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I just don't get this decision. Can someone come and enlighten me, please?

(23 Posts)
Bubble99 Mon 14-Jul-08 22:27:43

DS1's year 5 class were split into four groups. Two of the groups were asked to design and build a machine, using levers etc, that could drop an egg from 6 feet without breaking it.
They were told that the best one would enter and inter-schools science competition.

Both groups demonstrated their machines to the whole class and DS1's group machine managed to drop the egg without breaking it. The other machine broke the egg.

The teacher then said that 'as everyone had tried very hard' she would put it to a class vote to decide which machine would enter the competition.

The group with the broken egg had three very popular pupils in it and, according to DS1, the class voted for their machine because of this.

He's not losing sleep over this but he's confused as to why the best (ie. the machine which did what was asked) wasn't just put forward for the competition.

BTW. The competition was at the end of last week and, yes, the machine broke the egg, again.

choccypig Mon 14-Jul-08 22:47:20

Sounds mad to me...I can't see what the teacher was trying to achieve.

BadHair Mon 14-Jul-08 22:53:36

By putting it to the vote I imagine that the teacher expected the class to choose the machine that worked, but it sounds like her plan backfired.

controlfreakyagain Mon 14-Jul-08 22:55:23

silly cow. teacher that is. ask her!

JamieJay Mon 14-Jul-08 22:55:45

Teacher didn't want to make the decision and be 'unpopular' so dodged the responsibility and left it to the children??

Bubble99 Mon 14-Jul-08 22:56:31

It does, doesn't it??

If both machines worked (or didn't) then, of course, it should go to a vote.

It's the 'tried very hard' bit that P's me off. What kind of message does this send? That it's not fair to exclude something that doesn't work if the participants have 'tried very hard'?

UnquietDad Mon 14-Jul-08 22:58:55

Sounds like "The Great Egg Race" mit Professor Heinz Wolff! Do their really do this in Y5?! shock

I assume they weren't allowed to do anything obvious like have a mahoosive chunk of loft insulation where the egg was to be dropped.

cornsilk Mon 14-Jul-08 23:06:25

stupid woman.

HumphreyCushioni Mon 14-Jul-08 23:09:35

How unfair to the children in the group that made the successful machine.

Blu Mon 14-Jul-08 23:11:11

Well, she certainly proved the importance of making decisions based on scientific evidence!!

I hope your DS's team gave her a good hard stare.

And that the silly class members who voted for the inerior machine for reasons of 'class celebrity' have learned something too.

But then I am a reckless optimist!

Bubble99 Mon 14-Jul-08 23:11:23

Not sure, UQD. Though DS1 was chuffed with their invention.

I could start a (vaguely related) rant about this..

Shall I?

Oh, OK. grin

I am an employer and have just taken on a (recently qualified) employee. We have other (older) employees with the same qualification but the course structure and content has changed since their time.

I recently had to talk to the new employee about an aspect of her job and was surprised that she had a basic grasp of something that I would consider fundamental to her role. I know that the course she took was less theoretical and (gently) criticised the course content she received.

She was very upset as she'd 'worked very hard' to get her qualification.

This illustrates my point. The course was/is lacking and we are left, as employers, to make sure she gets the skills that previous employees left college with - but it is 'not fair' to comment. hmm

Blu Mon 14-Jul-08 23:12:07

Oh, and tell your DS that I am comepletely in awe of anyone who can make a machine to drop an egg from 6' without breaking it - well done him!

bosch Mon 14-Jul-08 23:15:31

Is there any chance that you could ask the teacher?

If your ds (and you) genuinely don't understand the reason that the teacher did what she did (and I can't begin to imagine why she put this to the vote - and/or why she didn't explore with the children why they voted for the one that didn't work) can you ask her to explain it to you 'just so that you can explain it to your ds'.

Bubble99 Mon 14-Jul-08 23:18:44

Thanks, Blu, I will.

I know I'm at risk of sounding a bit DM about this - but it's barmy, IMO.

In life their are winners and losers. Better to teach children that they can be losers at some things and winners at others, than this 'everyone who tries is a winner' crap, IMVHO.

And that it's shock OK to be average at everything.

Bubble99 Mon 14-Jul-08 23:20:01

I will, bosch.

Not much incentive for him to try to make anything in the future otherwise, is there?

bosch Mon 14-Jul-08 23:27:55

I can't help but feel that yr5 is too young for the lessons that really come from this - what a complete waste of time to put forward for the comp something that doesn't actually work; voting for popularity of team members rather than success of project was not a good idea. Yet if teacher didn't explore this, what did she imagine that the class would learn? Is it possible she's going to deal with this with class before end of term?

sphil Mon 14-Jul-08 23:29:48

This reminds me of last year's sport's day, when DS1 walked very slowly and carefully in the egg and spoon race, keeping his egg on the spoon the whole way and came last, because the kids who ran and kept dropping the eggs and putting them back on again were just allowed to keep going.

He was a mite confused!

cory Tue 15-Jul-08 07:37:23

It's silly enough in the egg and spoon race, but when it comes to science it's ridiculous. Particularly at their age. Does the teacher not think it matters if they put down the wrong answers in the SATS next year? Does she think they can vote on who gets GCSE's?

MadamePlatypus Tue 15-Jul-08 07:58:26

So will all the pupils get to vote at the inter-schools science competition? Also, what did the other two groups do?

To be honest I know its supposed to encourage team work, but I think that any competition like this that involves people working in groups isn't going to be fair anyway - how well you do is completely dependent on the other people in your group.

Freckle Tue 15-Jul-08 08:08:51

DS1 had something similar in music recently. The class was split into groups of 3 and they all had to go away and compose some music. However, the piece only got marked if all 3 got involved and all 3 presented it in class. DS1 ended up doing all the work and then one of the others wasn't in class on presentation day, so his piece didn't get marked. And this mark counted towards his end of year report. Madness as he was dependent upon others, neither of whom have chosen music as a GCSE option, unlike Ds1, so clearly did not have much interest in doing what they were asked.

Blu Tue 15-Jul-08 22:32:37

It's the X Factor factor, I tell you.

Bloody pernicious.

harman Tue 15-Jul-08 22:41:08

Message withdrawn

MrsWeasley Tue 15-Jul-08 22:42:28

weak teacher

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