Archive for National Association of Head Teachers

Britain’s Education System – The Blind Leading The Blind!

Posted in Britain, Children, Conservative Party, David Cameron, England, English Schools, Government, Insanity, Liberal Party, Nick Clegg, Parliament, Primary Education, Teens, UK with tags , , , , , , , , , on 27/06/2011 by floroy1942

“The truth will always out” and that has never been more amply demonstrated than today with the new literacy/numeracy tests for trainee teachers

Education, Education, Education

Education standards in British schools have been falling for decades, thanks in particular to the previous Labour government that made exams easier to improve pass statistics, and now we are ‘paying the piper’. We have long passed the stage where our ‘teachers’, responsible for the proper education of our next generation, are capable of the task.

The horrifying impact of this situation is that it perpetuates. As standards drop generation by generation, so does the competence of succeeding generations of teachers, and thereby the education of each new generation declines. To put it bluntly, how can a semi-literate person teach literacy or numeracy to a child?

This is the vicious circle we are now in as a nation. In my opinion, we are rapidly reaching a point where British children will no longer be able to apply for skilled jobs, and this is already happening. We will eventually see that born and bred British youth will only be able to get jobs as cleaners and road sweepers because their level of education precludes all else. 

See also:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/young-people-today-unemployable/

It is a well known fact that four out of five youngsters leaving school today cannot read and write properly, and don’t even try mental arithmetic!

Teacher Training

Until now, candidates for Teaching Colleges have been allowed to take assessment tests while they train as often as they wish, so if they ‘got lucky’ on their sixth attempt they would be allowed to continue training as teachers! The news item states that candidates will now only be allowed three attempts, but I have to ask; if they need three attempts, are they fit to teach the next generation, especially considering how ‘hard’ the test is? I think not!

The report gave the following examples of questions that appear in the exam given to those attending teacher training:

  • Q1: Teachers organised activities for three classes of 24 pupils and four classes of 28 pupils. What was the total number of pupils involved?

  • Q2: There were no ” ” remarks at the parents’ evening. Is the missing word:

  • a) dissaproving

  • b) disaproveing

  • c) dissapproving

  • d) disapproving?

  • Q3: For a science experiment a teacher needed 95 cubic centimetres of vinegar for each pupil. There were 20 pupils in the class. Vinegar comes in 1,000 cubic centimetre bottles. How many bottles of vinegar were needed?

  • Q4: The children enjoyed the ” ” nature of the task. Is the correct word:

  • a) mathmatical

  • b) mathematical

  • c) mathemmatical

  • d) mathematicall

Answers at the end of this post for those who don’t know!

 Even the questions (faithfully reproduced) have missing punctuation and spelling mistakes, but that may be down to the reporter more than the real exam paper.

While I am on the subject, mistakes are now very common in articles written for news bulletins and newspapers. Whether this is because the writers cannot be bothered to check their work before handing it in, or is the emergence of the level of illiteracy spreading to reporters today I do not know, but its worrying.

A Time When Teachers Knew How To Teach!

When I first saw the above questions, I realised very quickly that they were like the ones I had to answer in school when I was ten years old! That was of course hrrmmm years ago when school was school, and teachers knew what they were doing. In those days teaching was a calling, much like nursing. People did it because they loved the idea of educating the next generation. They knew their subject inside out and woe betide you if you didn’t learn.

The Department of Education calls this exercise ‘toughening up’ on education, and Ed Gove, the Education Secretary is quoted as saying  the proposals would “emphasise our commitment to boosting the status of the profession by toughening up the recruitment process and ensuring that all new teachers have a real depth of knowledge in their subject”. That was the ‘norm’ fifty years ago for cryin’ out loud!!! I know my old teachers would be spinning in their graves if they could see what is happening today!

The tests taken are for literacy and numeracy, both essential if you wish to embark on a career educating others. To date, 10% of all applicants take the numeracy test more then three times, and 7%  do the same for the literacy test. Although the news rules may well help, I still do not see the need for candidates to be given three attempts at a test. Would you get three attempts at a GCSE? No!

Hmmm!

So what do we have now? For the most part, teachers who can only stand in front of a class and recite a lesson from a book, and why? Because they themselves have little or no knowledge of the subject they are ‘teaching’. In some cases their literacy and numeracy are no better than a twelve-year-olds, which lets face it, is considered ‘normal’ these days.

The reaction to this report from the National Union of Teachers (NUT) is predictable. In their opinion the tests are ‘superfluous’. That just about sums them up too! According to them the students requiring more than one shot at these test were either dyslexic, had English as a second language or were unfamiliar with on-line testing. My Goodness! How can a dyslexic person, or a foreigner with insufficient understanding of english, be allowed to teach our young????? It boggles the mind!

Christine Blower

NUT General Secretary Christine Blower said: “The NUT has always argued that the entry requirements for initial teacher education, which include GCSE passes grade C or above in English and maths, should be sufficient and make the additional skills tests superfluous,”

If that is the case, why do so many have to take the test more than once to pass it! Especially when you consider how simple the questions are. GCSE’s have been dumbed down by Labour over the past decade to such an extent I am surprised everyone doesn’t have at least ten! So Christine, You can blow…never mind!

The National Association of Head Teachers has, as you can expect, a more professional attitude to the current problem saying: “it was right to have demanding expectations of recruits to the profession”. Now that sounds more like it!

The Associations General Secretary, Russell Hobby, said: “We should not fall into the trap of thinking, however, that academic excellence necessarily makes someone a great teacher. We want smart people, but we also want visionary, caring, energetic, creative and thoughtful people.” Quite right Sir, up to a point! Without the basic knowledge of the subject they are to teach, the rest is meaningless. All potential candidates should be properly examined for their level of general education and long before they enter the system, not while they are in the midst of training.

Let Me Check That In My Notes

Unless the government makes severe changes to the level of competence of our new teachers, and makes it compulsory for them to have a full understanding and knowledge of any subject they wish to teach, things will never improve and we will end up a with a workforce capable of performing menial tasks only. Whenever companies need skilled workers they will have to be imported. Not a happy thought.

Answers to the test questions: 1. 184     2. d     3. 2     4. b     Just in case you may have had some difficulty.

Associated post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/its-not-mi-falt-i-carnt-spel/

Roy.

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