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10 ways to be the cleverest country

(25 Posts)
Elegran Wed 30-Nov-16 12:01:48

Memo for the education minister.
Note point 4, point 7, and point 9.
10 ways to be the cleverest country

Elegran Wed 30-Nov-16 13:13:27

And some new proposals on teacher training from John Swinney

Luckygirl Wed 30-Nov-16 13:13:56

Do we want to be the cleverest country? And if so, why?

We need to retrace our steps to the basics question: what is education for?

Not for passing SATs that's for sure.

Anya Wed 30-Nov-16 13:21:30

Like Punch's advice to people about to marry, my advice to those thinking of entering the teaching profession (especially at secondary level) is DON'T.

SueDonim Wed 30-Nov-16 13:41:34

My son teaches the product of some of those countries and whilst they have the book learning, they don't know how to think. They can copy ideas but not formulate them in the first place.

Elegran Wed 30-Nov-16 13:54:42

It is a question of WHY education as well as HOW. Teaching thinking ought to be a part of it - indeed the latin verb educare means to draw out, not to pump in. Pupils do need a bit of information to exercise the thinking muscles on, but also they need to know where to find information, how to check how reliable it is, and how to correlate it with other information without drawing false conclusions.

Jalima Wed 30-Nov-16 13:55:24

DD employs people from SE Asia - not necessarily with degrees - but what they do have in common is a great work ethic.

Sheilasue Thu 01-Dec-16 12:28:38

My gd is doing her mock gcsce at the moment the desk in her room is covered in books folders papers pens etc oh and stick notes, my daughter was exactly the same when she was revising. But she says it's wasn't as bad as it is now.

gillybob Thu 01-Dec-16 13:00:55

I just wish the education system could recognise that not everyone can be a doctor, lawyer etc.

Not everyone can (or would even want to) teach.

Some people are non academic but extremely clever with their hands. Some are brilliant at creating, designing or building.

Why can't we have an education system that recognises this? Why do "we" (as a country) judge everyone on how many grade A*'s they have achieved or that they have or a degree in the History of Art or Applied mathematics or whatever.....?

Elegran Thu 01-Dec-16 13:10:39

Education for all, bringing out the abilities and strengths in each one, so that they can fulfill their potential.

Luckygirl Thu 01-Dec-16 14:00:34

That's what is wanted; but we have these regressive policies being foisted on the profession by dinosaurs.

Anya Thu 01-Dec-16 15:46:46

If I was able to, this is how I would restructure the education system and preferably stages 1-2 would all be on one site.

Stage 1 Pre-school age 4-6
Stage 2 Primary 7-9
Stage 3 Middle School 10-13

Stage 4 14+ taking into consideration pupils strengths, interests, aspirations and ambitions. Offered the choice of academic, practical, the arts & music or technical education. With basic subjects such as Maths and Language continuing until 16+ and the chance to realine at 16+ if required.

Luckygirl Thu 01-Dec-16 16:56:57

Good plan Anya - I seriously worry what we are doing to the mental health of children at the moment.

In the scheme outlined, children could get the opportunity to continue to be children till they are 7, when they could get down to a bit of nitty-gritty. At 14, they are more likely to have some idea where there strengths and interests lie.In fact this is very close to one of the models that was considered (and indeed trialled in some areas) when comprehensive education started.

Children's creativity, curiosity and imagination (their 3 strongest traits) are being quashed at present. I am a governor at a primary school which struggles to reach the real child under the weight of the SATs - luckily this school has a dedicated staff and a board of governors who all see education as something wider than data.

Luckygirl Thu 01-Dec-16 17:01:21

By the way, I really do not see clever as an aspiration or a good thing. There are plenty of other traits that I would put way above this.

Diddy1 Thu 01-Dec-16 17:16:24

Gillybob,couldnt agree more, my Grandson has a mild form of ADHD isnt academic at all, BUT he is so good with his hands, and when he enjoys things, is as good as any with other abilities, as Elegran says bringing out the abilities and strenghts so that they can fulfill their potential, that is what is needed.I want my Grandson to have a happy and successful life, with no predjudice.

Legs55 Thu 01-Dec-16 18:02:38

I was fortunate to attend a small Primary School 5-11 followed by Comprehensive (should have been Grammer but my Headmaster advised my Parents I would do better at Comp)

My Comprehensive School was one of the top 12 in the country, streaming for many subjects. At 14 GCE/CSE choices + those who were leaving at 15 went in a separate class, they just wanted to leave School & find jobs. Sadly Exams are not my strong point. We also had an excellent 6th Form.

DD had similar Education & went to College to train to become a Nursery Nurse. Eldest GS is working for BAE Systems on an Apprenticeship (1 day per week at University). Eldest GD started at Local County Council this Autumn - she will gain Qualifications whilst working.

I agree there is to much pressure on Teachers to "teach to the SATs" having said that DGS who is 6 seems to be getting a good education & is thriving smile

TriciaF Thu 01-Dec-16 18:06:07

SueDonim "they don't know how to think".
I taught post grad students in Singapore for a couple of years and found the same thing. They just accepted word for word what I said, never questioned it.It was the culture of their society(mostly Chinese, a few Malay and Indian.)
I tried to get them to see both sides, but it was very difficult for them.
I loved the job though, good to have such keen learners.

SueDonim Thu 01-Dec-16 19:09:23

How interesting, Tricia! Ds spends a lot of time trying to coax independent thoughts from his students.

I don't really know where it's all gone so wrong for children. I have 21 years between my oldest and youngest children and primary school was so much more interesting for the youngest one. From what I've seen of my one grandchild who is school age, there are even more innovative and exciting ideas now but somewhere along the line, the joy has been lost for teachers.

Morgana Thu 01-Dec-16 19:37:12

Don't know where to start with this one! But v. disappointed that there was no mention of parental influence in the list. I taught for 25 years in Primary and the difference parents can make is amazing: working WITH teachers, not against, inspiring their own kids, reading with them, setting expectations (but not pushing them too hard). My own parents were both born into destitute families and left school at 12. They were determined that their own kids would do well, and we all have. So what has gone wrong with the current educational system? Too much Government interference, constant changes, lack of support for teachers, too much paperwork - to name just a few factors. Even more worrying for me is the dumbing down of education for the masses. Children should be taught to think and question - but what Government wants this?! Teachers work ridiculously long hours - I was averaging 60+ hours a week and it is easy to lose the thread of what is most important in the job. However I must say that out of all the jobs I have ever done, teaching was the most rewarding - seeing your pupils learning to reach their potential is the best medicine in the world!

Jalima Thu 01-Dec-16 19:43:36

I just wish the education system could recognise that not everyone can be a doctor, lawyer etc. Or wants to be.

Not everyone can (or would even want to) teach.

Hear hear - who would do the myriad of other jobs that we need people to do in order for society to function?

Lillie Thu 01-Dec-16 21:05:15

It's not all doom and gloom. Education in this country is probably the most exciting and most stimulating in the world. This week I have watched children voice their concerns about pollution in our cities, offer suggestions to help the homeless, raise money for charity, design all manner of things on the computer and help one another in the playground. Education goes beyond sitting at the desk. We encourage them to be innovators, actors, sportsmen, carers and they respond with enthusiasm and vitality. Once we can just get our heads round the fact that not everything should be measured by academic attainment or "cleverness', we will be well on the way to turning out some of the brightest in the world.

MargaretX Thu 01-Dec-16 21:40:11

Oh Lillie! if everyone who wanted to be an innovator or an actor or or a sportsman could go on and make a living out of these career options. Carers - well yes but there's not a living wage in that line.
Employers don't know what to do with young people who have these unrealistic ideas of a job.

There are interesting jobs but you have to work hard at school to get them. Nothing has changed and as to the Asians not thinking. There are so many of them and a few will be able to think things out and in the end the work ethic will achieve more for them.
As to teaching, we should be grateful for all those who go into that profession and treat teachers with respect.
In Europe its more likely to be a respected profession, they are paid well ( for high qualifications) and are civil servants with pension rights, But the Uk is no longer interested in doing things the European way so the future for teachers hangs in the balance.

Jalima Thu 01-Dec-16 23:36:14

How many people are in mundane jobs who were wannabee footballers, pop stars etc?
And thinking 'if only I had worked harder at school when I had the chance and didn't have to pay for my education'.

Jalima Thu 01-Dec-16 23:39:01

I think many people from the Far East are enterprising as well as having a good work ethic - and an eagerness to learn English!

TriciaF Fri 02-Dec-16 11:33:42

I've always noticed that too, Jalima.
Another thing about Singapore education -it's a small island with a big population and not enough schools when we were there. (late 1960s). So the children and teachers came in 2 shifts - the first from 8am to 1pm, and the second from 1pm to 6pm.They were all so keen to learn.