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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Eldorion on Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:51 am

Lengthy non-serious tangent has been split. Smile
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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:53 am

Eldorion wrote:Lengthy non-serious tangent has been split. Smile

My Gawd! It's like Dark Planet all over again! affraid

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:59 am

Split! Spilt where? {{You do realise Eldo I am less diligent, and sober, than you and in your abscence this sort of thing is likely to happen quite a lot! See I'm even doing it right now!}}}}

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Eldorion on Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:00 am

The word "split" in my post is a link, Petty. That's why it's green. Click it. Wink
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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:04 am

A green word on a green background! Suspect Baingil! What sort of design is this?! Evil or Very Mad

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Baingil on Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:06 am

A green one, like what was asked for. Wink
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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:10 am

In case you didn't know, this is the EDUCATION thread, guys. Lord Too-big-for-his-Pants said so! Rolling Eyes

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Kafria on Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:19 am

Gosh! what a lo of silliness on a serious thread (have read the split thread too!)

Guess what - I want to have my say Very Happy

First of all - a confession, as a single mum (with a degree) on finding myself with a youngster to take care of, education for me was a practical choice, not a vocational one when I first looked at it. Training with a busary (shortage subject) - school hours, holidays to coincide with Squach's (i did the training the year she started school) - a salary that would allow my to provide for us both reasonably comfortably. In my experience in the schools I have worked in, while many primary school teachers have long wanted to be teachers the majority of secondary teachers have come to it through other means. This dosen't make them bad teachers and one of the big surprises for me in training was how much I loved working with the kids. (I didn't rush in either, spent several mornings work shadowing at my old school before I applied to the course!)

That said, I have to agree that those staff I have most time for are those that go out of their way to do thier best (Squach is going to spend a week at her dad's as usual this holiday and my first thought was ' Thats when I can get in to, mark coursework, change that display, rearrange the furniture, plan the teaching and extracurricular stuff, liase with the music teacher about choir write the shopping list for extra classroom supplies etc!!') There are undoubtedly some who do the minimum and make things difficult for the rest of us, but in my experience relatively few of these are due to them being bad teachers who don't care, leadership has a lot to do with it. Staff who feel unsupported, beaten down with targets and statistics find it difficult to be inspired. When dealing with the same rubbish from students, with little support, they fall into a pattern in their interactions with kids, which is self perpetuating. They become disillusioned, which adds to the ever decreasing circle they are treading in. I know from experience. I completed my first full year lacking any confidence or enjoyment in the job, handed in my notice with no job to go to as I couldn't stand the thought of returning for a second september in the same place. Worked for a year on supply. Within the first week of the new place I was enjoying the teaching and interaction, got back up when I needed it and was completely bemused by the thanks I got from the permenant staff for doing things I just thought of as my job. While I have my bad times I have never felt as completely lost as I did that first year and it wouldn't have taken much in the way of back up and support to turn it around there either!

Equally, I wish I could be led by the students and their interests, I try to fit in some stuff each year, but with a prescriptive national curriculum of content that has to be followed for all students that is difficult (12 topics for years 7 and 8 gave me 2 weeks at the end of the last term for 'fun, student led lessons') I try to be imaginative in the way we tackle ideas to fit with interests within the group (this year we spent extra lessons on volcanoes, did a lesson on chernobyl that didn't fit in curiculum at all, made papier mache molecules and a 3D digestive and respiratory system for the display board, spent some lesson on CSI, got out on the yard for some lessons as well as all the usual activites), but in terms of getting through content I have to have all students learning set stuff. The portfolio course I have mentioned before are the closest I have come to teaching in a more 'individual student pathways' system and even to keep one class going at their own pace, with a set series of objectives to meet, it was increadibly difficult to provide all students with what they needed to make reasonable progress within the lesson, it would take 20 mins to get throguh all of them and ensure they had what they needed (even with all tasks, with respources on the board at the start, including a list with what task each student was on and neede to start with) It would be a great way to teach, but to do it effectively I would need to have the kids for a prolonged period of time with a greater range of resources readily avaliable. Equally, to be able to give the kids the guidance they needed I would need fewer of them (50 min lesson with 30 in a class - at least 5 mins lost to entry and exit - not a lot of time left for each child). This is where the costs would come in, inevitably. Even within this system, unless you have kids who can work independantly, there will be times when some will need to cover something they don't want to at that particular moment.

Interestingly, there is a controversial english school that follows this idea http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/ it is a model that I have a lot of respect for and agree with many of the ideals (I also believe it to be sucessful, regardless of the official views of others). However, with 71 students to eight full time teachers alone that is a less than 1:10 ratio (not to mention the four part time teachers and 3 house parents). For the system of social justice/responsibilty to work, you need a small enough community so everyone is known and everyone can be heard.

Finally, in answer to Eldo, I think primary teachers have it far harder as it is , with the range of different experiences children have before they reach formal schooling, let alone the wide range of abilities they teach, often in class that encompass students of more than one age group. I for one would be wary before asking even more of them!

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:58 am

Has a feeling you would largely understand where I was coming from, Kafria, for all that my paint brush was broad. Very Happy

Thanks for doing your basic job? You "bemused" people hey! A lot of teachers (not necessarily the majority) would be "bemused" because they have not taken the time to properly understand their "trade". Getting "thanks" for it (on top of "bemusement') surprised my Missus - maybe you're comrades have manners, at least.

Going in on your own time to properly get on top of things? Are you sure you're not my wife? Shocked I admire the desire (it's "vocational" to me, however broad my paint brush is in saying it) and the determination, but I think you're both mad. Mind, that kind of "madness" gets things done in the real world. Petty will no doubt argue you should get paid for the extra time you put in, and he'd be right, but the real world doesn't allow it, and let's face it, if you've got any honour at all, it needs to be done. (I suspect Petty would be guilty of doing things "not quite in his job statement", just to get it done, and properly, but he'd still be crabit about the unfairness, Eru bless him! Very Happy)

(I've got an investigation I need to get on to when I return to work after leave. Three other cops have overlapping investigations. I've organized us to put all three together and the first of us to catch certain folk can do the interviews and Brief of Evidence. I suspect it'll be left for me to do - alone - when I get back. But I'll grind my teeth and do it. I cling onto my "vocation", and I probably "suffer anyway from "Martyr Syndrome.")

Got to go gain. Back soon....

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:29 am

Plenty food for thought there Kafria.

I don't know how much it matters the manner in which you find yourself in a job. You took yours for practical reasons but I've never met a Care Worker who choose it as a profession delibretly. For most they needed a job, care homes are always looking for staff as turn around is very high. The majority are either young and its their first job or above their mid-thirties and have either had jobs elsewhere before which ended for whatever reason or where housewives, usually with part time jobs before and now the kids are gone - or more commonly I find once the divorce papers are through- they need a fulltime job (the vast majority of carers are still female, here at least). But it doesn't make them likely to be any better at the job or any worse than those who choose it as a 'vocatation' as Orwell put it. I don't think it matters how you find oyourself at a destination so much as how you conduct yourself once you arrive.
It is clear that you take your job seriously and you are passionate about it, a teacher who is not throws the minimum curriculum they have to teach together and just gets through the year and colllects the pay packet- care work has got a lot of them (partly because the poor wages doesn't tend to attract the well educated, or often the at all educated). So I think we can all agree you fall into the vocational description regardles sof the original motivations (which at their heart were to provide for your daughter- not a bad place to start).

There seems two parts to the cirriculum thing which you outline Kafria and they are interdependant as far as I can see.

1. A freer hand not just for schools themselves but for indivivual teachers, the schools know their catchment area best and its likely needs nd requirments in trade, business opportunities etc and the teachers know their pupils individuality, their strengths and weakness an can so help guide down the right educational path to suit their native talents best, after it is teachers who deal day to day with pupils not some faceless minon 500 hundred miles away in a London office somewhere.

2. Smaller clas sizes. In Scotland this has been an area of mixed success. The SNP when they first won power did so on apledge to reduce classsizes and there has been an overall reduction but it is patchy. The problem largely lies in that the SNP can only allocate education funds to the local councils, they provide the money for the scheme but the local councils have control of the budget and many choose to spend the cash on other areas. Glasgow City Council for example decided it was better for them to use the extra cash to create 10 new nurture classes in primary schools (I have no idea what a nurture class is incidentally).
So even if in England a government adopted the policy of smaller class sizes they still cannot enforce it for so long as education budgets remain in the hands of the local authorities or until some adjustment is made to the system to ensure election pledges are carried out by Councils whether they agree or not (a contentious route to take).

"Petty will no doubt argue you should get paid for the extra time you put in, and he'd be right, but the real world doesn't allow it, and let's face it, if you've got any honour at all, it needs to be done. (I suspect Petty would be guilty of doing things "not quite in his job statement", just to get it done, and properly, but he'd still be crabit about the unfairness,"- Orwell

Yes on all counts. But I don't have to like it!

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:50 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Yes on all counts. But I don't have to like it!

I just knew it!

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:54 am

Pettytyrant101: "But it doesn't make them likely to be any better at the job or any worse than those who choose it as a 'vocatation' as Orwell put it. I don't think it matters how you find oyourself at a destination so much as how you conduct yourself once you arrive."

What I mean - and I said it was a broad brush stroke - is that too many people have little integrity. Quite a few teachers have sampled and passed off as their own work the fruits of my wife's own hard work and research putting "curriculum" type stuff together - or just plainly and shamefully got my wife to do their work, mainly because she's frustrated by their neglect.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:14 am

Fair enough.
Oh and if its any help tell her thanks from this little corner of the world to hers for doing her bit to make it a little better while we are all here. People like that never get the thanks they are due and tend never to demand it, even when they should. So from me to her, thank you. Kissing cheers -if there was an applauding smilie I'd have used it. (And same goes to you Kafria and you Orwell for every time you pull on that uniform and sigh -I'm sure you do, I do when I put on mine) - and no I'm not drunk! -well not particularly.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Kafria on Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:26 am

Thankfully in my department we are very much a 'share it all out' group. We share workload, prep work, coursework rubbish groups, ideas, resources and also credit where it is due. Not true across the whole school (Running joke that the only time you see our 'community cohesion' member of SLT at some community event is when the cameras are there!), but at least in my small part of it we have a decent atmosphere.

Also in the last year I have decided I don't really want to push up the ladder, so I am happily filling my time with extra curicular stuff I enjoy (like choir and science club!), don't mind doing the extra so much when I get so much pleasure out of it.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Mirabella on Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:54 am

Kafria wrote:(Running joke that the only time you see our 'community cohesion' member of SLT at some community event is when the cameras are there!)

Talk about hitting a nail on the head! Shocked
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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:59 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote: And same goes to you Kafria and you Orwell for every time you pull on that uniform and sigh -I'm sure you do, I do when I put on mine) - and no I'm not drunk! -well not particularly.

Where would the world people be with ego-less self-effacing hard working ethical types like us, I mean to say. As to my uniform, I sigh when I take mine off, especially if I'm as careless as to do so in front of the mirror - very sad for me (and my wife, if she's unlucky enough to wander in during the process).

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Kafria on Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:47 pm

Side track

As the fees debate for british unis goes on I have come across a strange loophole, which today made the news

Scottish students don't have to pay (due to separate parliment) but english do. Scots students who go to english unis don't pay, scots government do. English students who go to Scots unis will pay £9,000 from next year (currently £3,000). Sounds far enough, but under EU regs students from any other EU country who study in scotland DO NOT pay any fees as the rules state they MUST be treated as local students. Someons please explain to me how this works.

(Made the news as there is a legal challenge going through - same firm that is challenging the fee rises in england - but Scots parliment spokemen pretty sure it is legal. How can this be right? At this rate it is going to be cheaper for Rachael to go live in europe or the US, and pay fees and living costs, than it is to study at home Shocked Evil or Very Mad

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:54 pm

It is a bit mad. I'm not entirely sure how it has come about. Scottish education has always been seperate from English. So its quite confusing where the two overlap. This seems like a loophole somehwere in that overlap to me.
Certainly doesn't make sense or seem fair.
Of course if you get a teaching job across the border Kafria you will be Scottish and not have to worry about any education or prescription fees and your classes would probably be smaller (although thats not guaranteed).

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Kafria on Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:56 pm

Some classes would be smaller - In england science has the same 30 pupil max as other subjects (despite technologies being 25)

In Scotland the limit for a sciecne class is 25 too

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:02 pm

Had a look on the BBC website and found this;

"Tuition fee arrangements are based on "ordinary domicile" not nationality."

From a Scottish government spokesperson. There's your loophole right there. Can't say I am that keen on thi policy, seems devisive to me and the spokesperson went on to say, ""In an ideal world, no students would pay fees. Our main priority has to be to protect opportunities for Scottish students to study at Scottish institutions by maintaining free education north of the border. "
Which I like even less as it seems to me to be a clever way of saying "We are going to charge the English so we dont have to charge our own."

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Kafria on Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:04 pm

And grab back some of the £74 million it is reputed that the overseas students don't pay!

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:09 pm

I am beginning to wonder if this one of those double purpose policies. Firstly it secures Scots students don't have to pay and maintains our good releations and education reputation with our European neighbours. And secondly it annoys the English, always helpful if the long term game you are playing is seperation.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:24 pm

English students go ttheir exam restults today and according to the BBC; 'The performance gap between boys and girls has now reached its the widest ever - 6.7 percentage points - at the top grades of A* and A."

However in some good news for Kafria (how did it go by the way?) 'Results day also reveals the popularity of different GCSE subjects, and this year saw an increase in the numbers taking individual sciences... The number of pupils taking physics rose by 16.4% on last year, while chemistry was up 16.2% and biology 14.2%.'

However, 'Christine Blower, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said..."For all young people to be able to reach their full potential, we need to rid ourselves of this idea that an education system familiar to those who attended school towards the middle of the last century is the only way forward," she said.

Not sure I agree there as that generation seem to have a much more rounded education than my little brothers generation are getting which seems to me specialised in certain areas but with glaring holes in others.

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Kafria on Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:20 pm

'Results day also reveals the popularity of different GCSE subjects, and this year saw an increase in the numbers taking individual sciences... The number of pupils taking physics rose by 16.4% on last year, while chemistry was up 16.2% and biology 14.2%.'

B£$^&%$"^! - Sorry I am sick of twisting reality without looking at the underlying cause - more on that in a mo!
First, in the last3 years it has become policy that all students who get a level 6 or above at KS3 (14) should have the option to take triple science, therefore all the schools that didn't offer the option now do - us included, just top set! Guess what, that means the percentage rises Rolling Eyes


Results was mixed, the overall 5A*-C percentage was high but the new benchmark figure for 5A* -C including both english and maths was poor. Sciences figure is high, but this is misleading as it includes a coursework GCSE equivelant course for half the students. On the face of it we look really good, but unpicking the individual class figures they did as bad as I expected (less than half of mine reached their target grades, although all but 4 got exactly what I thought they would!) - hence my twisting of reality out of context rant above!

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Re: EDUCATION

Post by Orwell on Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:44 pm

I think it's easy. Get kids to do what they want and incorporate reading, writing and arithmetic as the tools of what they're doing. The kids who are interested will do other stuff that interests Teachers, like geography and history, and biology and archeology, that kind of thing. I'm anti-Education, I think, and me married to a Teacher. I was put off side one day many moons ago when a (former) Uni Student at my work suggested people should be "educated" about something or other, probably "feminism" or "Che Gueva" (? sorry bout ta spelin), or "the rightness of the Left", or something else hippyish like that. I took exception that another should human being (and she not one of the physically attractive Intelligentsia at my work) should think she could "educate" me. We humans tend to learn what we want to learn and ignor what doesn't interest us. Those who learn what doesn't interest them are generally lick spittles, but I mean it nicely. I've been one myself, that's why I'm unhappy now. Now, I wish you guys would just shut up about "education." It's a furphy, a red hering and a device of the Devil to control the Angels. People like me, that is - and I resent it! (I meant "shut up" in a nice way as well).

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