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We've done crap again in the international education league.

(201 Posts)
mrswarbouys Tue 03-Dec-13 13:08:47

Leading to lots of talk on radio today with politicians spouting their lofty rhetoric and pointless statistics. What I'd like to know is what do people believe could be the reason why we're doing so badly?

teachersaspirations Fri 27-Dec-13 01:15:59

"Teachers are respected in S. E. we have that good old saying: "if you can't do it, teach it....." In Scotland, it takes 6 years to train as a teacher: 4 years for first degree; 1 year for pdge and I year probationary teaching.............Kids are not stupid: they learn in an environment created by adults and if their parents do not respect teachers, then why should they?"

Great words but that sounds as if teachers are infallible
parents are certainly not infallible, I am not

I want the best for my kids (but not at the expenses of other kids)

Do you want parents support (which also means constructive disagreement sometimes)?

Retropear Thu 26-Dec-13 17:25:04

Nah not into linking.

Media-check out The Daily a Wail et al re pushy parents and MN.Even doing homework is deemed pushy these days.

Sorry imvho as an ex teacher and parent schools do judge parents that push and expect results.Great the 2 schools you have experience off don't well pretty much every school I have experienced in both capacities do.

The gov is forever slagging off sharp elbowed parents when it suits.

Re tinkering sorry a lot of it was much needed.I taught pre NC,literacy hour and emphasis on phonics and since. Imvho primary education is much better now.

TalkinPeace Thu 26-Dec-13 17:18:00

Parents pushing kids and expecting them to do well is frowned on in this country by media,gov and teachers

links please

as DCs school is not like that
the schools that DH goes to are not like that
and Gove's free school programme encouraging parents to set up schools is not like that

Retropear Thu 26-Dec-13 17:13:57

Parents pushing kids and expecting them to do well is frowned on in this country by media,gov and teachers.

That I think is a major issue re lack lustre results and a huge difference when comparing the UK to other more successful countries.

TalkinPeace Thu 26-Dec-13 16:51:55

How are we doing on fundraising for Gove's space flight :-)

Because it is constant ill informed meddling and tinkering by he and his ilk that are part of the UKs problem

Ingrid1964 Thu 26-Dec-13 01:34:09

The difference between a top 3 place in the PISA analysis and the UK's position is barely statistically significant.

If you send all the low achieving children home on the day of the PISA test, then're going to do better (friend who teaches in Shanghai and whose school features in the most recent PISA stats).

Teachers are respected in S. E. we have that good old saying: "if you can't do it, teach it....." In Scotland, it takes 6 years to train as a teacher: 4 years for first degree; 1 year for pdge and I year probationary teaching.............Kids are not stupid: they learn in an environment created by adults and if their parents do not respect teachers, then why should they?

English is a complex and challenging language which takes years to fully master.....Finnish is not.

If the English / Scottish education system was so bad..........why do so many International Schools choose it over the IB, or any other system?

Culture.........Scandinavia and S. E. Asia are more cohesive societies with a greater shared sense of community and values.

In the UK, education is intensely politicised. In Scandinavia and S. E. Asia, teachers are treated as experts and professionals. This results is far greater stability in the curriculum (and respect).

As the much travelled Finnish minister for education recently said....."You cannot transplant the Finnish model into the UK. Finnish society, culture and values are just too different". We need to look at the failings of our society, rather than the competency of our teachers, or the rigour of our curriculum.

SatinSandals Wed 11-Dec-13 08:45:05

I think that you may have hit on a good point, cory. In 60s and 70s in UK many teachers stuck with their tried and tested methods and there was more freedom, on the whole they were allowed to or they just paid lip service to new methods. Now it is all imposed from above and has to be adhered to, except by the exceptional teacher who can be a bit of a maverick and successful ( and dares try).

straggle Wed 11-Dec-13 07:40:11

The Swedish free school policy sounds horrific - things have changed a lot since you went to school. 'Easier to set up a free school than a hot dog stand' and more likely to go bust?!

cory Tue 10-Dec-13 21:03:01

Interesting to see that Sweden has taken such a nose-dive.

Though as my dad (a retired teacher) points out, this may not be entirely due to current policy but also due to the fact that the progressive teaching ideas of the 70s and 80s are now in full force in the schools, as the teachers who were trained then are now middle-aged and heads of their subjects.

When I was a child at school in Sweden in the 70s the education system was thought to be very progressive and the country was held up abroad as an example of progressive pedagogy working, but ime most of the actual teachers out in the schools stuck to their oldfashioned ideas and quietly ignored the progressive signals from above. Officially we were modern, autonomous learners, in real life we spent a lot of time learning French irregular verbs by heart (and very useful it was too). That's when we were top of the leagues.

Donki Sun 08-Dec-13 19:42:45


PointyChristmasFairyWand Sun 08-Dec-13 17:36:02

Nah, straight into the sun.

Donki Sun 08-Dec-13 16:47:28


Or alpha centauri?

Talkinpeace Sun 08-Dec-13 16:45:08

one way trip .....

PointyChristmasFairyWand Sun 08-Dec-13 16:34:40

I'd donate quite a lot to that space programme, Donki fsmile

Donki Sun 08-Dec-13 16:25:20

Hey! Why don't we crowd source a rocket for that purpose? I'd contribute...

Kickstarter here we come!

PointyChristmasFairyWand Sun 08-Dec-13 16:13:02

Talkinpeace if only we could afford a space programme, then yes! fgrin.

Talkinpeace Sun 08-Dec-13 15:47:13

so for christmas we really want is a reshuffle that sends Gove and his Acolytes to another planet fwink

Every Child Matters

my client "dan the digger"
cannot read or write (much) is dire at maths
you want to investigate unknown underground pipes on a building site, one of which may be live gas
and he's your man
he works all over the south
for remarkably good pay
doing what no sane bugger will do
and quadratic equations are no use to him
(and he pays me on time)
was never happier than up to his hips in broken sewer in my garden when the ground was frozen to 2 feet down
nutter but essential nutter who should be valued

PointyChristmasFairyWand Sun 08-Dec-13 14:52:20

shooting you've put your finger on it. We need
1) An end to the one size fits all teaching - OFSTED doesn't seem to want it, so Michael Gove should now shut up about the need for 'traditional teaching methods'.
2) An end to low expectations - every child should reach their potential, and this also means
3) The implementation of excellent vocational and skills education, underpinned by solid teaching of functional literacy and numeracy to the age of 18. Not everyone needs to be able to do quadratic equations, but everyone does need to be able to budget and manage their wider finances.
4) Following on from 3) we need to start appreciating all the skills and talents people have and stop slavishly adoring all things academic to the exclusion of everything else.

Shootingatpigeons Sun 08-Dec-13 09:20:57

summer so you do not see the sense of the shift from teaching reading purely via look /see to giving all pupils the phonic tools that my DD had to be taken out of the classroom to learn via intensive intervention, because now they realise the majority of pupils do benefit? You do not see the sense of using more active learning in the classroom, following research that shows that learning will be more effective if pupils have had to work harder to access knowledge and skills applies not just to pupils with SpLDs? The traditional chalk and talk, teaching to tests of rote learning most suits an equally small number of pupils with particular strengths and learning styles, but excludes a lot more than just those with SpLDs. The latest OFSTED annual review makes it very explicit that they don't favour a particular teaching style, that what matters is effective teaching and improved outcomes for all pupils.

We do badly in PISA tests not because of the pupils that traditional teaching methods include but because so many pupils are being excluded, and as OFSTED highlights teachers are too readily prepared to tolerate a culture that accepts poor outcomes for those pupils, especially in affluent suburbs.

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Sat 07-Dec-13 23:59:17

MMM I am not saying that children should be home edded but more about making sure that instead of getting to year 2 and turning around to them to say that everyone has to follow this curriculum and everyone has to do the same homework etc what ever level children are at. But continue with some form of streaming where the children who need the help get the help and are taught in their group at a lower level concentrating on the basics of reading, writing and maths. Ds could not read or write and was given homework every night along the lines of write a poem, write a letter, write a story. Have you ever tried to get a child to write a story when they find it near impossible to write individual letters. By the time the homework was done we were all exhausted and he hated school.
There could be more done re testing for dyslexia, dyspraxia etc not just telling a parent that a teacher thinks there is a problem, we think your dc is dyslexic then not going anywhere with it.
I have spent hours and hours on the phone and Internet trying to get dd and ds help but have came up against a brick wall.

Summer- the fact that they are only testing for dyslexia in senior school not in primary means there is a group who are slipping through the net. These pupils have been thru primary and junior school struggling. Dd was tested by her school in yr7 despite her teachers saying they thought she was dyslexic in reception. She has only a few weeks ago had the proper psych ed test to tell us that she was worse than we thought she was. (bottom 1percentile for writing and spelling, top percentile in speach and verbal expression). She is in yr9

Also I am not trying to be stereotypical in ds's and dd's classes in reception and year 1 when they streamed them the majority of boys were on the bottom set table. Equally in dd's class at the moment the 7 children who have dyslexia, 5 are boys and only 1 other girl is dyslexic apart from my dd.

Summerworld Sat 07-Dec-13 21:27:10

Shooting, 10% special learning needs pupils does not surprise me. However, I do not see the sense of teaching the other 90% using the methods and speed suitable for the 10% minority. From my (limited) experience with dyslexic pupils, they needed a lot more time to do the same reading and writing tasks. They would really have been best in a small group with a dedicated teaching assistant, rather than ploughing on with the rest of the class at a much faster speed. It is not that they are stupid, but as you said, they had to devise their own strategies to do the same thing in a round-about way. This is what took the time. It is no good saying one size fits all. Some pupils just need more support and more time, but everybody is capable of achieving good outcomes. Ideally, as the other poster said, some sort of rote learning should be used to speed up simple tasks and build solid foundations, but the understanding and creativity should also be there. Creativity with no grounding will lead nowhere.

MillyMollyMama Sat 07-Dec-13 20:25:15

Oops! Top end I meant to say.

MillyMollyMama Sat 07-Dec-13 20:20:58

And at the top end we are as good as anyone. Our schools are pretty good at the top bed too. Our universities are sought after. It is our 20% at the bottom that brings us down.

sashh Sat 07-Dec-13 10:09:25

I don't get it. Overseas in U.A.E. and Malaysia the british curriculum is highly rated and locals (and expats) pay an arm and a leg to send their children to the prestigious British Curriculum international can be that bad...

Well the tests are only in three subjects, I'm sure the parents want their children to learn more than 3 subjects.

Shootingatpigeons Sat 07-Dec-13 08:30:32

summer that is the point, it is not very uncommon. My DDs go/went to one of the most selective schools in the country and in common with schools like Westminster and Kings College School they find that with effective screening they do indeed find that 10 % of their cohort are dyslexic or have some form of Specific Learning Difficulty, in line with what research shows to be the proportion of the population. That means that in a class of 30, 3 will need some alternative learning approach, not only that but using a variety of teaching methods has been shown to be of benefit to others in the class. As I have said before rote learning as an approach is fine but not in isolation. You can be accurate and a thinker.

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