Poor UK education standards

Yokel

LE
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...
No no no, you have it all wrong. It would be better if kids learnt facts and not skills. Getting the names of Kings and Queens in exact order, or reciting Shakespeare.

Better than teaching dry facts, teach the skills to make a sensible guess. But many old and bold types think it must have been better in the old days.
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
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.
Design is not really about the art of drawing.
 

Yokel

LE
Design is not really about the art of drawing.
I meant drawing skills that would have been useful when I was trying to learn technical drawing - third angle projection etc. No art for me please.

To be honest I have dysgraphia - I cannot copy a 3D drawing from a book.
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
I meant drawing skills that would have been useful when I was trying to learn technical drawing - third angle projection etc
Unfortunately even that alone is not studying Design.
 
No no no, you have it all wrong. It would be better if kids learnt facts and not skills. Getting the names of Kings and Queens in exact order, or reciting Shakespeare.

Better than teaching dry facts, teach the skills to make a sensible guess. But many old and bold types think it must have been better in the old days.
In some ways it was. There was an expectation that some level of rote learning was acceptable and even desirable. I'm probably younger than you and I remember being sat down in the kitchen and made to copy out times tables for what felt like forever. It paid off as I can now use that knowledge in a lot of different ways.

I'm not talking about memorising quotes in English (what the **** is the point in that?) but functional knowledge. All too often I ask a child to divide 14 by 2 (or other sum of similar difficulty) and they look at me, panic, say "I can't do maths" and reach for a calculator.

I never really thought about it before but I am eternally grateful for whoever it was that taught me to use standard form. That one skill allows me to compare sub-atomic particles to the size of the Universe. Understanding standard form takes a bit of effort and practice but once you have grasped it then calculations on different scales are a piece of piss.

There must be some basic knowledge before any conceptual building can take place and sometimes people just need to memorise things for them to stick in their heads. If you're interested I can recommend a couple of books (all referenced in academic literature and I get nothing if you buy them):
Daniel T. Willingham - Why don't students like school?
John Hattie - Visible learning for teachers
Mark Enser - Teach like nobody's watching
 
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...
Six Knives of Henry VIII, Shirley?
 

endure

GCM
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?
Computer gaming allows teenagers to play with other teenagers from all over the world.
 
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?

Since the Callahan debate in the 70s education has been based around the needs for creating a competitive economy. The new T levels are coming in soon to educate kids in the more technical aspects of trade jobs and engineering so hopefully we'll be more competitive on the world stage.


Places like China have taken over manufacturing so it's pretty pointless trying to compete with creating simple goods. The UK needs high level engineering and specialists in trade and IT.

It's also worth noting that the humanities have taken a massive as A levels are no longer taught in colleges. If you want to study Classics or History then you have to stay on at school. Not one college in the entire kingdom teaches these subjects, they are all vocational. I guess this doesn't matter too much to the cultural sector as most people who work in museums these days are all retired volunteers.
 
In some ways it was. There was an expectation that some level of rote learning was acceptable and even desirable. I'm probably younger than you and I remember being sat down in the kitchen and made to copy out times tables for what felt like forever. It paid off as I can now use that knowledge in a lot of different ways.

I'm not talking about memorising quotes in English (what the **** is the point in that?) but functional knowledge. All too often I ask a child to divide 14 by 2 (or other sum of similar difficulty) and they look at me, panic, say "I can't do maths" and reach for a calculator.

I never really thought about it before but I am eternally grateful for whoever it was that taught me to use standard form. That one skill allows me to compare sub-atomic particles to the size of the Universe. Understanding standard form takes a bit of effort and practice but once you have grasped it then calculations on different scales are a piece of piss.

There must be some basic knowledge before any conceptual building can take place and sometimes people just need to memorise things for them to stick in their heads. If you're interested I can recommend a couple of books (all referenced in academic literature and I get nothing if you buy them):
Daniel T. Willingham - Why don't students like school?
John Hattie - Visible learning for teachers
Mark Enser - Teach like nobody's watching
Thanks!
Just ordered the last two of those. I’m interested in gaining evidence (or otherwise) for the effectiveness of mine risk education.

Every day’s a school day...

I’ve also been reading ‘Understanding Comics’ and ‘Critical Incident Debriefing’ for others perspectives.
 
Computer gaming allows teenagers to play with other teenagers from all over the world.
VR systems are also being used in education and training (car mechanics, surgery etc). I use them myself though mostly as a gimmick to try and inspire. I think they'll really take off in the next decade once they become more affordable.
 
Design is not really about the art of drawing.
Agreed, Design is how we* change the environment to our benefit. The Pointy Stick was a quantum leap in hunting technology; the problem was solved and the construction method communicated (without recourse to isometric sketching...) which is exactly what we try to teach. (Not sure why you disagreed with this).

*because non humans do it too.
 

Yokel

LE
Social media and gaming may allow interaction - but it is not quite the same as meeting up with people and doing things together. That is what they need to learn to succeed at job interviews and meaningful relationships.

As for 'design' - my criticism was of the totally unstructured GCSE course I did. Being taught some basic drawing skills would have helped. We were not really taught about materials or tools either. It may have suited some - but not me.

My main issue with education is the way subjects are presented as separate subjects with little integration. For example, my school had bought some logic boards where you could make circuits with logic gates, but they were seldom used.
 
Social media and gaming may allow interaction - but it is not quite the same as meeting up with people and doing things together. That is what they need to learn to succeed at job interviews and meaningful relationships.

As for 'design' - my criticism was of the totally unstructured GCSE course I did. Being taught some basic drawing skills would have helped. We were not really taught about materials or tools either. It may have suited some - but not me.

My main issue with education is the way subjects are presented as separate subjects with little integration. For example, my school had bought some logic boards where you could make circuits with logic gates, but they were seldom used.
Social media is creating fragile humans imho, friends can be made and unmade by pressing a key rather than by sharing your dad’s Bacardi bottle or a **** mag. You can now have 100 friends one week, and none the next without having physically met any of them, so kids have no idea how to form and maintain real relationships.
As for Design, that will vary depending which discipline you follow; Product Design is about designing a product and creating a prototype, usually in card or foam board (AKA Compliant materials) Often built with scalpels and hot glue guns, whereas in Resistant Materials the end result should be a working product in engineering materials, thIs will usually involve industrial processes like machining, casting and welding. Electronics, Textiles and Food have their own foci (Food is now ‘Food Science’) and a different learning path. There isn’t enough time to cover all of the different skills in KS3 so schools tend to specialise. Back in the days of woodwork/metalwork/home economics/tech drawing it was a little different, nowadays we have teach CAD/CAM and worship at the altar of St Greta.
 
Agreed, Design is how we* change the environment to our benefit. The Pointy Stick was a quantum leap in hunting technology; the problem was solved and the construction method communicated (without recourse to isometric sketching...) which is exactly what we try to teach. (Not sure why you disagreed with this).

*because non humans do it too.
Interesting indeed. I found myself next to an Indian guy on a flight last year who insisted on talking to me and telling me that he was a ‘Designer’. You could hear the capital letter...

I’ve often wondered what a ‘Designer’ was so I made the mistake of asking him. 45 minutes later I was none the wiser. I was amazed that someone could speak so long without using a verb.*

Eventually, out of politeness, he asked me what I did. I told him I built drains. He seemed to lose interest in me after that!

I’d still genuinely like to know what one is.

* as my old English teacher said, a verb is a ‘doing word’.
 
Interesting indeed. I found myself next to an Indian guy on a flight last year who insisted on talking to me and telling me that he was a ‘Designer’. You could hear the capital letter...

I’ve often wondered what a ‘Designer’ was so I made the mistake of asking him. 45 minutes later I was none the wiser. I was amazed that someone could speak so long without using a verb.*

Eventually, out of politeness, he asked me what I did. I told him I built drains. He seemed to lose interest in me after that!

I’d still genuinely like to know what one is.

* as my old English teacher said, a verb is a ‘doing word’.
One of my girlfriends was a verb then. :cool:
 
A Designer is the person who imagines the solution to a problem and presents it in (usually) a graphical form. This may then go to a modeller to create a 3D rendition, or an engineer to make the fanciful musings actually work.
 
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.
I still remember well tech drawing classes at 13 and 14 and still have my drawing set. It thought me how to sketch, mark dimensions and gave me an appreciation of perspective. These are skills I have used throughout my service career and more recently as a consultant.
 
A Designer is the person who imagines the solution to a problem and presents it in (usually) a graphical form. This may then go to a modeller to create a 3D rendition, or an engineer to make the fanciful musings actually work.
Thanks. The bit I don’t understand is do they need to understand the properties and the working of the materials that they envisage using?
 
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