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As an Australian teacher who reads MN

(59 Posts)
AllThreeWays Sat 15-Oct-11 08:35:48

[[ this]] is an interesting read. What do you think?

AllThreeWays Sat 15-Oct-11 08:36:28

[[ try that link again]]

Collision Sat 15-Oct-11 08:37:02

try that link again

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 15-Oct-11 08:37:11


AllThreeWays Sat 15-Oct-11 08:37:20


Frangipane Sat 15-Oct-11 08:37:48

Don't leave a gap between [ and the web address. smile

AllThreeWays Sat 15-Oct-11 08:38:10


CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 15-Oct-11 08:45:04

What do I think?... I think it is wrong to take schools in inner-city London and extrapolate them up as being typical of state schools in general. There are still too many underperforming schools, that's evident, and the way schooling is allocated on the postcode system means that too many children have to go to those underperforming schools. I think the free school idea has potential if existing schooling is not meeting the needs of the community. But I think the underlying idea in the article that teachers are 'teaching to the test' or using 'trendy' methods rather than imparting knowledge is not true. I can only judge based on direct experience, but the schools in my area are certainly very good at passing on knowledge and, even more importantly, getting students into the habit of acquiring that knowledge outside as well as inside the classroom.

margerykemp Sat 15-Oct-11 08:57:25

Great article!

Do you think, then that is the british attitude to child abuse/ protection that is behind this?

fastweb Sat 15-Oct-11 09:06:04

I think she needs to take a look at the results when traditional methods are used relentlessly accross the board on a grander scale.

What price Italian status on the PISA table, where dictation, rote learning, hard core grammar from year 1, set theory and endurance fractions at first year middle school (year 7), two foreign languages by third year middle (year 9) and art is more "history of art" than anything creative.

Dear Ms Person Who Wrote the Article, be careful what you wish for.

Italy does not have the social issues that the UK has on anything like the same scale, but that is less thanks to the school system than despite it. Given that swaths of average students fail to reach their potential year after year after year and no small number find their future ambitions are cut off in a dead end by age 11.

There is a lot to be said for progressive methods that attempt to keep students engaged with education, with a range of approachs to try to keep as many as possible confident in their ability to succeed so they don't write themselves off academically as early as 8 years old, convinced they are stupid.

I'd swap with what you've got classroomwise, in a Milano heartbeat.

MoreBeta Sat 15-Oct-11 09:14:41

I am 48 yrs old. I had a traditional but basic state Primary education with an old school Headmaster and I then went to a very second rate private boarding school at age 11. Then I went on to University. I believe in formal traditional education and I send my children to a private school that delivers it. The article points out the blunt truth that some state schools in Britrain have stopped teaching and are among the worst in the world. The best state schools (usually grammar and private schools still do traditional teaching and are the best in the World. There is a gulf between the best and worst. We need to say it how it is.

Recently, I spent 5 weeks in a lecture theatre (as a student) with a group of 18 - 21 yr old students. They were all students with a reasonable A levels and came for the most part from reasonably decent middle class backgrounds. All from reasonable state schools.

I was shocked at their behaviour in the lecture theatre. Talking while the lecturer was speaking and often loudly complaining if they were asked to write anything down. They wanted/expected everything handing out on a pre-printed sheet and or do some actual thinking and work. They knew no different. It was what thay had done at school.

MoreBeta Sat 15-Oct-11 09:15:59

.. and do no actual thinking or work....

scaevola Sat 15-Oct-11 09:16:30

Most of the rioters were not school aged.

There probably is a need to look at what role the education process played, but it is a historic exercise (unless schools have been unchanged in the last decade or so, in which case free schools and academies may not be the answer especially as the presence and proximity of Mossbourne did not stop rioting in Hackney).

I think the points about consumerism were well made.

mummytime Sat 15-Oct-11 09:24:00

MoreBeta have you actually been in several state schools? Because your description does not sound like classrooms I have been in or my children are in. Yes you could find 20 schools easily like the ones you describe, you could also find 20 in good Comps which are orderly and have a lot of real learning going on in them.

Amazingly over the last 100, 50 and even 10 years a lot has been learnt about how human being learn. The best teachers try to make use of this research in their teaching methods.

I have never been in a school classroom where everything a student needed to know was given to them on a handout (I was in lecturer theatre where this happened 20 years ago), school students don't like "bits of paper" also teachers know if you just hand it to them they probably will never read it.

In general I wish the UK would whinge less about their schools, as the rst of the world thinks we mean it, rather than just being the British way to put things down rather than build them up.

AnyoneButLulu Sat 15-Oct-11 09:43:51

Gosh she's annoying, but I assume her comments are not valueless, because she has taught in London comps, and I haven't.

I've been doing the open days with my y6 son, and was interested to note that most of the schools I visited were very heavy on being "traditional" and having pretty strong discipline (Saturday detentions and the like). That's partly a function of the schools I chose to visit of course, but I also got a sense that it was a deliberate piece of gameplaying. "Look, we're really draconian and give harsh punishments." Any parent or child who feels that they may be in the receiving end, and that they might object to that, will be less likely to apply. Parents like me who see punishment as something that deters other children from interrupting my child's learning, will not be put off. Cynical, but perhaps effective.

AllThreeWays Sat 15-Oct-11 09:56:15

I am really interested in your varied responses. I teach in an expensive private grammar school, but as it is not selective I use quite a few "trendy" techniques to engage my difficult students, but then again I can as I am in D&T.
I have taught in some rather average state school and was not impressed, but send my children to reasonable state schools.
If what the author says is true, I can understand the pressures some parents on here face at school admissions time, and the discussions about moving into certain catchment areas.

ZZZenAgain Sat 15-Oct-11 10:05:12

interesting article

scaevola Sat 15-Oct-11 10:19:29

Here's a link to her famous speech at the Conservative Party Conference for those who are interested in her views.

MoreBeta Sat 15-Oct-11 10:24:59

mummytime - my sister taught in several really rough South London primary schools and her son went to a really rough South London Comprehensive. Seriuos drug taking in the school premises, knives in the classrom, truancy at high levels, terrible academic achievement levels. What is in this article rings absolutley true form what my sister tells me.

I do know a really highly regarded Catholic Primary school near where I live, it is always oversubscribed and uses a mix of traditional and more modern methods. Nothing wrong with that.

Not all state schools are bad. Some atre outstanding and many are better than bad private schools (yes there are some). We just need to say that traditional methods, good behaviour, excluding those that cannot or will not be taught, streaming, copying off the board, rote learning all have their place because they work. Nothing wrong with adding new methods such as discussion groups, interactive white boards, learning through play, etc on top of those traditional methods.

corblimeymadam Sat 15-Oct-11 10:32:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MoreBeta Sat 15-Oct-11 10:40:15

belgianbun - yes bad private school really do exist with bad teachers.

I know this because my DSs were in a private Prep that didnt use traditional methods and benchmarked itself against the poorer/average performing local state primary schools. They prefered to emphasise play and creativity rather than sitting down and rote learning tables, practicing sums in columns, copying off the board and reading to the teacher every day. In fact they hardly ever did the later and almost always did the former.

The local Catholic primary (which my DSs could not go to as we ar enot catholics) was widely acknowledges by parents to be much better - hence everyone who was eligible took their children out of the private school nursey and went down the road to the Catholic primary as soon as their DC hit age 5.

MoreBeta Sat 15-Oct-11 10:41:58

It's not state schools I have a problem with it is the complete ditching of traditional methods that irks me.

corblimeymadam Sat 15-Oct-11 10:48:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AllThreeWays Sat 15-Oct-11 10:54:26

IMO traditional and rote methods can get results that show up in examinations, but facts ar forgotten again after the exam. More creative methods teach cildren HOW to learn and how to enjoy learning

AllThreeWays Sat 15-Oct-11 10:57:29

A multifaceted approach should also enable more students to engage whereas traditional methods only suit some

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