Why Our Education System isn't Working

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geraldinecarter
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Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by geraldinecarter » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:30 am

A truly excellent analysis from Joe Kirby on his blog Pragmatic Education:

http://pragmaticreform.wordpress.com/201

john walker
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Re: Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by john walker » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:51 pm

When I clicked on your link, Geraldine, the piece came up as 'not found'.
However, this one did: http://pragmaticreform.wordpress.com/ and it looks as if there's more good stuff to come over the next few weeks.
J
John Walker
Sounds-Write
www.sounds-write.co.uk
http://literacyblog.blogspot.com

geraldinecarter
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Re: Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by geraldinecarter » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:00 pm

Thanks, John.

Is'nt it wonderful that these v. intelligent, mainly left-leaning but very independent secondary teachers are speaking out so lucidly in their blogs. Maybe they were a bit flumoxed that Gove sang their praises in a speech yesterday but it's encouraging if he is taking note.

kenm
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Re: Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by kenm » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:06 pm

Fascinating stuff, though some of it is beyond my comprehension. The two points that chimed with me were:

1) Many teacher training departments are not fit for purpose, which is implicit in the early comments about training;

2) At the end of each year, fitness for progress to the next needs to be assessed and identified deficiencies corrected during the summer.

To the second, I would add a similar check for the move from primary to secondary, which he may have meant but which I don't recall being mentioned specifically; why should secondary schools be expected to employ teachers with expertise in early reading?

I looked rather carefully at, "Answering Ben Goldacre’s call to arms, championed by both teaching and research communities, the barricades of evidence-based practice are well and truly manned.", but couldn't believe that barricades were capable of answering the call.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

geraldinecarter
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Re: Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by geraldinecarter » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:03 pm

Good quote from Pinker.

Yes, I agree. There needs to be some robust check at 11 - so why not a phonics check - which is the simplest and least open to 'interpretation' or subjective readings. Who takes responsibility for handing on children with poor skillls to secondary school? Lambs to slaughter comes to mind - and no-one seems to take responsibility. I don't want Year 6 taken up with cramming and high-stake tests - just would like to think that children were literate and numerate and were in the habit of sustained reading long before Year 6 and that Year 6 could be a year of expansion, creativity, questioning.....

JIM CURRAN
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Re: Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by JIM CURRAN » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:35 am

Thanks Geraldine and John for a very interesting and informative read. According to the Sutton Trust the top two hundred Comprehensives in England, based on their academic results, take on average between 3%- 9% students on the Free School Meals Register. This is roughly the same percentage that the Grammar schools in Northern Ireland take. We have the most socially segregated Education System in Western Europe. The influential Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has consistently urged for a better social mix of pupils within schools as a means of boosting the educational performance of disadvantaged pupils ( A Family Affair: Intergenerational Social Mobility Across Countries – OECD 2010 ).

The Coleman Report ( Equality of Educational Opportunity ) found that the most powerful predictor of academic achievement is the socioeconomic status of a child’s family. The second most powerful predictor is the socioeconomic status of the classmates in his or her class.

If you put a lot of disadvantaged children together it’s a recipe for disaster and the problems magnify as they interact with one another. Put some disadvantaged children in with a majority group of better children and it will benefit everyone. As the late president Kennedy said, “A rising tide lifts all boats”.

Of course the behavior issue has to be sorted out before anyone will be able to convince middle class parents to buy in to this type of system. We need a zero tolerance policy to bad behavior in our schools. My take on it is quite straightforward, any student who consistently and persistently disrupts the learning of other students who want to get on and who make it impossible for teachers to teach must be removed permanently.

kenm
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Re: Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by kenm » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:42 am

geraldinecarter wrote:There needs to be some robust check at 11 - so why not a phonics check - which is the simplest and least open to 'interpretation' or subjective readings.
I would say it was necessary but not sufficient and would add two more, for vocabulary and numeracy. Ideally, the vocabulary test would locate deficiencies within particular areas of core knowledge, so as to target summer remedial work efficiently.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

geraldinecarter
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Re: Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by geraldinecarter » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:05 pm

Certainly Maths, Ken. But wouldn't a vocabulary test be in danger of becoming part of the cramming/teaching to the test exercise? I can just see endless lists of words ...detached from reality, detached from context.

Do have a look at Kitchen Table Maths - Core Curriculum reading for Grade 7 comparing this with the author's schools district list (somewhat lacking in ambition). Apparently the situation is even more dumbed down here.
http://irvingtonparentsforum.wordpress. ... ive-texts/

kenm
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Re: Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by kenm » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:16 am

geraldinecarter wrote:Certainly Maths, Ken. But wouldn't a vocabulary test be in danger of becoming part of the cramming/teaching to the test exercise? I can just see endless lists of words ...detached from reality, detached from context.
Perhaps what is needed is a comprehension test with short passages covering core knowledge for starting secondary education.
Do have a look at Kitchen Table Maths - Core Curriculum reading for Grade 7 comparing this with the author's schools district list (somewhat lacking in ambition). Apparently the situation is even more dumbed down here.
http://irvingtonparentsforum.wordpress. ... ive-texts/
Google failed to find me anything that defined KTM. Have you a URL?

Both those reading lists are fuller than what I remember from my junior school during the forties. I do recall "Treasure Island" and some French nursery rhymes and songs from those days. At home I was reading "Through the looking glass" ("Alice in Wonderland" not till much later), Kipling and lots of non-fiction. At my first grammar school we had several Shakespeare plays (no sonnets), "Kidnapped", "Strife" by John Galsworthy, Macaulay's "Horatius" and a variety of easy poems by minor 19th and early 20th C. authors.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

john walker
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Re: Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by john walker » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:32 am

Hi Ken,
You'll find it here: http://kitchentablemath.blogspot.co.uk/
And, as a treat, the latest posting, a tribute to Palisadesk postings! It turns out her skills extend into the domain of the veterinary!
Best,
J
John Walker
Sounds-Write
www.sounds-write.co.uk
http://literacyblog.blogspot.com

kenm
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Re: Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by kenm » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:46 pm

john walker wrote:Hi Ken,
You'll find it here: http://kitchentablemath.blogspot.co.uk/
Thanks. The name is rather misleading now that it treats other subjects, but it looks as though it should be very useful to my daughter, who is home-educating my youngest granddaughter.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

volunteer
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Re: Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by volunteer » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:51 pm

Goodness - is she wanting to teach your grand-daughter to send a dog with mast cell cancer surfing? It was interesting.

kenm
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Re: Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by kenm » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:10 pm

volunteer wrote:Goodness - is she wanting to teach your grand-daughter to send a dog with mast cell cancer surfing? It was interesting.
I have not heard so, but DGD (9 in July) is a fluent reader, uses her own computer confidently and is very keen on zoology. I would like her to learn some useful maths.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

geraldinecarter
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Re: Why Our Education System isn't Working

Post by geraldinecarter » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:21 pm

Yes, wasn't the tribute to Palisadesk good to see. She trains the breed of dogs (name?) that are her avatar - a passion as great as educating children in the most disadvantaged of schools, I imagine. How she fits it all in, the huge amount of reading, the exquisitely written and informative essays, the long journeys to work...feel the need to go and bury head under duvet!

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