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GCSEs to end

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SpeedMattersNot

4,018 posts

115 months

Thursday 20th September 2012
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turbobloke said:
SpeedMattersNot said:
I disagree, I think it's quite an obvious factor in helping kids get better at achieving higher grades.
No, you don't disagree, as I said it was a factor smile
True, but you did go onto say but it cannot possibly be responsible for the sustained significant gains in all grades.

It's either a factor or it isn't! smile

turbobloke said:
SpeedMattersNot said:
How many academics flourish in education, yet still end up with nothing after it? I know countless people with degrees yet don't end up working in the field they studied, and some who are just working in clothes stores despite enduring possibly the most academically challenging of subjects.
I've nor read that three times and it still doesn't appear to offer anything relevant to the discussion - just saying. Whether an academic ends up working in one field or in a car park is irrelevant. If their work has intellectual value, and commercial value quite possibly (but not necessarily) they have achieved a lot and contributed much. This discussion never was so narrow as to exclude work in different areas.
It was in reference to something you said, of which I took to mean we should concentrate on higher achieving academic students, because less academic students end up relying on them!?

Just offering my opinion that I know of multiple cases where the end net result is quite the opposite.

turbobloke said:
SpeedMattersNot said:
I think we need more focus on the "less academic" students. I know a large amount of people who didn't study the "core subjects" but have indeed gone on to be very successful.
So do I and they are the exception not the rule. We already have (and I thought you argued this very point only a post ago) courses and pieces of paper that suit less able students. We need to continue to provide for all students, but the most short-changed are those suffering disadvantage as a result of dunbing down and all-must-have-prizes delusion.
Yes, but as highlighted my fear was these classes will be cut back. Not even talking about the "equivalent" subjects here.

turbobloke said:
SpeedMattersNot said:
I also just don't think that the "core subjects" have many transferable skills in the real world. I think IT courses, Arts, Design Technology and other computer based learning subjects are all very important.
turbobloke said:
You mention core subjects. Do you seriously think that literacy skills and numeracy skills are non-transferable? Or that science has no application outside school? Yes to ICT and Design Technology.
SPeedMAttersNot said:
English is a given, but I honestly don't think Maths has transferable skills, no. Finance does, but not maths.
???!!!

nuts

jester
When was the last time you worked out the area of a circle?

turbobloke said:
SpeedMattersNot said:
History? Transferable skills? Geography...come on!
I mentioned English, maths and science, but whatever!

Source and evidence evaluation as taught in history is a very valuable skill. FOr starters it would help to prevent so many people falling for the propaganda of political writers and teacher union barons. The 'evidence' they offer would be dismissed by more people as trite propaganda if these skills were more widespread.

Geography - to take one example, map reading skills are less valuable since the dawn of satnav but if students were taught the hard sciences of geology and astronomy (as well as source and evidence evaluation) fewer people would be taken in by the global warming junkscience which is currently costing the earth. Pun intended.
I actually think they're both important subjects. I think it's right that we learn about History and the planet we live on. But they're not academic subjects. Comparative essay's are common in nearly every subject, in face I believe that in Science the whole evaluation/hypothesis is much more valuable. Regarding Geography being academic because you can read a map, c'mon turbobloke you're probably in the top 10 influential posters on this forum and you can't concede that Gove has possibly got a little something wrong here? Lol

turbobloke said:
SpeedMattersNot said:
I actually believe in the real world, the students who have studied the Arts; specifically Drama just have an edge to them that other students don't.
And they wear corduroys and floppy hats smile but not all decide to swing from war memorials before going to jail wink
Hah! I've seen you joke about this before. Need I say more?

turbobloke said:
SpeedMattersNot said:
Again, here we'll probably have to disagree.
That's not a problem in the civilised world of PH threads. Well, mostly not. type
I try to be civilised, there's no point getting upset on a discussion forum. I enjoy your inputs in the Global Warming threads for example, and agree. But we definitely have different opinions when it comes to education.

turbobloke

79,901 posts

179 months

Thursday 20th September 2012
quotequote all
SpeedMattersNot said:
turbobloke said:
SpeedMattersNot said:
I disagree, I think it's quite an obvious factor in helping kids get better at achieving higher grades.
No, you don't disagree, as I said it was a factor smile
True, but you did go onto say but it cannot possibly be responsible for the sustained significant gains in all grades.

It's either a factor or it isn't! smile
By definition 'a factor' is only part of the picture since there must be other factors - as such it cannot be responsible on its own.

My point stands smile

SpeedMattersNot said:
When was the last time you worked out the area of a circle?
Not perhaps the best example. I used tensor analysis and calculus not too long ago in a training contract with some international post-graduate science students. Presumably that counts as maths, since it's maths. In terms of school maths, I did some linear programming recently.

To avoid any accusation of dodging the question, the last time I had to work out the area of a circle was when evaluating the value for money of some circular mats which needed to fit within a rectangular floor space, last year iirc.

SpeedMattersNot said:
But we definitely have different opinions when it comes to education.
I'm not so sure the difference between our positions is as wide as it seems.

Mr Snap

2,364 posts

76 months

Friday 21st September 2012
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turbobloke said:
Mr Snap said:
It's social engineering if the end point is to advantage one section of society to the disadvantage of another.
Which it isn't, so your claim vanishes. It's about correcting an existimg disadvantage.

Or at least attempting to, as there's no certainty that pupils let down by the current unfit-for-purpose exam will get something more suitable.

Mr Snap said:
"Horses for courses" is a diversion. Education isn't, or shouldn't be, a race.
That either accidentally or deliberately distorts what is being said. The key element isn't education being a race. It's matching participants with what they are participating in.
I'm not 'distorting' what you said. Your meaning comes across loud and clear - as always. IIRC you've said 'horses for courses' more than once. If you don't wish that allusion to function in the way it does, then stop using it. In using it more than once, it functions to normalise and reinforce your doggedly right wing agenda.

It's the steady drip, drip, of allusion upon allusion, insinuation upon insinuation, that I object to. You never own up to your underlying political agenda because, if you did, it would give the game away. Your style of argument depends on never admitting to an agenda because, if you did, you couldn't present your opinions as incontrovertible truths. However, in politics and economics there are very few incontrovertible truths, only opinions - facts are always interpreted in the light of those opinions.










turbobloke

79,901 posts

179 months

Friday 21st September 2012
quotequote all
Mr Snap said:
turbobloke said:
Mr Snap said:
It's social engineering if the end point is to advantage one section of society to the disadvantage of another.
Which it isn't, so your claim vanishes. It's about correcting an existimg disadvantage.

Or at least attempting to, as there's no certainty that pupils let down by the current unfit-for-purpose exam will get something more suitable.

Mr Snap said:
"Horses for courses" is a diversion. Education isn't, or shouldn't be, a race.
That either accidentally or deliberately distorts what is being said. The key element isn't education being a race. It's matching participants with what they are participating in.
I'm not 'distorting' what you said. Your meaning comes across loud and clear - as always. IIRC you've said 'horses for courses' more than once. If you don't wish that allusion to function in the way it does, then stop using it. In using it more than once, it functions to normalise and reinforce your doggedly right wing agenda.
That's a superb example of erroneous mind reading, as you can't defend your position from what's actually said, you distort it as per the horses for courses comment which remains about matching not racing, or you create strawmen and straw men, or as here you invent blues under the bed. My position on education policy is not party political.


Mr Snap said:
It's the steady drip, drip, of allusion upon allusion, insinuation upon insinuation, that I object to. You never own up to your underlying political agenda because, if you did, it would give the game away.
What you object to is neither here nor there except as a matter for you. The self-impotance you reveal in that statement is...revealing.

Mr Snap said:
Your style of argument depends on never admitting to an agenda because, if you did, you couldn't present your opinions as incontrovertible truths.
I knew it wouldn't be too long before strawman/straw man number five came along. I have never made such a claim, so you're dismissing something that doesn't exist (again) until you make it up.

My position on education is, as already indicated, not party political. That doesn't prevent me from indicating the failings of what has already been done by others i.e. politicians which has had deleterious effects.

The basis for my position has been made clear, and is not what you claim. If you disagree, fine, if you can't handle the debate without inventing strawmen/straw men and blues under the bed, fine, and if you object to something which is not what you perceive it to be in order to continue personalising the issues, then the problem is all yours.

TwigtheWonderkid

22,034 posts

69 months

Friday 21st September 2012
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I went to a fee paying skool in the 70s, on a scholarship as we were potless.
My kids have always been in the state system, currently yr 12 and 10 in the local comp in W London.

They are far better educated that I was, far more motivated, have a far wider range of interests, partake in more activities and in general more driven and ambitious. In short, far more rounded human beings than I was/am.

My eldest got far better grades at GSCE than I did at O level. But he was motivated by the school to work harder.

And, when their mates come round, they appear to be all the same.

But apart from that, all kids are mindless hoodies who can bearly string a sentence together.
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turbobloke

79,901 posts

179 months

Friday 21st September 2012
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It's got nothing to do with attacking the nature of today's pupils, hoodies or chavs or spivs or hoorays, it's an indictment of a failed approach to 11-16 education / assessment. The pupils are victims not perps.

fido

12,611 posts

174 months

Friday 21st September 2012
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TwigtheWonderkid said:
My eldest got far better grades at GSCE than I did at O level.
I'm sure someone can dig out the pass rates but getting an A/A* in GCSE this year is as 'easy' as it was to get a C at O-level 30 years ago in most subjects. 'easy' - referring to the % of pupils achieving that grade.

SpeedMattersNot

4,018 posts

115 months

Friday 21st September 2012
quotequote all
fido said:
TwigtheWonderkid said:
My eldest got far better grades at GSCE than I did at O level.
I'm sure someone can dig out the pass rates but getting an A/A* in GCSE this year is as 'easy' as it was to get a C at O-level 30 years ago in most subjects. 'easy' - referring to the % of pupils achieving that grade.
You mean back when they used chalk boards?

TwigtheWonderkid

22,034 posts

69 months

Friday 21st September 2012
quotequote all
fido said:
TwigtheWonderkid said:
My eldest got far better grades at GSCE than I did at O level.
I'm sure someone can dig out the pass rates but getting an A/A* in GCSE this year is as 'easy' as it was to get a C at O-level 30 years ago in most subjects. 'easy' - referring to the % of pupils achieving that grade.
Either that or achieving A* is just as hard as getting A at O level, but the kids are brighter.

That's certainly the case in maths. I've compared my sons GSCE maths work with my old O level excersize books and it's all the same stuff, simultanious equations, trig, etc.

Still, lets not give the kids of today any credit. Scum, the lot of 'em.

Tonberry

1,822 posts

111 months

Friday 21st September 2012
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The education system is in a right state at the moment.

I don't think children are given a fair chance at something they could potential excel at and make a viable career choice.

The last decade has been 'degree degree degree!' which has just left us with a bunch of graduates that whilst brilliant on paper are bloody useless.

Having left school eight years ago I know a lot of these people. Funny how the ones who didn't go on to do A-Levels and then a degree are doing far better than the ones who did.

There needs to be a clear line drawn between the academics who excel in education who can then go on to sitting in a room looking at a petri dish and those who excel in other areas such as working with their hands.

The education system should be there to cater for all types, not just the former.

turbobloke

79,901 posts

179 months

Friday 21st September 2012
quotequote all
TwigtheWonderkid said:
fido said:
TwigtheWonderkid said:
My eldest got far better grades at GSCE than I did at O level.
I'm sure someone can dig out the pass rates but getting an A/A* in GCSE this year is as 'easy' as it was to get a C at O-level 30 years ago in most subjects. 'easy' - referring to the % of pupils achieving that grade.
Either that or achieving A* is just as hard as getting A at O level, but the kids are brighter.

That's certainly the case in maths. I've compared my sons GSCE maths work with my old O level excersize books and it's all the same stuff, simultanious equations, trig, etc.

Still, lets not give the kids of today any credit. Scum, the lot of 'em.
Having had one go I'll have one more - it's nothing to do with the kids and whether or not they are or were scum. That is a pure diversion. It's about the education and assessment regime they follow from 11-16.

As to 'the same stuff' in maths GCSE as O-level, not so. The syllabus changed when GCSE was introduced. Science was butchered too.

Just another comment, this one from the DT article below.

Comment said:
Maths on the other hand - no question. Easier to compare than language - GCSE maths about the standard of 14yr olds preparing for O-Level. Don't get me on to science. It's utterly shambolic.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9548083/O-levels-v-GCSEs-how-do-they-compare.html

Another comparison is offered here in The Guardian.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/reality-check-w...

Taking away all aspects of difficulty in terms of syllabus and examination questions, we still have the modular nature and coursework that were never a part of O-levels.

Here's a 'modern O-level' specification (pdf) which is said to 'bring together the modern and traditional approaches to ordinary level mathematics'. Presumably the marketplace for this involves international clients and some independent schools not opting for the iGCSE.

http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocuments/GCE%20O%...

Look in the right-hand column for 'questions will not be set on...' and '...are excluded' as almost all (if not all) of these were set in the past on O-level papers including for example calculation of the angle between two planes or the angle between a straight line and a plane. Linear programming is excluded, so is synthetic division. It's all just a bit too tough.

Even a modern O-level lacks the challenge of previous years, while GCSE specs are no match for the modern O-level.

rover 623gsi

2,881 posts

80 months

Friday 5th October 2012
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So, anyway…

My year 8 daughter is moving from middle school to high school next year. Last night we went to a school open evening during which I sampled some food many by some of the pupils. While chatting to the teacher she informed me that last year they had seven GCSE catering classes but this year they only have two.

This has happened because, as a result of school’s being judged on the Baccalaureate all the pupils starting Year 10 had to take either history or geography and a language. The result is that pupils starting their GCSEs only have one choice from catering, music, art, drama, textiles, PE, business studies, and media studies and a couple of others that I can’t remember. I also found out that as the school doesn’t have as many art students as last year one of the art teachers has been given a job teaching history – despite never having taught the subject before or having an history qualification.

Is this really a good thing???

otolith

33,636 posts

123 months

Friday 5th October 2012
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Do you mean to ask if it is a good thing that teachers are teaching subjects they aren't qualified in, or if it is a good thing that the school is concentrating on the more academically rigorous subjects?

rover 623gsi

2,881 posts

80 months

Friday 5th October 2012
quotequote all
both

I have a degree in Geography (and slightly unusually, I took history as my minor subject) but in all honesty, does the country really need geographers and historians more than it needs people who can cook or make music???

And I am highlighting the law of unintended consequences – I’m sure the gov’t didn’t really intend to have subjects being taught by teachers who not qualified in that particular subject but that is what is happening (the school is also re-configuing some of its classrooms as a result of the changes).

turbobloke

79,901 posts

179 months

Friday 5th October 2012
quotequote all
rover 623gsi said:
one choice from catering, music, art, drama, textiles, PE, business studies, and media studies and a couple of others
Was your point that flower arranging has had to be omitted for toughies like media studies and drama?


rover 623gsi

2,881 posts

80 months

Friday 5th October 2012
quotequote all
I don’t think flowering arranging GCSE is or was available at the school in question. My point is that last year GCSE pupils were able to choose, for example, drama and music but now they will have to choose, for example, drama and geography or music and history.

I like both history and geography but I am not convinced that 14-16 year olds should be forced to study those subjects at GCSE level.

turbobloke

79,901 posts

179 months

Friday 5th October 2012
quotequote all
rover 623gsi said:
I don’t think flowering arranging GCSE is or was available at the school in question. My point is that last year GCSE pupils were able to choose, for example, drama and music but now they will have to choose, for example, drama and geography or music and history.

I like both history and geography but I am not convinced that 14-16 year olds should be forced to study those subjects at GCSE level.
Fair point, but one that is equally applicable to media and flower arranging or flower arranging in the media or...

SpeedMattersNot

4,018 posts

115 months

Friday 5th October 2012
quotequote all
The question is out there; what is school for?

Is it to test a nations age group of their intellectual ability?
Is it to educate them on a wide range of subjects and generate rounded individuals?
Is it to help streamline them into decisions at a young age, what job/s they want in the future?

Personally I think offering a wider range of subjects is only a good thing. People are clever enough to decide what they believe to be an academic subject, a useful subject for society or one that will make them more employable in their future career choices..

To narrow it down to just what the government perceives to be "academic" subjects is a huge mistake because it will leave quite a large percentage of children without qualifications that are actually useful to them and more importantly, will narrow down children's future expectations of what they might be able to be!

turbobloke

79,901 posts

179 months

Friday 5th October 2012
quotequote all
Didn't somebody point out very recently that students can still opt for dancing around in their leotards or pretending to be Polly Toynbee?

SpeedMattersNot

4,018 posts

115 months

Friday 5th October 2012
quotequote all
turbobloke said:
Didn't somebody point out very recently that students can still opt for dancing around in their leotards or pretending to be Polly Toynbee?
Tee hee hee.

What, with no funding? Jog on!