Poor UK education standards

Offa

War Hero

It'll be interesting to see the progress of this lad through to his undoubted eventual PhD or whatever he chooses to be his academic peak. I hope that progress is studied in light of his environment, both social and academic; Lessons can Be Learned.
He'll have to stay for around 10 years before he can get a rugby Blue.
 

Yokel

LE
However what does a kid that age miss out on? Shining academically is all very well, but without normal play and team activities with peers of his own age, he will find adult life and the job market hard.

The girls (late teens/early twenties) will look after him, but even that will disrupt normal development. You just cannot win!
 

oldnotbold

War Hero
A recent University Challenge match (Oxford/Cambridge, and described by Paxman as “clever clogs vs smarty pants”) produced these gems from eight of Britain’s brightest:

(1) The Tyne is a tributary of the Humber

(2) Uganda is on the west coast of Africa

and (best of all)

(3) Which ancient British leader was pardoned by the Emperor Claudius in c. 51AD, after resisting the Roman invasion?
Answer: Robert the Bruce.

They were also wholly unable to identify Schubert’s Ave Maria.

I used to wonder how the likes of Diane Abbott manage to get an Oxbridge degree, no matter how frivolous or pc its subject. I wonder no longer, and turn resignedly to drink.
Oh, there is better out there...A UC team stacked full of the SU hacks who wanted to be on telly completed the well-known saying or phrase "Coals to..." with "Coventry". Bummer, especially as they were actually representing Newcastle at the time
 

Yokel

LE
Oh, there is better out there...A UC team stacked full of the SU hacks who wanted to be on telly completed the well-known saying or phrase "Coals to..." with "Coventry". Bummer, especially as they were actually representing Newcastle at the time
Maybe none of them had heard the phrase? Perhaps the decline in coal mining and use means the phrase is used less these days?

The trouble with judging people by culture is that it assumes they have all had the same influences. Even formal testing like WAIS has this problem.
 

Yokel

LE
For some real education this Christmas, and a chance to feast you mind as well as your belly, why not watch Dr Hannah Fry's lectures at the Royal Institute on BBC4 tonight, tomorrow night, and on Saturday night?

Secrets and Lies - The Hidden Power of Maths

Maths (Math for US readers) is everywhere and applies o everything, despite what media dullards say!
 
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For some real education this Christmas, and a chance to feast you mind as well as your belly, why not watch Dr Hannah Fry's lectures at the Royal Institute on BBC4 tonight, tomorrow night, and on Saturday night?

Secrets and Lies - The Hidden Power of Maths

Maths (Math for US readers) is everywhere and applies o everything, despite what media dullards say!
I hadn't realised they were still broadcasting these!

Used to be more important at Christmas than The Great Escape. Will he get over the fence this year?
 

Yokel

LE
I hadn't realised they were still broadcasting these!

Used to be more important at Christmas than The Great Escape. Will he get over the fence this year?
Yes. STEM engagement has to be a priority. The media does a good job of characterising people who study or work in such fields as geeks and weirdos, distorting perceptions and perpetuating the idea that things like Mathematics are not needed and not worth studying.

Not so many years ago I met someone who wanted to become a Teaching Assistant to teach Maths, but had no idea that things beyond arithmetic have practical applications.
 
Not so many years ago I met someone who wanted to become a Teaching Assistant to teach Maths, but had no idea that things beyond arithmetic have practical applications.
TBF if I had the opportunity to have had that mental block removed 60 years ago- I would have appreciated it. Unfortunately I couldn't find anyone.
 

lecky

War Hero
This guy's cracked it!
The "Math's Whisperer" has taken all 30 of his students to A* grades 6 months early in Cardiff. Some nearly achieved perfect marks.
Apparently its all magic.

Noticeably, the Teacher didn't comment, but left it to the Head to explain to the BBC.
Obviously, a bit shy?
 

Yokel

LE
To really provoke debate - what exactly is the goal of the education system? To equip young people with skills for work, study, and life? To produce bums on seats in Further and Higher Education? To prevent employers from needing to train the workforce? To produce thinking and responsible citizens?

See this from @offog on the Manufacturing in the UK thread:

I think the bigger problem is our education system which seems to focus on getting kids to higher education so that they are flip burgers on low wages rather than learn how to knock nails in wood and not bend them.

A number of years ago I applied for a teaching job at a local secondary school. As part of the interview we were shown round and they proudly pointed out the second hand metal lathe they had just purchased. When I think back to my school we had two metal work classrooms twice the size of this one each with six lathes. The same for woodwork. I was casting No 36 grenades for the school play out of aluminum at 15 with only minimal supervision and "I better get all that alli back at the end" from the teacher.

We need to sort the education system out.


Given the only constant is change, how can anyone know what skills kids need to learn?
 
Given the only constant is change, how can anyone know what skills kids need to learn?
On the presumption that you mean compulsory education only, the basic skills for socialisation and to be equipped to continue learning on their own throughout life.
 

Yokel

LE
On the presumption that you mean compulsory education only, the basic skills for socialisation and to be equipped to continue learning on their own throughout life.
Interesting comment. Can more be done to help those children that miss out on aspects of socialisation - such as boys that are not good at sport?

Does anyone know if social media and computer gaming mean teenagers do not get socialised like they did in the past?
 

Yokel

LE
In addition to doing something to counter the way lack of sporting ability reduced my opportunities to develop socially, I would have benefitted by killing of some of the non core GCSEs (such as Drama) and spent the time working with wood, metals, etc, using screwdrivers, spanners, saws, drills, pliers, snips,.and so on.
 
In addition to doing something to counter the way lack of sporting ability reduced my opportunities to develop socially, I would have benefitted by killing of some of the non core GCSEs (such as Drama) and spent the time working with wood, metals, etc, using screwdrivers, spanners, saws, drills, pliers, snips,.and so on.
Out of interest, roughly how old are you? Doing GCSEs rather than O levels puts you around 45 at maximum.

I ask because in most secondary schools GCSEs are taken in two groups, core and optional.

Core GCSEs are the ones that everyone (with a couple of exceptions) must do - English literature, English language, maths and science. Also included in the core group but not as GCSE qualifications is 'core PE' (running about once a week) and citizenship/PSHE (a massive waste of everyone's time). Religious Studies used to be required but that is now up to individual schools to decide and, given no student gives a toss about RS, the sensible schools have made RS optional to reduce their exam failure rate.

Optional GCSEs are the ones that people like, usually because they're a bit of a doss - Art, Photography, Music, Drama, Dance etc. The humanities fit in here as well but actually require a bit of effort, as does Psychology. As the name suggests, up to a certain point (usually Year 9 / 14 years old) all subjects are mandatory and then a choice is made about what subjects a student wants to continue with to GCSE.

On your big question about the purpose of the education system, it depends who you ask.
 

Issi

War Hero
Recently on a quiz show, one contestant was asked to highlight the Channel Islands on a map, she quite cheerfully placed her marker in the middle of Salisbury Plain.

A TV presenter was on Richard Osmans House of Games and was asked to guess a couple of dates.
" When was Napoloeon Bonaparte in power ?"
She guessed "1200"
Q2 " when did the Black Death plague ravage Europe?"
She guessed "1885"

FFS!
 

Yokel

LE
By 'Core' I was using my own definition - subjects I cared about and were important to my goals, so for me that was English, Mathematics, and Science. Instead of doing Physics, Chemistry, and Biology as seperate subjects, we did them combined. Everyone did a Core Science GCSE of six modules - two from each of the three Sciences, and most of us did 'Further Science' - another six modules giving you a double GCSE. I got B-B.

I am not sure what I gained by doing GCSE Drama - even if it was a good laugh.
 

Yokel

LE
GCSE Psychology - that would have been interesting. Since when was it offered at GCSE level? I would have benefited from less time on Geography, German, Drama, and Design, and spending that time doing Mathematics work. Or learning practical skills.

The thing that spoiled school was the presence of very unpleasant and very disruptive trouble makers - the school had no idea what to do about them, so mostly they did nothing.
 
GCSE Psychology - that would have been interesting. Since when was it offered at GCSE level?
Not sure, must be at least 10 years, probably longer.

I would have benefited from less time on Geography, German, Drama, and Design
I'm assuming you chose those subjects rather than being made to do them?
 

Yokel

LE
I did choose them, but it was really a case of picking the least worse. For example, GCSE Design did not include being taught how to draw. There was not much structured teaching. The alternatives were Design and Realisation, or Child care.

Still nothing from @offog I see.
 
Recently on a quiz show, one contestant was asked to highlight the Channel Islands on a map, she quite cheerfully placed her marker in the middle of Salisbury Plain.

A TV presenter was on Richard Osmans House of Games and was asked to guess a couple of dates.
" When was Napoloeon Bonaparte in power ?"
She guessed "1200"
Q2 " when did the Black Death plague ravage Europe?"
She guessed "1885"

FFS!
All useful stuff for pub quizzes and Mastermind, but for everyday life? Employers
are more concerned about candidate’s ability to communicate effectively and solve problems, reciting the 6 wives of Henry the 8th proves nothing...
 

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