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To despair of the English education system

(66 Posts)
LadySlipper Thu 24-Apr-14 21:04:09

I just had to explain VJ Day to my son. He was amazed as he had no idea that Japan was in WW2. I am astounded by his ignorance. I suggested he might like to read up on it a bit to bridge that gap in his knowledge. He said ' Nah.'

He is currently at university studying to be a secondary school teacher. Readers, coming to a school near you, (and obviously already there) the educators of your children - can't spell, know nothing, and couldn't care less.

This despair set in, not with DS, but at a parent's evening when he was in year seven and I was voicing my concern that he couldn't spell for toffee and his English teacher declared "It's not my job to teach them how to spell."

CailinDana Thu 24-Apr-14 21:05:43

YANBU. I trained as a teacher in Ireland and loved it but left teaching when I moved here to England. I simply cannot understand what anyone hopes to achieve with such a strange system. It makes no sense.

mycatoscar Thu 24-Apr-14 21:07:51

Yep all teachers are like that ... hmm

My year 6's could tell you japan were in ww2, it's covered in key stage 2.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 24-Apr-14 21:09:14

What's VJ Day?? grin

Ruushii Thu 24-Apr-14 21:10:26

Oooh a name change for a teacher bashing thread.

How controversial.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 24-Apr-14 21:10:44

I'm slightly struggling to respond here, I'll be honest.

To be fair, yes, his English teacher when he was in year 7 probably should have been more helpful. It might of course be that he meant your son was old enough to use a dictionary, but he doesn't sound great.

But why on earth is your son training as a teacher when he has no interest in this stuff? How does he not know that, at his age, he should be finding this out? Does he not feel ashamed?

I don't understand that and I don't really get why you're blaming his teacher, either.

gordyslovesheep Thu 24-Apr-14 21:12:35

how lovely

Bunbaker Thu 24-Apr-14 21:13:54

Either schooling has moved on since your son was at school or he didn't pay attention during lessons. DD is 13 and had regular spelling tests at primary school. She has been doing all about Hiroshima in history, so she knows full well that Japan were involved in the war.

Yes. I have met teachers I wouldn't want to entrust my children to at all, never mind to be educated.

And everything I read about earlier testing, starting them yoinger- they're already too young!

Not knowing about Japan though in ww2. clearly not seen the film Pearl Harbour even. I thought Japan at least was quite well known to be in ww2. I didn't know about Borne and the death marches etc until an adult though. But at least I have broadened my knowledge. hmm

AndreasVesalius Thu 24-Apr-14 21:16:08

I'm assuming as a parent you've had some input into bringing up your child? Did you never discuss things with him? If he isn't interested in learning things, he won't last long as a teacher.

I've got one day left of my Easter Holidays, I'm not wasting it on yet another teacher-bashing thread.

DrankSangriaInThePark Thu 24-Apr-14 21:17:06

Did you only notice your son couldn't spell when he was in year 7?

That's some oversight on the part of a parent.

howrudeforme Thu 24-Apr-14 21:18:20

my ds 7 knows that japan was in ww2 because I mentioned it once.

Guessing OPs ds is not training to be a history teacher but instead a physics teacher?

Smartiepants79 Thu 24-Apr-14 21:19:10

Well, an awful lot of what a child learns depends on what his parents teach him. If my child has such enormous gaps in his general knowledge I would be looking at how I had neglected to educate him.
Without input from home and appropriate reading the there will always be gaps in education as the child's knowledge will be dependent on the topics covered. Not everything can be covered there is simply not time. If he's never covered WW2 in depth why would he know anything about it?
His compete lack of interest in changing his ignorance is even more telling. You can't teach somebody who doesn't want to know.

His yr seven teacher sounds like a bit of a idiot but by age 12 you would perhaps expect that most reasonably intelligent children could already spell.

A person with so little interest in learning shouldn't be a teacher.

justicewomen Thu 24-Apr-14 21:19:11

I just asked my son who is in year 7 the same question.

He could answer what VJ Day was and mentioned Pearl Harbor and where the atomic bomb was dropped.

Is he more representative of schooling today?

Dunno but it shows that anecdotes prove little

WooWooOwl Thu 24-Apr-14 21:20:18

My children both did big projects about WW2 in Y6 and could have told you about Japan's involvement. In Y8 they did both the world wars in depth, concentrating more on the politics surrounding them. They are state educated and are without doubt receiving a better education than I did at private school.

Spelling tests ended at the end of Y6, but by then they had both read enough that their spelling was as good as mine, and if they weren't sure, they have dictionary's and google. I don't think that children should need to be taught how to spell by the time they are Y7.

My children have been served very well by the English school system so far, but I don't believe education is entirely down to schools. Parents matter just as much.

ilovesooty Thu 24-Apr-14 21:21:11

I'm also wondering how some lazy parents take no responsibility for bringing up children with no curiosity about the world around them and no interest in finding anything out.

But as others have said it's more teacher bashing and a name change as well.

soverylucky Thu 24-Apr-14 21:28:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

1FluffyJumper Thu 24-Apr-14 21:32:59

So you are telling us you are ashamed of your son?!
You are saying he will be no good as a teacher?
Maybe he was off with chickenpox the week VJ Day was taught. Everyone has 'gaps.'
I imagine he said 'nah' to get you off his back as you were being a royal pain in the *ss! Poor boy.
Post says more about you than it does about him.
OP, I'm astounded by your ignorance.
Were u off school when they were teaching empathy.

1FluffyJumper Thu 24-Apr-14 21:33:09


howrudeforme Thu 24-Apr-14 21:39:43

I know some parents who are high up in science - yup they know alot about that but know little else. I guess that's their speciality and so their kids won't get much geography or other stuff from them.

ilovesooty Thu 24-Apr-14 21:42:14

Most people's Le who have gaps in their van c general knowledge are keen to address them - one would hope especially so if they want to be teachers. Hopefully mindsets like those of 1FluffyJumper are uncomment n.

Pumpkinette Thu 24-Apr-14 21:43:33

YANBU. I can't comment on the English education system as I am in Scotland but history is one of the topics that was grossly neglected when I was at school. (I am in my 30's)

My high school education had 1 term of history in 1st year (year 7?) and 1 term in 2nd year (year 8?). WW2 was covered a bit it primary school and WW1 not at all. Most of the history I have learned has been from books and documentaries - not school.

I have been hoping that the education system ha improved suce then but apparently not. I also feel we teach languages too late on this country. Also politics - a lot of 17 /18 / 19 year olds do not understand the basics about politics (local elections / seats in Westminster / what the House of Lords does etc.) I think we should also improve education in this area. although the cynic in me thinks this has been left out of the education system on purpose

ilovesooty Thu 24-Apr-14 21:44:00

Apologies for typos on phone.

Most people are surely unlikely that defend this level of ignorance.

ilovesooty Thu 24-Apr-14 21:45:55

Why don't more parents and children discuss politics? It doesn't need to be left to schools.

Roseformeplease Thu 24-Apr-14 21:46:48

OP, I think some posters have missed the humour in your post. Yes, it is fairly shocking, but not the end of the world (unless he is studying Modern History).

Here in Scotland they learn about 3 people, round and round again. My DS can tell you anything you want about Wallace, Roy and Mary Queen of Scots. Any other History he has learned from family trips and being really fascinated by it. However, we have high hopes of his new teacher who is looking at American War of Independence.

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