Educaion in South Korea(4 Posts)
Did anyone see the programme on education in South Korea last night,?
I would not like their system to come in in this country. Not only is the stress it causes unacceptable, I think the hours are so long they probably become counter productive.
However, when the whole class were describing GCSE as primary school maths, it does point to nurture in the nurture versus nature debate being significant.
Dd would have been happier at a faster pace of schooling. Surely some better balance could be achieved between the intensity of the South Korean system and the enforces slow pace of the British system?
I dipped in and out of it. I felt sorry for the Welsh kids-they were so tired! (And embarrassed about being tired-bless them!)
But look where it's got them as a nation. Pretty impressive really. The thing that struck me was the investment (not financial) from the entire nation. And the human cost-that boy lost friends to the pressure and suicide rates are scary.
There's got to be a balance.
Not sure of the relevance of nature/nurture here unless you mean that about natural maths skills.
I think we have a (very localised, limited) version of South Korea in the north London prep/Westminster/Oxbridge mill, though the activity here also includes (sometimes enforced) extra-curriculars.
There's an element of an arms race to it - your neighbours send their kid to an evening cram school, so you must, too. It seems to be happening on a national scale there.
I liked the respect they had for teachers, but thought the intensity of focus on academics was excessive and counter-productive.
It also made me hide under my duvet to see 18 (?) yo South Koreans speaking flawless English when presumably the equivalent British student would still be on a fairly limited French/Spanish vocab. (I've also had fairly advanced English convos with 10 year old Russian kids - our MFL programs came off worse than Maths imo.)
when the whole class were describing GCSE as primary school maths
We've got that problem again: Y9 DD is a very stoic character so rarely complains about lesson-stuff, but we got a long, sarcastic monologue at the weekend about an entire top set lesson being laughably easy primary school stuff and she was correct about that. Well except it isn't funny.
One of the most significant current difficulties around this is bleeping "mastery" which appears to have different interpretations. The one promoted by NCTEM in recent years is clearly focused on low-middle attainers and often seems to be used to excuse pitiful expectations for highers. Specifically, it has helped remove 'pace' from the menu for the latter.
The other version of mastery championed by Mark McCourt et al is probably better given how scathing they've been on this topic. They've wrote a few blogs on it last year, but this is a good introduction: markmccourt.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/masteryfail.html
Interestingly Mark says there are ~320 new concepts ("leaps") to grasp in order to understand everything up to a GCSE A*. Which doesn't sound like that many to me given the huge number of new concepts a child has take onboard as a more routine part of growing up e.g. what a light switch does, how to spell 'pipsqueak' and so on and so forth.
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