Poor UK education standards

A big problem for some subjects is that it is like it was in the old days for no ******* reason. Students must memorise around a dozen quotations from books for English and RS exams. Why? Well, Gove had to memorise quotations when he did some exams, therefore kids should now.

The idea that maybe memorising paragraphs of text is not the best way to investigate someone's understanding of a text seems to have entirely bypassed the DfE. Give them a new version of the text (without any notes or annotations) and let them use that to argue their case. There's no way any academic would try and quote papers from memory, why are students expected to do so?

Then there's all the mandatory language in science. I would much rather have a student than can explain the role of red blood cells in oxygen transport around the body than someone who can spell erythrocyte correctly. Likewise, I would rather someone can explain how electrolysis works in terms of electron transfer than someone who can remember that cations are positive but the cathode is negative because Faraday said they were.
Then you advocate a line drawn between what must be learned-by-rote and what must be re-learned each time it is used in any subject. Where's the line? Even in simplest arithmetic, the x-tables when learned become time-efficient, and I'll bet you prefer the answer from a student to be 'erythrocyte' than a full, improvised definition when asked (I had to look it up but hey.)
 
I would still prefer it if students could actually read, and understand, words. The recent experience of a friend wasn't funny when being sent for a scan and her weight was read as kg instead of lbs. That effectively meant twice the dose.
I’m undergoing regular and invasive treatment for both cancer and a cardiac conditions. In a recent stay (qv) the admitting nurse (Eastern European by name and accent) did confuse pounds and kilos and used commas instead of decimal points, which can be confusing to those not used to it. Now this is not a matter of educational standards, just a difference in applicable standards.
 
I’m undergoing regular and invasive treatment for both cancer and a cardiac conditions. In a recent stay (qv) the admitting nurse (Eastern European by name and accent) did confuse pounds and kilos and used commas instead of decimal points, which can be confusing to those not used to it. Now this is not a matter of educational standards, just a difference in applicable standards.
Which could be particularly worrying; NASA has had issues with this. Mixing the two systems is still the norm in the UK and elsewhere. I blame academia.
 
British History is verboten if it does not conform to a set of "ideals", nice fluffy, pinko ones.

The kids know all about the Yank depression of the 1930s but have never heard of the Jarrow March, for example.
It might also be how it is taught. Both wars are taught at school, but like so much that is delivered to pupils, it can go in one ear and straight out the other. Moreover, the denizens of this site are self selecting. Most have a reasonable knowledge of both wars (with some bordering on the obsessional), so we are not the typical public. My parents in law, scions of N Yorks and Scarborough in particular, have almost no knowledge of the impact of the shelling of the town in December 1914, which was yet another example of the bestial behaviour of the Bosch. And that is in spite of them having worked in a building that had splinter damage from a German naval shell...

So let’s not be too hard on the young folk these days.
 
Which could be particularly worrying; NASA has had issues with this. Mixing the two systems is still the norm in the UK and elsewhere. I blame academia.
I had my obs taken by a care assistant recently at the chemo clinic. I should have been dead based on the readings (I take them daily at home so I know roughly where they should be) but it didn’t seem to register with him. Luckily everything is checked and before I raised the issue with a nurse, it was picked up and they were taken again and more sensible readings (ie I was still sentient) were recorded.

But (and at risk of incredible thread drift) there’s a number of approaches patients adopt in hospital: there’s the “I’ve read it on the internet and yous is wrong”; there’s the “mustn’t bother you with my problems, you’re all very busy people, and I’ll go home and have a nice cup of tea” (learned helplessness) And then there’s “how does this machine work? Should the Fatal Error light be flashing like that? Any chance of a biscuit?” approach of the involved patient. I fall in to the latter group. I am also an arch sceptic, especially on medical claims on social media. Over the last year, a number of Well-meaning people have suggested various cures for my Stage IV cancer and also (in one case) due to my lifestyle choices ie being in the Services in stressful environments apparently causing genetic mutation of otherwise healthy cells. There seems to be a large number of the public for whom the renaissance passed them by. No knowledge of scientific method, incapable of critical thought and numerically and statistically illiterate.

I blame our education system. Or, equally, vapid parents.
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
Now this is not a matter of educational standards, just a difference in applicable standards.
The standards applied to my friend were very unpleasant indeed (and unnecessary).
 
Then you advocate a line drawn between what must be learned-by-rote and what must be re-learned each time it is used in any subject. Where's the line? Even in simplest arithmetic, the x-tables when learned become time-efficient, and I'll bet you prefer the answer from a student to be 'erythrocyte' than a full, improvised definition when asked (I had to look it up but hey.)
Can I ask one of the teachers here about that - are times tables really an effective way of learning? The old and bold claim they are, but perhaps they were the ones who had an natural aptitude for handling numbers? I only came across times tables at primary school, but an interest in Maths and then being an Engineering student from the age of seventeen (I started early with a BTEC National Diploma) and then being an Engineer..... Also using it when shopping, on a journey, working out how much fish medication to put in the pond was good practice.

Learning by rote can turn kids off. Practice shows it is a real subject and provides that opportunity to build neural connections - speed/time/distance, how many tiles do you need for the wall, how long will it take to dig a hole, how much medication goes in the pond, how long will it take to fill the swimming pool, how many trips with the van do you need to move a certain amount of things...

I’m undergoing regular and invasive treatment for both cancer and a cardiac conditions. In a recent stay (qv) the admitting nurse (Eastern European by name and accent) did confuse pounds and kilos and used commas instead of decimal points, which can be confusing to those not used to it. Now this is not a matter of educational standards, just a difference in applicable standards.
I encountered someone using commas as decimal points at work - which did make me have a WTF moment.

Which could be particularly worrying; NASA has had issues with this. Mixing the two systems is still the norm in the UK and elsewhere. I blame academia.
I am sure academia would insist that step one of solving every problem involves converting everything to SI base units.

I had my obs taken by a care assistant recently at the chemo clinic. I should have been dead based on the readings (I take them daily at home so I know roughly where they should be) but it didn’t seem to register with him. Luckily everything is checked and before I raised the issue with a nurse, it was picked up and they were taken again and more sensible readings (ie I was still sentient) were recorded.

But (and at risk of incredible thread drift) there’s a number of approaches patients adopt in hospital: there’s the “I’ve read it on the internet and yous is wrong”; there’s the “mustn’t bother you with my problems, you’re all very busy people, and I’ll go home and have a nice cup of tea” (learned helplessness) And then there’s “how does this machine work? Should the Fatal Error light be flashing like that? Any chance of a biscuit?” approach of the involved patient. I fall in to the latter group. I am also an arch sceptic, especially on medical claims on social media. Over the last year, a number of Well-meaning people have suggested various cures for my Stage IV cancer and also (in one case) due to my lifestyle choices ie being in the Services in stressful environments apparently causing genetic mutation of otherwise healthy cells. There seems to be a large number of the public for whom the renaissance passed them by. No knowledge of scientific method, incapable of critical thought and numerically and statistically illiterate.

I blame our education system. Or, equally, vapid parents.
That is why I am sceptical about learning dry facts at the expense of thinking skills.
 
A big problem for some subjects is that it is like it was in the old days for no ******* reason. Students must memorise around a dozen quotations from books for English and RS exams. Why? Well, Gove had to memorise quotations when he did some exams, therefore kids should now.

The idea that maybe memorising paragraphs of text is not the best way to investigate someone's understanding of a text seems to have entirely bypassed the DfE. Give them a new version of the text (without any notes or annotations) and let them use that to argue their case. There's no way any academic would try and quote papers from memory, why are students expected to do so?

Then there's all the mandatory language in science. I would much rather have a student than can explain the role of red blood cells in oxygen transport around the body than someone who can spell erythrocyte correctly. Likewise, I would rather someone can explain how electrolysis works in terms of electron transfer than someone who can remember that cations are positive but the cathode is negative because Faraday said they were.
‘Cations are pussytive’, ‘anodes are positive, ah knowed that for sure’ I remember that from a hundred years ago...
I was, however, taught to ‘Describe and Explain’ and ‘FOFO’, both of which seem to be concepts which many students cannot grasp despite having the entire knowledge of humanity at their fingertips.
 
Can I ask one of the teachers here about that - are times tables really an effective way of learning?
They’re an effective way to learn how to multiply numbers, which is the whole point as there’s no other practical way to do it without resorting to a calculator. Comparing learning multiplication tables to learning Shakespeare quotes doesn’t work. Besides which, kids can recite shoite rap lyrics without any problem, so the must have the capability...
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
The old and bold claim they are, but perhaps they were the ones who had an natural aptitude for handling numbers
You always seem to manage to introduce some comment about older people but perhaps they had that aptitude because of learning times tables by rote.
 
I don't doubt it nor am I belittling it; but it is not necessarily a result of falling education standards; it's more about the (lack of) rigorous maintenance of standards within a hospital and across the NHS.
Why the disagree @ancienturion? Crash was not belittling it, merely making the point that it was not an education standards issue, more an issue of not making sure everyone uses and is familiar with the same units of measurement.

Any manufacturing company would be all over this - so why not a hospital?

Which Council please?
?????

You always seem to manage to introduce some comment about older people but perhaps they had that aptitude because of learning times tables by rote.
I am suggesting the obvious - the people that benefitted most from learning by rote had an natural aptitude anyway. The less capable probably switched off.
 
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ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
I am sure academia would insist that step one of solving every problem involves converting everything to SI base units.
The SI system was not originally introduced by academia but developed gradually over the years since the mid 19th century but was initially introduced as a MKS arrangement in 1946. Since then the general idea was to have units which could be expressed as values of ten in powers of +3 or -3. This has led to considerable problems because people could not use arithmetic in standard form and hence units, mainly derived, have developed with other values.
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
Thank you.
Why the disagree @ancienturion? Crash was not belittling it, merely making the point that it was not an education standards issues, more an issue of not making sure everyone uses and is familiar with the same units of measurement.
Because I do not agree that a suitably qualified person has not been educated to a certain degree.
 
In Only Fools and Horses, Uncle Albert is describing his wartime exploits in which pretty much every ship he served on was either torpedoed or otherwise came to grief.
Rodney drily remarks "Whenever Albert joined a ship, the crew must've shot an albatross for luck".
Thanks to learning great chunks of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner I was able to fall about laughing.
 
In Only Fools and Horses, Uncle Albert is describing his wartime exploits in which pretty much every ship he served on was either torpedoed or otherwise came to grief.
Rodney drily remarks "Whenever Albert joined a ship, the crew must've shot an albatross for luck".
Thanks to learning great chunks of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner I was able to fall about laughing.
It's the same with 1066 and all that.
Unless you know your British history it doesn't work.
 
It's the same with 1066 and all that.
Unless you know your British history it doesn't work.
And a Peanuts cartoon from way back, Lucy is jumping up and down, screaming at the top of her voice and her little brother Linus is thinking: "Her voice was ever soft, Gentle and low, an excellent thing in woman" from King Lear.
 
The SI system was not originally introduced by academia but developed gradually over the years since the mid 19th century but was initially introduced as a MKS arrangement in 1946. Since then the general idea was to have units which could be expressed as values of ten in powers of +3 or -3. This has led to considerable problems because people could not use arithmetic in standard form and hence units, mainly derived, have developed with other values.
My point was that throughout any sort of calculation, all values and measurements should have been changed to base units as a first step to avoid confusing metric and non metric units.

Even cookery books tell you not to use both Imperial and SI units whilst cooking. This should have avoided your friend being given the wrong dose.
 
British History is verboten if it does not conform to a set of "ideals", nice fluffy, pinko ones.

The kids know all about the Yank depression of the 1930s but have never heard of the Jarrow March, for example.

I was shocked to find an example of this recently. During a discussion in an adult-education class (for foreigners, I live in NL and am learning Dutch) a thirty-something fellow Brit was amazed to discover that there was an 'oil-crisis', three day working-week and power blackouts. In their education it was never mentioned at all, nor was there any knowledge of the Winter of Discontent. They were also unable to come up with an answer for when electrical-lighting became the norm, nor did they have any idea what may have preceded it, except 'candles'. Even the older Poles, on the same course, had more knowledge of the UK in the 70s, though that may have been propagandised as 'the failures of capitalism', back in the day . . .

[Edited for gramuh and spilleng]
 
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