Poor UK education standards

The interesting thing about this thread is people perception of what makes a good education.

"This person did not know about something that I know about, therefore education is going to the dogs."
"This idiot thought Yom Kippur was a religious festival, when any one knows it was a war." (Actual example of what I have been told is wrong with education)

KS3 history can't do 1066 to yesterday in 2 hours a week. It doesn't mean they are thick or poorly educated though, it's just the limits of the system.
 
The interesting thing about this thread is people perception of what makes a good education.

"This person did not know about something that I know about, therefore education is going to the dogs."
"This idiot thought Yom Kippur was a religious festival, when any one knows it was a war." (Actual example of what I have been told is wrong with education)

KS3 history can't do 1066 to yesterday in 2 hours a week. It doesn't mean they are thick or poorly educated though, it's just the limits of the system.
Very good point. However, although history is important (and an area in which I am deeply interested), I find the lack understanding of scientific method, absence of critical thought and statistical & numerical illiteracy of grave concern. We are bombarded in the media, and especially in social media, a vast array of claims on the efficaciousness of medicines, of get rich quick investments, of numerous ways to improve our lives - yet so much of it is hokum if put to an empirical process.

I do feel sorry for people who get scammed by being persuaded to shift large sums of money to ‘safe accounts’ or willingly sign up to HMRC ‘refund schemes’. I received an otherwise convincing email from HMRC claiming the latter the other day; I’ sure this will have netted a lot of people. But a moment of critical thought and some basic fact checking would have been sufficient to hit the junk button.

I was talking to my oncologist the other day on the effectiveness of some cancer treatments. Chemotherapy is still the go-to treatment for many cancers - often used pre-surgical these days, yet depending on the type and location of the cancer, placebos have yielded better results! My novel immunotherapy treatment might halve chances of recurrence, but half the the time it won’t. However each year that passes, the likelihood of new tumours actually increase as the body ages and becomes more susceptible to nodules developing and other cancers (amongst other illnesses) emerging.

Yet, of course, emotionally, people seek cures and happily grasp the floating straws and understandably choose not to do ‘the math’. And get cross and shouty when NICE refuse to licence (and fund) particular treatments.

Size 12E boots, if anyone is asking...
 
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.
Try flying old crappy aircraft. Have to supervise everything yourself, particularly in Africa. Tank capacity on DC3 marked in US Gallons (pilots' handbook in Imp gallons), gauges in pounds and fuel sold in litres so calculating uplift, flow and distribution is a pain in the arse.
 
Had a conversation with someone slightly older than I today who has done very well for himself. Someone I respect and admire for his accomplishments and belief in his faith, however considering he is a practicing Christian he is unaware that Christ was a Jew and what the Nazis had in store for the UK and Ireland should they dominate these Isles plus why the Isralies are a bit upity about defense.
I neglected to tell him that the Nazies considered him Untermench and had a career pushing a shovel into eastern Europe until he expired


Guess where I live!
Bognor Regis?
 
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.
Not sure why you gave that a dislike @ancienturion?

I am also not sure why you said you cannot use arithmetic with standard form?

I was always taught that before solving a problem like what braking force does the lorry need to stop, what the voltage across the input of an RF amplifier, or similar, you write everything down in base units. So mph becomes km/h which then becomes m/s, 1.5 tonnes becomes 1500 kg (or 1.5X 10^3).
 
Very good point. However, although history is important (and an area in which I am deeply interested), I find the lack understanding of scientific method, absence of critical thought and statistical & numerical illiteracy of grave concern. We are bombarded in the media, and especially in social media, a vast array of claims on the efficaciousness of medicines, of get rich quick investments, of numerous ways to improve our lives - yet so much of it is hokum if put to an empirical process.

I do feel sorry for people who get scammed by being persuaded to shift large sums of money to ‘safe accounts’ or willingly sign up to HMRC ‘refund schemes’. I received an otherwise convincing email from HMRC claiming the latter the other day; I’ sure this will have netted a lot of people. But a moment of critical thought and some basic fact checking would have been sufficient to hit the junk button.

I was talking to my oncologist the other day on the effectiveness of some cancer treatments. Chemotherapy is still the go-to treatment for many cancers - often used pre-surgical these days, yet depending on the type and location of the cancer, placebos have yielded better results! My novel immunotherapy treatment might halve chances of recurrence, but half the the time it won’t. However each year that passes, the likelihood of new tumours actually increase as the body ages and becomes more susceptible to nodules developing and other cancers (amongst other illnesses) emerging.

Yet, of course, emotionally, people seek cures and happily grasp the floating straws and understandably choose not to do ‘the math’. And get cross and shouty when NICE refuse to licence (and fund) particular treatments.

Size 12E boots, if anyone is asking...
I agree with you on a lot of that, and trust me we are all trying to embed those skills in our students. Critical thinking, research skills and just some basic understanding.
However, curriculum changes mean that often there is way to much content in order to really get in to those skills. To be honest that would be a whole curriculum by itself.
Teachers are not just trying to hammer facts in to our students, we are tying to give them those skills to, as well as making them decent people, no rapists, no getting groomed, being tolerant and getting them to understand why there are rules in places and why they should be followed.

Its bloody exhausting.
 
I agree with you on a lot of that, and trust me we are all trying to embed those skills in our students. Critical thinking, research skills and just some basic understanding.
However, curriculum changes mean that often there is way to much content in order to really get in to those skills. To be honest that would be a whole curriculum by itself.
Teachers are not just trying to hammer facts in to our students, we are tying to give them those skills to, as well as making them decent people, no rapists, no getting groomed, being tolerant and getting them to understand why there are rules in places and why they should be followed.

Its bloody exhausting.
So all the stuff their parents should have taught them at home then. Time to round up those wastrels and gaol them for child abuse.
 
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?
Everyone does, the only difference is where people want to draw the line. Personally I want anything that is rote learnt to be functional knowledge ie. you can then use that in more complicated applications.

Times tables - god yes, my mental arithmetic can be a bit dodgy at times but I'm like the offspring of Carol Vorderman and Rain Man compared to some kids.
Memorising the formulas for the area of more complex shapes - no, that's the sort of thing that formula sheets are for. The skill is in identifying and applying the formula correctly.

Likewise, the rules for punctuation should be hammered into people at a young age but memorising 4 pages of Macbeth is pointless.

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.)
No, not really. Both erythrocyte and red blood cell mean the same thing. Put it this way, if asked "How is oxygen transported around the human body" I'd rather get

oxygen attaches to red blood cells in the lungs which then move through arteries into capillaries where the oxygen detaches and moves into other cells

than

in erythrocytes via reversible binding to haemoglobin

The second answer has much fancier words but the first shows a much better understanding of the subject. The first answer with the fancy wording would be ideal but I'll always prefer understanding and application over regurgitation of key words.
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
Not sure why you gave that a dislike @ancienturion?
My friend is quite ill though it could obviously have been avoided according to you - but it wasn't.

I am also not sure why you said you cannot use arithmetic with standard form?
I did not state standard form cannot be used.
 
So all the stuff their parents should have taught them at home then. Time to round up those wastrels and gaol them for child abuse.
To be fair, I have noticed that 95% of parents do teach their kid this stuff. It is the godshite 5% that the media, and so the government focus on. Plus they love to play the blame game. If a kid does something really, really bad then there are three reasons.
If the kid has a crappy background, looked after child, or in care then blame social services for not picking it up and fire or charge a social worker.
If the kid has a decent background blame the teachers for not picking up on it, savage and destroy the school.
If the parents are poor or working class, blame them for being feckless morons.
Anything is better than admitting it is a very complex issue and that those in power could help to change things.
 
To be fair, I have noticed that 95% of parents do teach their kid this stuff. It is the godshite 5% that the media, and so the government focus on. Plus they love to play the blame game. If a kid does something really, really bad then there are three reasons.
If the kid has a crappy background, looked after child, or in care then blame social services for not picking it up and fire or charge a social worker.
If the kid has a decent background blame the teachers for not picking up on it, savage and destroy the school.
If the parents are poor or working class, blame them for being feckless morons.
Anything is better than admitting it is a very complex issue and that those in power could help to change things.
...and this is why you have to spend 95% of your time on 5% of the students...
If only parent(s) were regulated like dog breeders...
 
To be fair, I have noticed that 95% of parents do teach their kid this stuff. It is the godshite 5% that the media, and so the government focus on. Plus they love to play the blame game. If a kid does something really, really bad then there are three reasons.
If the kid has a crappy background, looked after child, or in care then blame social services for not picking it up and fire or charge a social worker.
If the kid has a decent background blame the teachers for not picking up on it, savage and destroy the school.
If the parents are poor or working class, blame them for being feckless morons.
Anything is better than admitting it is a very complex issue and that those in power could help to change things.
if a child turns up to school unable to wipe their own ar*e (sad but true), brush their teeth, or be stinking, etc the parents/carers should be investigated.
 
if a child turns up to school unable to wipe their own ar*e (sad but true), brush their teeth, or be stinking, etc the parents/carers should be investigated.
A friend in teaching tells me it is becoming more common for children to begin their schooling still wearing nappie, and others not able to construct a sentence verbally, just saying 'toilet' or 'wee-wee' when they need to go. Apparently they can roll a crackin' spliff though.....
 
A friend in teaching tells me it is becoming more common for children to begin their schooling still wearing nappie, and others not able to construct a sentence verbally, just saying 'toilet' or 'wee-wee' when they need to go. Apparently they can roll a crackin' spliff though.....
Their should be a minimum start standard.

can't wipe your own sh*t? You can come back next year.

coupled with the mandatory high school level education requirements for social security.
 
Their should be a minimum start standard.

can't wipe your own sh*t? You can come back next year.

coupled with the mandatory high school level education requirements for social security.
What would that look like. At least 5 grade 5's? 3 grade 5's? Grade 4 in English and Maths? Would it apply to all students? Even those who have target grades of 2 or 3? What about those people with special educational needs?
I'm not being a an arse, but those sweeping statements are part of the problem, not the solution.
 
What would that look like. At least 5 grade 5's? 3 grade 5's? Grade 4 in English and Maths? Would it apply to all students? Even those who have target grades of 2 or 3? What about those people with special educational needs?
I'm not being a an arse, but those sweeping statements are part of the problem, not the solution.
Those with special educational needs can be identified and assisted. If their needs are severe they can be handled by existing measures.

Sweeping statements, yes, but I find no one reads 700 page posts that resemble fully thought out government policy, the sort of documents that take a fair few CS a fair few days to prepare.

as for grades. I'm not familiar with these new fangled number grades but I'm thinking a (old) grade E. (2 in modern terms?)

In english, maths, ict, science (at least one), pshe & citizenship*. A G would be required in a modern language and a 'world citizen'* qualification.

Pshe & citizenship would include resilence, confidence, transforming skills, sex and all the current type of stuff to prepare for adulthood. The citizenship would include the responsibility of a UK subject, a community service aspect, and the story of Britain.

World citizenship would include a quick run down on the world, where we sit in it, what's out there and a healthy discussion on what's going on our there.

I remember my school made us sit English and maths early. For experience and to get a warmer in the bank. I entered my final exams (or year 5) with an C in maths and a double D for English.I

So an annual exam bank for kids to voluntarily enter, in july say, wouldn't be a bad idea. Would allow accurate streaming of classes and would build up a level of healthy competition and work ethic.

Finally I'd use the grades to award grants for tertiary education. Or a straight 7s student from a poor background might get 100% uni fees paid and a contribution to living expenses.
 
Those with special educational needs can be identified and assisted. If their needs are severe they can be handled by existing measures.

Sweeping statements, yes, but I find no one reads 700 page posts that resemble fully thought out government policy, the sort of documents that take a fair few CS a fair few days to prepare.

as for grades. I'm not familiar with these new fangled number grades but I'm thinking a (old) grade E. (2 in modern terms?)

In english, maths, ict, science (at least one), pshe & citizenship*. A G would be required in a modern language and a 'world citizen'* qualification.

Pshe & citizenship would include resilence, confidence, transforming skills, sex and all the current type of stuff to prepare for adulthood. The citizenship would include the responsibility of a UK subject, a community service aspect, and the story of Britain.

World citizenship would include a quick run down on the world, where we sit in it, what's out there and a healthy discussion on what's going on our there.

I remember my school made us sit English and maths early. For experience and to get a warmer in the bank. I entered my final exams (or year 5) with an C in maths and a double D for English.I

So an annual exam bank for kids to voluntarily enter, in july say, wouldn't be a bad idea. Would allow accurate streaming of classes and would build up a level of healthy competition and work ethic.

Finally I'd use the grades to award grants for tertiary education. Or a straight 7s student from a poor background might get 100% uni fees paid and a contribution to living expenses.
Sadly, only kids with statements get meaningful support, for EAL (English as an additional language) you might get a dictionary and pointed at Google Translate, which doesn’t help much if you can’t read the 20+ languages found in many schools. What do you do when 17 of your class of 20 students have special needs? “Differentiated resources” of course (which you generate in the 10% of your teaching time you’re given for Preparation, Planning and assessment), but that’s not much help for the kid who’s just told you he’s shät himself (year 10) or the one who’s taken a leak against one of your benches or had a can of Red Bull and a bag of crisps for breakfast.
When I went to school, there was a small section of the site for the ‘Specials’, nowadays it’s the other way round...
The Education system in the UK has been overrun by ‘special’ students, is woefully underfunded and only runs on the goodwill of people trying to make a difference in the face of obnoxious kids, parents and members of the public who’s knowledge of education is being hit by a board rubber.
And politicians trying to make a name for themselves.
<rant off>
 

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