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Colleagues keep teaching knowledge wrong

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by zcsaa44, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. zcsaa44

    zcsaa44 Occasional commenter

    I work in a school with big plaza spaces so we team teach, I keep supporting lessons where teachers are making glaring errors in subject knowledge. Mostly there are minor inaccuracies with small details but on occasions I have witnessed entire processes being taught wrong. I know everyone makes mistakes occasionally but feel that teaching of incorrect Geography is a problem, anyone got any idea how I approach this. Both are technically better teachers than me and one is my HOD,
     
  2. Mrskeletor

    Mrskeletor New commenter

    I had to scrutinize some Maths books in my last school. One of the teachers taught angles with degrees centigrade!!! I just told her that it was wrong...It's in the best interest for the kids at the end of the day!
     
    RootNegative1 likes this.
  3. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    have seen it as well, also noticed in the past as an examiner, whole of a cohort giving the wrong answer. Its not new. But with unqualified teachers likely to get worse. Also heard TAs telling students things that are wrong.
     
    HelenREMfan likes this.
  4. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    How much of a coincidence is that? Up until yesterday I'd never heard the word 'plaza' used in this sense and now here it is again today!
     
  5. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Can you give some examples without giving too much away?

    I suspect it's happening increasingly often...seen it in science to a scary degree
     
  6. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Oh, I so hope it's something to do with oxbow lakes! :D
     
    Noja and Scintillant like this.
  7. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    It's even more tricky when it's not your subject as there is a tendency to assume that you're the one that's got it wrong. I noticed that our science teacher had atomic number and mass the wrong way round on a worksheet (which had been purchased; it wasn't her mistake), and when I pointed it out she just said, "No - they can be that way round sometimes." It was only when I pointed the atomic number was bigger than the mass that she checked them and found that I was right.
     
  8. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    What, like on a periodic table? Some periodic tables do display number and mass the other way round. We just tell the children to use their common sense if they ever see that and assume that the larger number is the mass.
     
  9. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    There's the biggest weakness with observations by non specialist SLT/OFSTED etc. So one of our main quality assurance processes in schools is flawed by how well you can 'act' as a teacher.
     
    cissy3 likes this.
  10. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    When one of mine was in year one they were asked to think of words beginiing with 'q'. My son volunteered 'quark'. The teacher told him it wasn't a real word and he corrected her by lisping, 'Yes it is, it's a sub-atomic particle'.
    A teacher at our primary school (and don't talk to me about 'plazas' - my primary school was fully open plan and so nosiy my mum couldn't bear to have to come inside) told us that it's a 'moat' and bailey castle, and that German black bread was black because it was so old. Ah, the perils of a small amount of knowledge!
     
    janemk and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  11. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    You have to admire her confidence...
     
    wanet likes this.
  12. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I had a colleague whose errors I picked up from time to time. He was overseas-trained, so on one occasion I tackled it as "it might not be how you've done it, but this is what's correct in the UK". On another occasion our numeracy adviser was in that week, so I told him where to find the incorrectly marked work and got him to tackle it. (This colleague ended up as a HoD not long after - which worries me.)

    Have you been on any courses recently, so that you could say "they said on the course that this has been taught wrongly in a lot of places for years, but this is the way it should be done".
     
  13. zcsaa44

    zcsaa44 Occasional commenter

    Examples of my HOD was when during the Christmas lesson with the year 11 class. Taught that the Aurora Borealis was caused by the reflection of light from snow and that the reason that it only occurs at night is because it is due to the light bending through the earth's atmosphere. This was after correcting the students who essentially gave the correct reason (I did correct him on that, but not in front of the kids). That wasn't a big deal as it was not related to any content, just a Christmas lesson. Usually his mistakes are small although he does have a great deal of subject knowledge so assume he is passing on the same small mistakes to every child. The issue that urged me to post was seeing the description of tornado formation being poorly explained, that the storm is spinning so fast it drops to the ground and that thunder occurs when a hot and cold front crash into each other. What annoys me is that the assessments we then did will come out with amazing marks for the other teacher's class and mine will receive a grade lower due to me having to mark accurately.
     
  14. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Well now, I honestly didn't know that the aurora was taught in geography threse days. I must ask my geographer colleagues how they go about this.
     
    ValentinoRossi likes this.
  15. zcsaa44

    zcsaa44 Occasional commenter

    Pretty sure it isn't that often, was part of a lesson on Lapland. I can assure you that my description of it was pretty accurate, if teacher led with maybe a diagram on the board (In a previous school the Geography department was on top of the science block so my next door classroom was a physics classroom so I would check all these physics things)
     
  16. clermontfed

    clermontfed Occasional commenter

    I am an unqualified teacher and used to be a TA. Being qualified does not mean that you are the font of all knowledge. The number of times I have cringed when a teacher (mostly NQTs) is teaching grammar incorrectly are quite high, the latest being "me and my friends" to a class of year 5.
    What amuses me no end is that English is my second language and I have a better grasp of the intricacies of the English language that a native. Maybe it is because I was better taught.
     
    spanboy and Dr_G-nome like this.
  17. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    In my early teaching days I remember being surprised to find three students wandering round the school with a set of bathroom scales. They said their physics teacher had told them to go weigh themselves on the ground floor and then on the 3rd floor to see how g varies with height. At the time I was horrified that a physics teacher could thing that the variation could be measurable. Now, older and wiser, I realise that he probably just wanted them out of the way for a while and applaud his ingenuity.
     
  18. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Yes, with the symbols like on a periodic table. That was her response exactly, but I wasn't querying the positions - it actually said that the smaller number was the mass and the larger one was the atomic number.
     
  19. drek

    drek Star commenter

    You look up the scheme of work and make some resources/worksheets. Offer them to the teachers one week in advance. That way you are making sure the knowledge is matched to the specification at least.
    It might be that the specification is incorrect in which case you should look up the contact address and send your corrections in.
    These things do happen particularly in the plaza style situation where schemes of work are never resourced and follow a haphazard hippy theme of the term structure, or unstructure I should say
    e.g happy homes - which incorporates all the subjects, to be resourced by the unlucky souls who find themselves time tabled with it, as no one else wants it on top of new policy changes and 'initiatives' to action every half term.
    Ends up as a home in Rome with a bit of how they managed to heat the water with no electricity ( science and D&T bit) location and climate ( geog) roman army recruiting advert with logo (hist, art and IT). Sounds wonderful in theory but to resource something like this over a whole term plaza style, when it's not one's specialist subject ends up as bit of a nightmare! The promised resources never arrive. And to give a grade at the end - well it ends up with some very outlandish ones which gives everyone a headache thereafter!
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  20. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    They don't need to assume. The larger number is always the atomic mass
     
    PegMatite and aspensquiver_2 like this.

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