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Business Studies is killing off Computing???

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by gnulinux, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Faculties were created to allow CfE to be implemented efficiently? No they weren't - they were a money saving exercise to pay for PT's in the Primary sector. Some HT's thought it a good idea to combine Business Studies and Computing into a Faculty. Why??? Er - they both use computers??? The worst of all worlds seems to be where the Bus St/Comp Fac head has no interest in Computing e.g. with a B. S.t background. Makes you wonder how they got the job in the first place doesn't it. When you hear reports of such situations where Computing has been allowed to decline or be wiped out altogether it does make you wonder how this has been allowed to happen. When a Faculty head allows one part (1/2) of the faculty to disappear they arguably do not deserve their Fac Head bonus. These are failing/failed faculties.

    In England, their qualifications are being beefed up and Computing Science in particular is being given its rightful place in the curriculum. Pupils are being enthused by programmable electronic systems such as Raspberry pi and Arduino. Meanwhile in Scotland we are engaged in a 'race to the trough' - dumbing down and cutting out.

    Scotland's 21st Century economy needs pupils to be highly skilled in Computing. Computing Science (to give the subject its proper title) should be immediately decoupled from Business Studies and reinstated as a single subject department with a PT as head. If not its pig ignorance here we come!!
  2. heldon

    heldon Occasional commenter

    was told that east ren killed off tech studies as graph comm got ,in general one grade better so their stats would be improved -not sure if this actually was the case?
  3. A bit off thread but sadly there are all sorts of weird and wonderful faculty combinations, Modern Languages and RME seems to be a favourite in my local authority. In an ideal world all subjects should be represented by a subject specialist PT, n'est-ce pas?
  4. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Surely East Refrewshire would not stoop so low as to manipulate subject uptake to make them look a little better in the statistics game?? Well of course they would along with most other local authorities if they could get away with it. If East Refrewshire are as good as they are cracked up to be you have to ask why they are delaying their implementation of CfE??
    The point about Computing is that there are national initiatives to try to improve the uptake of this particular subject for very good reasons - economic in particular. The same is true in England. Head teachers therefore should not be allowed to work against this and to their own self-serving agendas. If they can't/won't do the job then get someone else in who can/will.
    It is of course a disgrace that Technological Studies has been allowed to decline. Tech Studies courses have a degree of credibility unlike Graphical Communications which is in the same league as cake decorating as far as the Universities are concerned. The manipulation of subject uptake in schools will always be denied by SMT's, Guidance and others (such as the trip organisers) but we all know it goes on and it is highly UNETHICAL. At the end of the day the interests of (gullible) individual pupils are being subverted to serve the interests of the unprofessional.
  5. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    There are plenty of Computing FHs who do the same to Business Studies. I have plenty of experience of both! Also as for soft subjects, Drama is the one that is flourishing. When you get marks for picking a costume then the game is up. Drama is an easy way for non-academic kids to gain a Credit grade and pass Higher. By all accounts AH is more difficult but compared to the likes of Physics it is as difficult as making a sandwich.
  6. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    No doubt you are right, but that should not be allowed to happen either. That suggests weak leadership from the top. Having said that I am not aware of there being any national initiatives to promote Business Studies. Computing Science is clearly in the spotlight, both here and south of the border, and so questions need to be asked as to what exactly is going on in the schools that have allowed Computing Science to disappear. When a school has for example ~1000 pupils on the roll and they are not running certificate courses in Computing Science there is something very wrong there.
  7. Generally speaking, if schools are not running a course it is because there are too few pupils interested in it to make it viable - efficiency of the timetable is the issue. You need to ask the question why so few pupils are interested in Computing Science.
    inthered likes this.
  8. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    On the contrary I think large numbers of pupils are interested in Computing Science but I think that they are being denied the opportunity to take the subject in a number of ways and by a number of sometimes not too subtle means. When it comes to subject choice time pupils are very vulnerable to suggestion - they are in some cases extremely gullible. Guidance teachers for example will sometimes steer able pupils away from Computing because 'it is too hard' or 'leave it til later' etc. etc. - that does not stop them from dumping all the undesirables into the Computing though. I have lost count of the number of pupils that I have taught that 'chose - ha ha' Computing and Craft & Design (aka Craft & Daft). Anyone looking at that combination of subjects would think - that's odd - maybe they are going to make a 'wooden computer' duh. I can also think of a situation where a particular social subject's uptake went through the roof. Do you really think that all of these were really interested in NHS statistics and the 'elderly??? Get real!! The fact that a trip to the USA was also advertised for these was the blatant carrot.
  9. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    At last the penny seems to have dropped at UK Government level that the future is Computer/Computing Science.
  10. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    I wouldnt be too sure - using rpthe governments own figures it is only going to cost £10,500 to recruit and train each of them (in England tuition feees are 9,500 per year!)
  11. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Did you listen to the Budget???
  12. elder_cat

    elder_cat Lead commenter

    There an number of posts in the 'Computing' forum, from teachers of Computing Science who are far from happy with the way it has been implemented, and have expressed grave concerns about:

    a. The lack of understanding of the people responsible for designing the curriculum.
    b. The ability levels of the students they are meant to deliver CS to, given that 'mixed ability' classes are the norm.
    c. The fact that there are nowhere near enough suitably trained CS teachers, capable of delivering a CS curriculum in the depth it needs to be done in order to be effective, and there is no quick fix to produce them in sufficient numbers.
    d. The fact that the uptake for CS has been less than some people presumed it would be.

    Giving Computer Science 'its rightful place in the curriculum' is a great idea. But it needs to be done in a more joined up fashion than it has been done south of the Border, otherwise it's tantamount to shooting yourself in the foot.:(
    subman68 likes this.
  13. subman68

    subman68 Occasional commenter

    Why are kids not picking computer science, in the main it is down to the CS teachers, have you ever meet such a strange bunch of people? We do need some of them, but in general I would recommend a pupil doing Admin. It gives them the skills they need to use a computer to a level that modern businesses require. We do not need your average punter to be able to programme or design we need them to use. From what I have seen of Higher Admin & IT they end up being experts users with skills that will serve them well in the workplace or Uni.
  14. Geoff Thomas

    Geoff Thomas Star commenter

    Computer Studies / Computer Science is not about IT or admin. It's about how computers work.
  15. subman68

    subman68 Occasional commenter

    Yes Geoff I know that, but it is truly one of the most boring things to teach a pupil. Some (a small number) love it and should have the opportunity to learn about it. We need someone with skills to be able to tell us to switch the PC off, take out the plug, count to 30 then turn it on again. Most of us just need to use the thing very well.

    It is unfortunate that the vast majority of CS teachers are not that exciting or if they are and are good then they are going to go and get a job with a lot more pay for a lot less hassle. Leaving us with the CS teachers that are a bit strange a bit smelly and constantly asking if you want to "join the dungeons and dragons clubs as we do board games as well as fix PC's"
  16. elder_cat

    elder_cat Lead commenter

    Bit of a harsh sterotype. I suspect the same argument could be applied to some teachers of History or Mathematics if you chose to. Speaking as a former lecturer in Computing, I would like to think that I was not seen as 'strange' by students or colleagues.

    I think the point is that the CS curriculum was never intended to be useful to 'your average punter', whose needs are actually better met by a more generic 'IT' curriculum. The purpose of a CS curriculum, as I see it, is to provide a way forward to produce the numbers of highly skilled people the country needs, in order to be able to compete, in a rapidy-changing world.

    I imagine there are many who would argue that learning how to use Logarithms, reading 'A Canterbury Tale', or sticking a bit of litmus paper into a test tube and watching it change colour, are equally boring.

    In my day, teachers were not actually required to be 'exciting'. Most of the ones I had weren't. The motivation to develop your understanding and ability in a particular area came from within.

    I have on occasion, met people from all walks of life who could possibly meet both those criteria.

    Never did either of those. Perhaps I'm not a 'proper' Computing teacher then?
  17. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    The Scottish Economy of the future will need people with expertise in AI, Robotics, and Software Development.
    They are never ever going to get that from Admin.
    Pupils have been (for years) seriously deceived into thinking that subjects such as Admin are any kind of equivalent to Computing Science. Even the likes of Sturgeon admits the future needs of the modern workforce is Computing based; otherwise Scotland will degenerate towards 3rd world status.

    Interesting to see the rank prejudices being spewed out here though. Individuals who think like that should not be allowed near a school.
  18. subman68

    subman68 Occasional commenter

    Elder_Cat thank you for the critic of my post, I take your point on, I did generalise (just a bit) I did marry a computing teacher, she is not that strange and is not that smelly.

    My post was in response to a previous poster that believes that we should all be doing CS. We should not. Those that want to should have the opportunity and should be encouraged, there is a real issue in many schools with the CS teacher not being able to keep up to date with the changes in the CS curriculum.

    No one ever said that Admin was any kind of equivalent to CS, what I would say is that Admin is by far the more useful subject to the majority of our students and workplaces. Being an expert user is what is required(ok a major benefit) to complete a Uni course or work in a modern workplace.
    elder_cat likes this.
  19. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    What an interesting, hypocritical, thing to write. Have you ANY self-awareness?!
  20. Potatoes005

    Potatoes005 Occasional commenter

    Picking up on Freddie's comment about the worlds most important subject - Drama...

    I found out recently that Photography is in fact available at Higher.

    What a world we live in.

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