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To not want to send my DCs to a school where a teacher is a 'guide on the side' and minecraft on the curriculum from Y4?

(59 Posts)
Citizen1000 Fri 21-Nov-14 08:08:37

Children are at a forward thinking, all through school in the 'burbs and I went to talk yesterday that told us iPads will be used daily for the Y4s up and that an educational form of Minecraft will be part of the curriculum too. Pilot schemes have been very popular and we've been told bringing in much more technology earlier will promote IT skills and team work in young children. iPads can be used effectively in the classroom and support for more technology earlier in the classroom is really growing as I see it. I can see that introduced well and used widely it could be a powerful tool. Personally I feel that ideally it would come in when they were older.

We were also told that we should see our child's teacher as a 'guide on the side' and that any form of teaching that was old fashioned, didactic and 'Sage on the stage' was a bad thing. It was explained that the 21st Century is all about putting greater emphasis on cross curricular, interdisciplinary skills and there should be more project type work to promote skills and the various different aptitudes the children might possess. The teacher, we must realise, is there as a deliverer of the curriculum and the 'child is in the middle' who must be appealed to. So higher up the school this means posters in literacy etc. Knowledge apparently can be accessed via technology and rote learning is really an educational anachronism with no merit or value at all.

As I see it by acquiring knowledge in a traditional sense you are also training your mind to focus and concentrate, using your memory and, taught well, by a 'Sage on the stage' (now a very bad thing apparently) developing a capacity to analyse? An expert, a brilliant subject specialist in their field who can inspire in a tried-and-tested centuries old way is to be shunted out in favour of someone who can deliver the curriculum and be more fun for the children. A 'guide' who doesn't really need to be as specialised. There seems to be this total shift away from seeing education as knowledge acquired over time and valuing it for its own sake. It feels to me like there is this growing anti-intellectualism in the UK and in thinking about what might be practical in the 21st century we might be doing our children a disservice? Just curious to see how others feel and if I am being unreasonable and just need to get with the 21st Century accepting that children can just look up what they don't know on the internet? Speaking to others it seems that many who received a traditional classical education themselves often hated it and are seeking something much more fun for their children. Sometimes I wonder if they realise that it was precisely that traditional acquisition of knowledge and classical type of education, so hated, that has enabled them to be as successful as they often are?

Hakluyt Fri 21-Nov-14 08:15:08

Hello Michael! How's life as Chief Whip?

HowMuchMoreWee Fri 21-Nov-14 08:17:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WeirdCatLady Fri 21-Nov-14 08:18:23

Why don't politicians, researchers and journalists just come out, admit who and what they are and just ask us straight questions? We don't bite you know.

OTheHugeManatee Fri 21-Nov-14 08:18:39

YANBU. Nobody talks about it, but the reason independent schools turn out so much better results than state is because they haven't bought into all this bollocks and instead continued to teach actual content rather than 'skills'.

This idea that 21st century skills are utterly different to 20th ones is nonsense.

skylark2 Fri 21-Nov-14 08:19:46

What a very bizarre post.

I've no idea which city you live in, but if you don't like the ethos of your kids' school, maybe you should consider moving them. I'm a little confused that you would have picked this one for your kids in the first place.

Hakluyt Fri 21-Nov-14 08:22:33

"YANBU. Nobody talks about it, but the reason independent schools turn out so much better results than state is because they haven't bought into all this bollocks and instead continued to teach actual content rather than 'skills'."

No it isn't. It's because they are selective.

Llareggub Fri 21-Nov-14 08:23:11

If my son got to use Minecraft at school I'd probably never get him out of there.

Hakluyt Fri 21-Nov-14 08:23:22

But yes, let's not write the OP's article for him.

Altinkum Fri 21-Nov-14 08:27:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WeirdCatLady Fri 21-Nov-14 08:27:50

Indeed. I've reported it to MNHQ.

Citizen1000 Fri 21-Nov-14 08:32:20

LOL Hakluyt, damn it you are far too sharp for me smile I think that the skills needed for the 21st Century are different. Technology will increasingly be in the Primary classroom and PCs, laptops (or iPads or something similar) will come to be used routinely. Teachers can use them to see if individual children have grasped things and they can, used correctly, help both teacher and child.Not sure but I imagine they are already used widely in some schools fairly early on. Coding and programming etc will all come in earlier on the curriculum I guess too.

Citizen1000 Fri 21-Nov-14 08:34:21

I am a genuinely interested parent and will let them know. The fact that I've provoked this reaction is very interesting and maybe a good sign that things haven't changed as much as maybe I feared.

Llareggub Fri 21-Nov-14 08:36:37

Yes, they are used routinely. My son (yr3) has an app for his iPad on which he learns his spellings. They are uploaded onto the website by his teacher and they magically appear on his iPad at home. It works really well for him because he was struggling with spelling and this method has really engaged him.

I want my DCs to not just use software but learn how to create it. I'm glad schools will be teaching coding although I suspect most primary teachers won't have the knowledge to do so effectively. I certainly wouldn't!

skylark2 Fri 21-Nov-14 08:38:33

"No it isn't. It's because they are selective."

That, and because they're staffed by teachers who liked their subjects sufficiently to spend 3 years studying them at degree level.

State schools are staffed largely by people like me, who the DoE would have been perfectly happy to give teacher training to and tell to teach biology even though I don't even have a GCSE. I asked what the provisions were for people like me expecting to hear about crash courses and intensive revision, and she said "oh, you'd catch up."

I did not become a teacher.

russellgrantschin Fri 21-Nov-14 08:44:05

It sounds like the school had an inset day from an educational theorist (I know one who constantly uses the bloody guide on the side/sage on the stage analogy - it's like a disease) and are now throwing buzzwords around to try to impress parents.

Hakluyt Fri 21-Nov-14 08:49:41

"State schools are staffed largely by people like me, who the DoE would have been perfectly happy to give teacher training to and tell to teach biology even though I don't even have a GCSE. I asked what the provisions were for people like me expecting to hear about crash courses and intensive revision, and she said "oh, you'd catch up."

<sigh> more myths about the state sector. Don't put that in your article, will you, OP?

JenniferGovernment Fri 21-Nov-14 09:02:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Behoove Fri 21-Nov-14 09:04:52

Ooh, are we going to be in the papers again?

hope it's not the Guardian

PenelopeGarciasCrazyHair Fri 21-Nov-14 09:10:48

Llareggub, could you tell the name of that spelling app, I'd love to suggest it to DD's school as her spellings inevitably end up in a crumpled ball at the bottom of her school bag and then she hurriedly fills in 5 days worth on the morning of her test! blush

PenelopeGarciasCrazyHair Fri 21-Nov-14 09:11:49

She even makes a few mistakes on the first few days to make it look like she's improved over the week! Wiley little monkey.

kleinzeit Fri 21-Nov-14 09:15:37

Are your kids being well taught right now? If so I wouldn’t worry about a lot of management bollocks-speak. The teachers will take it with the appropriate sized pinch of salt. Most teachers have been using an assortment of strategies for years.

If the school can afford to hand out iPads to Yr4 then fine. Though I’m confused about whether this is supposed to be a state or a private school – neither handing out iPads nor assuming every child has one at home sound very likely for a state school. Not unless they've got some special donations from Apple, in which case the school would have announced that very proudly.

DS refuses to touch Minecraft but it's as educational as Lego and can probably be used in similarly creative and educational ways in school too. Teaching programming would be good for logical skills - Scratch from MIT is free and excellent - but most teachers aren't yet in a position to teach it.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 21-Nov-14 09:17:31

That's odd, skylark because my friend who wanted to retrain as a teacher was told she would only be allowed to specialise in her degree subjects (combined degee - a science and a language).

a tried-and-tested centuries old way
Why don't you practice what you preach and do some proper research for your article OP? I don't know, try going to a library perhaps? Then you wouldn't churn out boring and untrue cliches.

kleinzeit Fri 21-Nov-14 09:33:14

Come to that – if you wanted a “traditional” education for your kids why did you send them to a "forward-thinking" school in the first place? You could have sent them somewhere backward-looking with a strong focus on rote learning - though they’d have to look a very long way back indeed to find a time when rote learning was the main educational strategy.

JenniferGovernment Fri 21-Nov-14 09:44:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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