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How do you rate your childs education compared to your own?

(40 Posts)
CodandherBeau Thu 14-Apr-05 11:58:31

just following on from the other thread.

Do you think your child's education is better, worse or about the same as your own?

JoolsToo Thu 14-Apr-05 11:59:45

bugger! - its ME!!!

flashingnose Thu 14-Apr-05 12:04:18

It's way too pressurised now IMO. Other countries have proved that you don't have to start your children in education so early to achieve the same results. I've just been to view a day nursery for dd2 (aged 2) where the manager was proudly running through all the structured activities they do, including French!! SHE'S TWO FFS!!!

Ameriscot2005 Thu 14-Apr-05 12:05:54

What a hard question!

At primary level, I'd say the basic skills are pretty equivalent (I was educated before grammar was removed from the curriculum), but there is more variety generally.

Secondary, there seems to be a lot more emphasis on independent learning, which suits some and not others. I'm glad that I didn't have to do "coursework", and I liked the academic rigour of those days - but again, that only suits a limited number of pupils.

In what the call technology nowadays, I'm glad that we learnt specific skills (cooking and sewing for me), rather than the emphasis on design that they have now - but I can see there are benefits and drawbacks of each approach.

Exams seem so complicated nowadays, with all the different choices of papers for each subject.

Marina Thu 14-Apr-05 12:07:46

So far I think ds' is better than my own - he's only 5 and three quarters though! His Reception and Yr 1 teachers have both been super, there is no blind-eye turning to bullying at his school and he has been taught to read using synthetic phonics. I did fine on the whole word recognition flashcard system but do remember other children struggling with it.
And Oxford Reading Tree is MUCH better than the Ladybird Scheme.
I was at primary school around 35 years ago and in many respects I think the children now have a kinder, more child-centred, better resourced school life (ie, lots more good picture and storybooks to choose from, more resources for parents out there).
Friendship benches, School Council, mentoring schemes etc - all big improvements IMO.
Big gripe is that most school uniform is polyester/acrylic these days and home-knit wool/cotton cardies are not allowed. I had an all-cotton uniform at primary level and I think they last longer, look nicer and are much more comfortable.

expatinscotland Thu 14-Apr-05 12:09:20

i hear that, flashingnose!

it does seem like e/one is in a rush to get their kids to do stuff earlier and earlier.

there also doesn't seem to be as much room for creativity or imagination and makes late bloomers feel stupid.

outside my academic education, i studied dance for 12 years. whilst my dance school didn't start girls in pointe shoes till they were 13, i was shocked to hear about some places putting NINE year olds in them! the kirov ballet used to leave off putting female dancers en pointe till 15 or s/times even later, but they were still bar none the best company in the world.

proof that earlier isn't always better.

JoolsToo Thu 14-Apr-05 12:12:32

I agree with a lot of what you say Ameriscot

for myself I think their primary education (70's at a good state school who still had emphasis on learning tables, good spelling and reading ability)compared favourably with mine (50's )
As for secondary, whilst they went to excellent grammar schools with good discipline, I'd say they weren't taught to the same level - sorry to be boring but in no way do GCSEs compare with 'O' Levels

at my 50's primary bullying wasn't a problem - as far as I was aware anyway (but then we still had corporal punishment which I hasten to had was rarely if ever used - think I can remember one time - not me!) Teachers were lovely but you knew they were 'boss' - I loved it!

marialuisa Thu 14-Apr-05 13:07:52

I hope DD's school days will be happier than mine but I've realised that what we've chosen for her at infant level isn't that different to my infant education in terms of structure, activites, class sizes etc. The main difference is that the staff are more relaxed, give hugs and do not terrify small children. The nursery teacher I had from 2-4 years would have suited delinquent teenagers better than LOs and was very quick with her hands (esp around the boys).

Cam Thu 14-Apr-05 13:12:18

A teacher at a local A level college has recently told me that A levels are now mainly multiple choice questions and short questions and answers that require the use of particular buzzwords (for which the marks are given). The exams are not essay-based with choices of questions about which you had to know lots about the subject to provide a decent answer. I find this totally ing on the grounds that pupils are not being taught how to think, how to learn or
how to disseminate information, ie. are not being educated. The teacher explained to me that this is the real reason behind increasing the university degree courses from 3 years to 4 years: the first year is used teaching the students how to write essays. So this explain why so many pupils get so many high grades at A level nowadays. The teacher said that she ahs to forcefeed certain words and phrases which then have to be regurgitated and because most of it is taught on computers there is no "reading around" the subject. In fact very little reading at all is required by the pupils, the teacher is expected to provide information in "bite-size" chunks and the children must not work for more than 15 minutes without breaks. Information is not education. I want my dd to go to the Sorbonne now I know that.

cod Thu 14-Apr-05 13:13:15

Message withdrawn

Ameriscot2005 Thu 14-Apr-05 13:17:50

My eldest is only 13, but he does spend a lot of time writing wordy answers. He's doing Common Entrance this year, which perhaps is a bit more "old fashioned". Different subjects have different amounts of writing vs multiple choice, as should be the case (and as it was when I was at school).

Ameriscot2005 Thu 14-Apr-05 13:19:30

Didn't the spelling and typography give it away, Cod?

JoolsToo Thu 14-Apr-05 13:38:34

even in my 11+ we had to write an essay and compose a letter I seem to remember. The arithmetic paper was separate. We sat it over the course of a couple of days.

For anyone who is interested I failed! we had a 3 tier system in my area grammar, technical high, and secondary modern - I was Mrs Average!

roisin Thu 14-Apr-05 13:39:12

At primary the education my boys are getting is definitely superior to my experience of school. I'm 37 and our teaching was very hit and miss, curriculum was very limited (my boys already know more history, science, geography, philosophy, art history, etc. etc aged 5 and 7 than I did aged 11, in addition they do loads of drama and music and other creative stuff), class sizes were bigger for me, children who'd finished work were just given 'filler' activities: handwriting practice patterns or colouring in!

My boys also seem to be valued as individuals and genuinely praised for those achievements which have been a challenge for them, rather than just being encouraged to conform to a certain pattern.

JoolsToo Thu 14-Apr-05 13:40:21

even in my 11+ we had to write an essay and compose a letter I seem to remember. The arithmetic paper was separate. We sat it over the course of a couple of days.

For anyone who is interested I didn't get to the grammar! We had a 3 tier system in my area grammar, technical high, and secondary modern - I was Mrs Average

JoolsToo Thu 14-Apr-05 13:44:23

roisin - at my 50's primary - we did biology (nature table and all that) but most of the emphasis I concede was on english and arithmetic - we also did games, choir and country dancing! (which I loved) we did needlework too.

We had the star system for encouragement - 3 coloureds got you a silver and two silvers got you a gold! Also stars for special effort and I got several at the end of each year for 'Never late, never absent'!

roisin Thu 14-Apr-05 13:51:32

Yes, that's the difficulty isn't it - everyone has a limited experience to base a judgement on. I know the boys' school is excellent (as against other schools now) and I suspect my school was rubbish! So it's not really a fair comparison.

Joolstoo, I was thinking about you today as I trudged round Tescos! As I'm now a SAHM until further notice, (and slightly bored after 4 days of it!) I wondered if you fancied meeting up for coffee at Tescos next time you're here shopping? CAT me if you fancy it and I'll give you my phone number.

ambrosia Thu 14-Apr-05 13:56:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Eaney Thu 14-Apr-05 14:05:11

My ds ejoys school although he finds it a bit boring. I hated school mainly because I couldn't spell to save my life (still can't) and was deemed to be a dunce pretty much from the time they realised I couldn't spell. It didn't help that 3 of my siblings were very academic and the teachers kept reminding me of this.

So far my ds seems a lot better suited to school than I was and I don't think any shortcomings they may identify now will affect his self esteem in 35 years time ike mine is.

Cam Thu 14-Apr-05 14:11:29

As for comparing my primary years with my dd2's now, they are actually very similar except that I have to pay for dd's to get the same thing that I had in the state system (1960's) We had small classes, PE every day, home-cooked school dinners, etc etc. Also my grammar school had a total of less than 500 pupils (7 academic years aged 11 to 18), large swimming pool, several hundred acres of playing fields, sports pitches and parkland for athletics and cross country running etc. It changed to a comprehensive of 1800 pupils several years after I left. My dd1's state primary education (1980's mainly in Oxford)was very good, went to an all-girls school later (Brighton).

pabla Thu 14-Apr-05 14:18:36

i didn't go to school in the UK so I can't compare exactly. One thing I do notice is the variety of topics studied in the juniors, compared to my day, especially in science (we just had a nature table too.)

suedonim Thu 14-Apr-05 14:52:05

I think primary education is much more interesting and fun than 'in my day' with lots of variety and specialist teaching. I'm not sure that outcomes are better, though. 20% of children don't reach the expected literacy standards at 11yo. Teachers at my junior school would have been mortified at that.

I don't feel I can truly make a judgement on secondary education as I went to grammar school while my children have been to non-selective schools. But it seems that the basics are given less emphasis - such as spelling/punctuation etc.

Cam, I'm really shocked at what you say about A Levels. Dd1 is doing the equivalent, Scottish Advanced Highers in English, History and RMPS. She has had endless essays and dissertations to do. Her current English essay is 17 pages long! I think dd1 would be very happy to do multiple choice, lol!

chipmonkey Thu 14-Apr-05 15:23:38

I think education is by-and-large better but I feel that they are inclined to send children for assessment too quickly without giving them a chance to mature.

Rarrie Fri 15-Apr-05 04:27:31

Cam, what you say is only true for some subjects. I'm an 'A' level lecturer in Religious Studies and Critical Thinking. For Religious Studies, they have to write 4 essays (45 mins per essay) plus coursework (about 3,000 words). So it is all essay based.

However, Critical thinking has 16 multiple choice answers, some 1 word answers and some essay answers. It all depends on the subject!

roisin Fri 15-Apr-05 07:21:34

Rarrie - can you do an A level in critical thinking? Wow sounds fabulous! Is it fun to teach?

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