope that say 40% can make it to university does not mean that every one has to do a course of subject that suits that 40%

  14. I think we've been here before.

    There is no point in ramming education for the sake of it down the throats of the young, despite the accepted truth that youth offers a sponge for the absorption of knowledge. There also has to be the will to learn.

    I went to a grammar school and my secondary school mates went on to technical college for their trade training or further education. Tony Blair's City Academies presumably fill the role of the old techs, but the proof of the pudding is that there is a dearth of homegrown tradesmen, hence the advent of the Polish plumbers and other trades. I've done reasonably well after grammar school, but those same mates who went into "trades" knock me into a cocked hat when it comes to standard of living.

    There is a section of society that believes there should never be elites, but universities exist to educate those who can make use of such higher learning, not everybody irrespective of ability. Although the experience of a university education might be good for an individual's development, it is not necessary for an individual to get on in life. That's where I believe the government and the educational establishment have got it wrong and we need a return to simple values.

    Comprehensibabble was a panacea, a "one size fits all" approach which was always doomed to failure. Many of society's undesirable developments, like anti-social behaviour, are a lot to do with poor decision making by governments and the educators.
  15. At 13 a child would not normally have the maturity expected to cope with the different methods of learning and teaching which would be carried out in an adult educational establishment.
    What is needed are departments within the schools which could be tailored to the mechanical/electrical aptitudes of many 13-15 year olds.
    Presently many non academic students are disruptive in the classroom simply because they are unable to fully comprehend the subjects being taught. Giving these students an opportunity to perhaps excel in artisan subjects could possibly have a life changing effect on many of them.
  16. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Slim, I agree, the problem with this is to be honest bureaucratic. The education system in this country is unfortunately (and I don't say that lightly) controlled by academics. Academics would like to see teachers with more academic qualifications, in further education there is already a commitment by the government that all lecturers will hold a Level 4 (HND equivelant) subject qualification and a level 4 teaching qualification(CertEd) within about 5 years, there is rumour abound that is now to be level 5 (degree/ PGCE) in both. In compulsory education this is already the case. How many brilliant tradesmen do you know with those sort of qualifications!! The result, certainly within the compulsory sector would be biology teachers teaching electronics no doubt!!!!
  17. on the positive side education wise, according the The Times, the Government hs recently secured a deal with a number of the UKs best boarding schools to accept, home and educate children who would otherwise be in care. Not only will these children be given a MUCH better education than they might expect from a state school but they will no doubt recieve a greater amount of pastoral care... i think this is perhaps one of the best ideas this Government has forwarded.
    Tax payers not to worry( i myself am still a student) the cost of sending a child to board will cost one third as much as the current cost of putting that said child in a care home.

    Bravo Alan Johnson
  18. It bothers me to think that a child in care costs 3 times more than a child in a public school. Having seen the prices per term for these schools and knowing that most working families could not possibly afford to send their child to one, I am livid that the government would again consider rewarding bad behaviour to this extent. It used to be foreign adventure holidays (they didn't work either)
  19. i think it is unfair to assume that everyone in care is there because of bad behaviour, although alot of them are.
    Why would you see it as a reward? any child that has been placed in care because of bad behaviour can prob think of nothing worse than being sent away to a boarding school- a place where they will not be free to run amok.
    alot of the children that have been put in care get dismissed, shouldnt we be trying to rectify whatever problem they have faced...
  20. This experiment has been tried and it failed. Admittedly it was only with one person, a young boy. He was given all the advantages of a privileged education and at the end of it reverted to type.
    I know that not all children are in care for bad behaviour and I think that if the system is going to have any success at all it should be these children who benefit.

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