Gransnet forums


Falling Education Standards

(23 Posts)
Rufus2 Sat 05-Oct-19 14:59:01

My latest "Oldie" mag. has a cartoon showing a teacher holding up a newspaper depicting "Falling Standards".
Student, "The dog did my homework!"

Oops; forgot! We put clocks forward tonight so now it's nearly 1.00a.m. Sunday.!
Night night.! confused

Newatthis Wed 09-Oct-19 17:18:07

I've recently met a primary school teacher who needed to send me a flyer (which she had written) to advertise a school event. Not only were there numerous spelling mistakes but also the grammar was apaulling!

Actually, the clocks go back but not until the end of the month!

Newatthis Wed 09-Oct-19 17:19:16

Yes, I know it should be appalling my finger slipped!

annodomini Wed 09-Oct-19 17:34:08

Rufus is in Australia. Antipodean clocks change several weeks before ours do.

Greenfinch Wed 09-Oct-19 17:39:16

My grandson has just brought home a printed list of ingredients for baking shortbread. He needs castor sugar and a container for takeing it home. I don't worry too much as my own sons with high powered jobs have difficulty spelling.

MamaCaz Wed 09-Oct-19 17:53:34

Twenty-odd years ago, I was appalled at some teachers' grammar when reading my sons' school reports.
If my own grammar had been better when I was at school, I would probably have found similar errors in my own reports. Actually, I still have them somewhere, so might dig them out to check when I have nothing better to do. grin

Seriously though, if you look at the average post on Gransnet, I really don't see anything to support the OP's claim!

MissAdventure Wed 09-Oct-19 17:56:27

I copied a text I had from my grandsons last school onto a thread here.

Something along the lines of "If anyone's child has accidentally brung home such and such a coat.."

LullyDully Wed 09-Oct-19 18:04:30

The letter may have been written by the TA. It is easy to knock teachers. No letter should go out unless checked.

Mapleleaf Wed 09-Oct-19 18:11:03

Such letters tend to be typed and sent out from the school office, although they really should be proof read before being printed and circulated!

Maggiemaybe Wed 09-Oct-19 18:49:02

At my school, Mapleleaf, it was invariably the letters sent out directly from class that contained the howlers.

MamaCaz Wed 09-Oct-19 19:13:23

Education isn't all about spelling and grammar though, is it?

Even if it was, we can't really compare like for like when we look back.
After all, back in the supposed 'good old days', it was usual for secretaries to type everything, wasn't it?
If their managers/employers had had to produce their own documentation, we might be looking back now and saying how badly educated they were (unlike their usually less-well-educated secretaries whose typing studies included basic grammar and punctuation)!

Has the 'average' standard really dropped?

kircubbin2000 Wed 09-Oct-19 20:03:49

It really has. On many forums people say I seen, done ,would of etc. I think if people read more they would notice their mistakes.

Greenfinch Wed 09-Oct-19 20:16:10

Sometimes it is a matter of dialect or common usage.It is quite usual here in Berkshire to hear "I done a good job" etc. This would obviously be what they would write as well.

EllanVannin Wed 09-Oct-19 20:27:49

I despair !

Hetty58 Wed 09-Oct-19 21:25:04

Education standards are not falling. Where's the proof? People tend to always think that they are, though. Perhaps grammatical and spelling errors are more commonplace. It's annoying but surely critical thinking and an enquiring mind are far more important.

A traditional education is outdated when remembering vast amounts of information is no longer necessary. Being skilled at accessing facts when required is now vital. We live in a different world, yet parents tend to be very conservative and look to the past when considering education for their children.

geekesse Wed 09-Oct-19 21:53:22

You know what, teachers make typos sometimes. I’ve just had to write 101 reports in five days around planning lessons, teaching them, running after school activities and doing catch up and tutoring sessions. I proof-read carefully, but sometimes the odd slip of the finger slips through. That doesn’t mean standards are falling, it means I’m knackered but I’m still trying to communicate something meaningful and personal in less than 350 characters to a tight deadline about a student I care enough about to make the effort.

tidyskatemum Wed 09-Oct-19 21:56:31

Have you not seen the ludicrous sentence components primary children are supposed to identify these days? Eg Professor Alice Roberts bewildered by child’s homework asking to identify “ a fronted non-finite clause”. Who knows, or indeed cares because it will be of no use whatsoever, whereas having some grasp of spelling might give a positive impression to the few people who can still spell!

Nanny27 Wed 09-Oct-19 23:18:02

I think that with social media we have become so much more aware of other people’s writing. Pre Facebook etc many people would have rarely communicated in writing apart from very occasional, formal letters or job applications. These would probably have been carefully composed and proof read due to their importance. Nowadays, writing has become commonplace and casual with posts to social media hastily constructed by people who may not otherwise be inclined to write. Therefore we notice poor grammar and spelling and, sadly it seems to be becoming acceptable.

NotSpaghetti Thu 10-Oct-19 00:44:05

I have noticed that the textbooks used in the first year of an English degree at a particular university are the ones my daughter used at A level. They just have a new cover (and don't say A level). She is nearly 40.

Her younger sibling read dozens of books during her English degree and has been back on a visit recently. She was told that "current students don't have the reading stamina" so not all texts are expected to be read in full.

I think it's a pity that even English students don't want to read much.

The other thing that has gone (mostly) is close textual analysis. Maybe that is contributing to the lack of nuance these days? Or is it just that everyone is in a mad rush?

BradfordLass72 Thu 10-Oct-19 02:52:45

In my experience, TA's; often women whose children are now all in school; have a better grasp of spelling than many of the 20+ young teachers paid twice their salary.

"Falling educational standards" is in the same stable as "today's teenagers are unruly/impolite/don't respect elders" - and have been trotted out for as long as I remember.

But our universities are still full and they turn hopefuls away by the dozen because there aren't enough places.

And I don't see any lack of high-powered professionals out there.

If And and But shouldn't start a sentence, why do they work so well there? grin

Doodledog Thu 10-Oct-19 03:24:06

I don’t see universities turning away hopefuls by the dozen. Far from it.

Now that fees are higher, universities need to get numbers up, and are (IME) less rigorous than before with admission requirements.

Not only that, fees (and the lack of respect for experts that Michael Gove has encouraged) have changed the dynamics between staff and students immeasurably. Many students think they have effectively bought a degree, and put a lot of pressure on staff to give high marks. Staff, meanwhile, are run into the ground, and are judged on student satisfaction surveys.

People can have decades of experience swept aside by eighteen year olds who don’t yet understand the value of what they are being taught, as they haven’t had to put their learning into practice. If they aren’t being entertained (as opposed to educated) many will give a poor satisfaction score.

The tide is turning now, but until very recently, the number of ‘good degrees’ achieved by students on a course was also a measure of its success (and failure can easily lead to courses being closed).

Consequently, first class degrees are now awarded to as many as one in three students (and this is in Russell Group institutions as well as post-1992 ones).

Standards falling? I would say that they are at that level. I can’t be sure; but I suspect that literacy levels are much higher these days than in the past, though. We understand Dyslexia now, and there are more opportunities for children to read, whether on screens or in books.

I am a member of a couple of local history groups on Facebook, and the grammar, spelling and sentence structure of many older members is dreadful. They are usually the ones who complain about younger generations because ‘Us lot would of gotten the cane for bad grammer, not like them kids now.’

People then often left school at 14 or 15, and had jobs that didn’t require literacy, so it wouldn’t have been as obvious then as now; but I really think that literacy standards of the general population (as opposed to the better off) were a lot worse in the ‘good old days’.

Rufus2 Thu 10-Oct-19 10:00:40

I really don't see anything to support the OP's claim!
MamaCaz; if I understand the jargon, I assume I'm the OP to whom you refer. smile
No support needed as it was a joke based on the traditional excuse "The dog ate my homework" Get it? grin

Antipodean clocks change several weeks before ours do
Annodomini^ Thank you! "Several" is in fact "four", commenced start of Oct. so we're now10 hours ahead until the end of Oct. when it becomes eleven after you go into reverse.!

MamaCaz Thu 10-Oct-19 14:20:02

Like some clocks, I am a bit slow sometimes, Rufus. I finally get it now, though grin