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Responsibility of learning.

(24 Posts)
gillybeanz Tue 21-Mar-17 15:25:27

Do we expect too much from our dc teachers?

Was just wondering as I sent dd off to school with her 10 min bag on sunday.
I don't believe that a teacher should be held responsible for the results a student achieves.
It should be a three way including the student, parent and teacher, surely they have their own role in this.
I know some parents couldn't be bothered, this has always been the case, but the teacher shouldn't be held accountable for this.

I know this is different, but I have a child who is struggling despite intervention. I have told her that it's her responsibility to learn and the teachers responsibility to give the information, and that teaching and learning are not the same thing.

Why did we shift responsibility to teachers away from parents and children?

gillybeanz Tue 21-Mar-17 15:26:53

whoops, meant to say, posting on my way to work so will check for replies later.

gillybeanz Tue 21-Mar-17 20:33:56

Anybody? grin

Stitchfusion Tue 21-Mar-17 20:35:20

Because its easy to blame the teachers?

Stitchfusion Tue 21-Mar-17 20:35:30

Because its easy to blame the teachers?

GreenPeppers Tue 21-Mar-17 20:41:42

Because good teaching should give way to learning.
So it's seeing as the reaponsibility of the teacher to make subjects interesting and attractive enough so that children are engaged in the learning process (and therefore learn).

It's all well and good but as you say, if a child doesn't want to learn you can be as fancy as you want, they won't learn.
There are children who will find it harder than others and they do need make that extra effort. Again, it needs to come from them, because let's be honest, it's not fun.
And more importantly, ai think this was of thinking is understandable when children are little but makes less and less sense as they are growing up, start secondary school etc...
This is the time when the shift really has to have happened IMO.

As for the parents, yes of course, support from the parents will always help. However, the system can to rely on them because some them will not do it but more importantly, some of them do not have the ability to do it (e.g. Someone who doesn't know how to read will struggle to ensure that their DC reads to them everyday).
So they need to be out of the equation for fairness sake really.

GreenPeppers Tue 21-Mar-17 20:43:03

Sorry it should be
the system canNOT rely on them <the parents>

monet24 Tue 21-Mar-17 20:44:39

It's a three way thing. I am a teacher who sees it from the perspective of a teacher who has only so many hours in a day with 30 minds to teach and parents who are supportive in the learning process with children who are enthusiastic but the light bulb moment hadn't happened yet no matter what the 3 of us do. I also see children in my class who how can I put I? Can't be arsed , parents too can't be arsed but their children are having the brightest light bulb moments all the time.
I also as a parent have a child who has gone through an education system that with a parent thinking ' as long as you are happy you will succeed ' and she has ( my dear intelligent daughter has complex global educational needs who was given the option of coming out of mainstream school at the age of 7 but didn't and will go to university next year 😊)
It's everyone's responsibility and everyone has a part to play. The key is the child, and a happy child. No unhappy child will learn and flourish. All children will learn and achieve if happy.

user1490123259 Tue 21-Mar-17 20:48:04

So it's seeing as the reaponsibility of the teacher to make subjects interesting and attractive enough so that children are engaged in the learning process (and therefore learn).

I totally disagree with this whole "edutainment" concept.

No, it is not up to the teachers to "make subjects attractive" - it is up to the teachers to give everyone in front of them the opportunity to learn - and this is not easy to do fairly and inclusively.

It is up to children to actively learn, and up to parents to support them in this.

I have just received the SEN details of a new child I am supposed to be supporting. (15 yo girl)

Her SEN issues are that she gives up easily and keeps walking out of the classroom. (Intelligence is normal/ average, in all aspects.)

I don't consider those to be SEN issues, I consider those to be her shirking her responsibility - yet every teacher is expected to take account of her "special needs" in every lesson, and be held responsible for engaging her, and probably a dozen like her in every class.

And her parents blame the teachers for her grades......

BackforGood Tue 21-Mar-17 20:51:14

I agree with the theory, but, as a teacher, I can't let down the dc who have already had a poor start with lack of parental interest / involvement / ability.

What on earth is a 10minute bag?
Why is she going to school on a Sunday? confused

ittooshallpass Tue 21-Mar-17 20:57:21

No I don't think parents expect too much of teachers. I actually think teachers expect too much of parents.

There is STILL the perception/expectation that all mums are SAHMs or at the very least work part time.

Projects set over half term breaks which teachers want parents to complete with children... when parents are at work and children are in full-time wrap around card for the week...

I think teachers should engage children... make them want to learn. Parents support (within reason). Teachers teach.

(And please stop saying parents 'can't be arsed'. You don't know the circumstances of the parents. The majority are doing what they can.)

GreenPeppers Tue 21-Mar-17 20:58:11

user sorry I should have been clearer.
This is not what I think should happen but my understanding of how the system works and why.
This is certainly what I have seen happening in primary and what my dcs teachers have told me.

Do I agree? Yes and no.
Yes it's the teacher responsibility to make the subject attractive up to a point. A boring presentation of a quite dry subject is never fun and doesn't lead to the right outcomes overall (i.e. Children or adults learning).
No and especially not in secondary. There has to be a part that is coming from the child and there is no way that a teacher should become a clown/entertainer/whatever it is it needs to be to interest those like the 15yo you are describing.

gillybeanz Tue 21-Mar-17 21:55:47


I'm dyslexic and very slow, with a low IQ, I devised it when I was 11 because I didn't want to be a "divvy" all my life. So sad that these terms existed.

Anyway if you are a child who has to wait around for things (like my dd)
The bag contains small slips of important stuff.
Spellings, French vocabulary, the book you are reading, an important historic fact etc. You just pull something out of the bag.
It doesn't replace any other learning opportunity but certainly adds to it.
My dd said she's pulled a few out since monday morning grin

We can't expect teachers to do everything, and learning requires repetition / frequency, not just having a class forgetting about it and expecting to pass exams. It renders revision useless as you can't revise what you haven't learned.

The olden days < gets my zimmer> were bleak and kids like me slipped through the net, a whole generation of us, which had to be remedied as an adult. However, those who did manage school well were far better students for learning than today.
Something between the two would be nice, and maybe give the poor teachers a break from more blame.

christmaswreaths Thu 23-Mar-17 20:41:02

When I was a child (and Dh's experience was the same), our parents were not involved in education at all. I or Dh were never read to, nobody ever did timetables with us or spellings or any homework. I remember coming home and getting my homework out and completing it to the best of ny ability or else I would be in huge trouble at school.

Now it seems that most homework involves parents and if you don't get involved you are a sub parent. Children are a lot less accountable as the parents take over their education.

It puts a lot of strain on families.

troutsprout Fri 24-Mar-17 13:59:10

I had no parental involvement with my homework. They turned up for parents evening .. that's it.
I have 2 children. The oldest has Sen and I have been v involved in his struggles with organisation and homework and getting him to understand what is required.
The other child is neurotypical and gets on with it and takes responsibility for it independently. The only thing I may do is check that it has been completed and look through books/ sign planner.

kesstrel Fri 24-Mar-17 16:44:17

The roots of all this lie in mistaken ideas about how children learn from the 60s and 70s. "Educationalists" (the people who train our teachers) looked at how babies learn to talk (for example) and decided that meant that all learning could be achieved "naturally", with little effort, if the circumstances were right. What they didn't allow for is that we are evolutionarily adapted to pick up language without effort; but that's not true of reading, maths etc. (This is a crude summary of a much more complex set of ideas, but not inaccurate as far as it goes).

We are still living with the legacy of mistaken ideas like this, which don't seem to want to die. I honestly don't know what the answer is.

We are stil

GreenPeppers Fri 24-Mar-17 17:39:40

I will add that actually some children DO find learning a language hard (dc2certainly did) and still needed to put a extra effort into it.

Parents involvement is essential IMO, now and before. The children whose parents are involved in what is happening are always doing better.
The only thing is that being involved doesn't mean the same thing for a child child. The bright one that is keen on learning doesn't need a parent behind his back. The one that is starting to mess around is.

One that doesn't change though is teaching them a positive attitude to learning, one that doesn't say that dong the minimum is enough. One that says that doing well and wanting to do well is ok. One that says that striving to do the best YOU can do (which doesn't mean being the best btw) is essential.
Ime with my two dcs, this is missing, esp in secondary where looking like you are keen and/or are good is seen as a bad thing rather than a good one.

Badbadbunny Fri 24-Mar-17 19:58:51

My parents were initially involved, especially at primary school, but seemed to lose interest when I went to secondary. I went from being a straight A student to failing all my GCE's except 1! They only attending my first couple of year's comp parents' evenings and by the time I was in 4th/5th year, I didn't even show them my reports (and they never asked).

It wasn't a matter of them not being interested, they were busy. Father running his own business, mother working full time during the day and also taught evening classes (yes she was a teacher which makes it more ridiculous!). It's not that I was ever troublesome - I never had a single detention or other punishment, not even lines! Behaviour wise I was a model child and pupil. I was just completely dis-associated with school. Serious bullying didn't help as that just made me withdrawn. I just turned up at 9am, did the bare minimum I could get away with in lessons and homework, hid at breaks and lunchtime to avoid bullying and went home at 3.30.

Had someone, whether a parent or teacher, given me a kick up the bum and some support, I'd have done a lot better. Because no-one else seemed to care, neither did I! You'd have thought that getting As in the first year at comp and slowing going down to Bs, Cs, Ds etc as each year passed would have flagged up a problem, but even with the same form time for all 5 years, he never once flagged up a problem, never took me aside for a chat, never queries why my parents never signed & returned the report slip, etc.

All changed once I left the horrid place and got a job. I took A levels, did evening and day release classes and eventually qualified as a chartered accountant. Leaving school was the start of my life! Do I feel let down by my parents and teachers? Yes, 100%. I managed to turn my life around but it was a close thing.

When I had a child, I resolved to be fully engaged and supportive in their education. So far, so good. He's a high achiever and things look good for him, but educationally and socially. He has loads of friends but also a A* student across the board. I'm not a helicopter parent, he's not stressed with studying at all. He knows I'm there for him. Most days he'll do his homework without my intervention. Some days he needs a nudge to get on with it. Some days, he'll struggle with something and ask for help. We were very hands-on with his work etc in years 7 and 8, but we eased off in year 9 and now more just supervisory in year 10, particularly as he's now gone beyond our abilities to help him!

So, yes, parental involvement is absolutely essential. But perhaps more a matter of showing interest and being there for your child, rather than doing their homework for them and interfering in every little thing going on in school. It's a fine balancing act I suppose.

gillybeanz Fri 24-Mar-17 21:28:10

Aw, I can agree with all these points that are made, and badbunny
I so sympathise and you should be so proud of yourself thanks
I often wonder how many people just survived school sad

My parents gave up in the end, but supported me until they could no longer, due to having no support from school.
My Dad sat with me for hours on end, ss and LEA threw everything they could offer at me from being 5, nothing worked. I'm 50 though so schools were barbaric back then, and little knowledge of learning difficulties.

I too was very invested in ds1 and 2 education from them being toddlers. I knew the curriculum like the back of my hand, which helps quite a lot grin
Same with dd but she started off so well, problems not really surfacing until Y6/7
I never stop thinking about their education. I only just realised writing this down.

Does anyone think that parents supporting more would mean their dc would learn more, rather than needing revision time to cram knowledge they should have gained with practice at home?
I'm not suggesting that parents have the time nor should have to do this btw. Could we change the way we relate to their work without it taking up lots of time.

user1490123259 Sat 25-Mar-17 08:23:04

A significant amount of academic education occurs at home, for most children. There is a limit to how well you can do only working within school hours in a large class. All children need to work independently as well, and until they can do that, then with parental support. All children are "home educated" to some extent.

portico Sat 25-Mar-17 11:06:12

Have bone idle teachers here skipping lessons, expecting kids to learn new content from the text. No biology teacher for 6 weeks. Why the fuck do they always foist the PE teacher as a cover for any lesson, in any subject. Maths teachers fucks about and leaves the lessons, too!

user1490123259 Sat 25-Mar-17 11:15:46

Have bone idle teachers here skipping lessons,

There are many reasons teachers miss lessons, bone idelenss is not one of them!

expecting kids to learn new content from the text.

That's called "flipping" and is currently a big thing, kids learn the content then come to lessons with questions, rather than teachers teaching content. Not particularly good, or bad, imo, just another way of doing it that suits some people in some circumstances, but not others.

Of course the real issue with it, is like many fads, it is imposed on staff for a while , then dropped again, and in the mean time, all planning has to be totally revised to reflect the fad, then totally revised again to reflect the next fad.

It is likely the teacher has to prove a certain number of his lessons are flipped.

No biology teacher for 6 weeks.

well, the country has run out, sorry.

Some of the reasons for that are quite nicely illustrated on this thread! ( and others currently running)

Why the fuck do they always foist the PE teacher as a cover for any lesson, in any subject.

There is very little leeway on who is available.

Maths teachers fucks about and leaves the lessons, too

again, there will be reasons !

gillybeanz Sat 25-Mar-17 16:53:29


You have highlighted many of the reasons why I feel parents will have to do more to support learning, if they can.

I often hear parents complaining about teachers, hence the thread really. But how on earth they manage to teach anything of significance in this age is beyond me.
They are leaving and not being replaced, given far too much responsibility rather than being allowed to teach, and it's our children that suffer.
Then teachers are blamed and round it goes again.
thanks for highlighting that, I'd not got round to that yet. grin

Out2pasture Sun 26-Mar-17 04:16:56

Education is lifelong and a partnership.
I expected the teachers to present the material, my children to soak it up and for us (parents) to show them how the material can be applied in real life situations.

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