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"Consistency" or "variety"?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by seenitallbefore, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Does anyone have a view on "consitency" when it comes to teaching groups of students maths, assuming they are set? Should the same teacher have one group for the five years of their secondary education or should the students be exposed to/offered a variety of teaching styles and approaches by having different teachers.

  2. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    I'm not sure "should" comes into it in most comprehensive schools - staff turnover and the need to put anyone who's even remotely competent on the critical C/D borderline classes in year 11 mean it's practically impossible.

    I think, in general, this would be a desirable aim. Though it does assume the teacher is at least averagely competent.

    ( My own year 8 maths teacher was utterly incompetent. This was in the days of "second subject" teaching and he was completely out of his depth. )

    But, see above, I doubt it's generally practical.

    Even if that were a Good Thing (why would it be?), the students will be being taught by other teachers, presumerably with different teaching styles, for their other subjects so, if there is something important in this the need is being met across the week (or fortnight).
  3. One of the joys each September is seeing your class list and realising with a srping in your step that Wayne Chavscum-Oik will not be in your group this year...

    I'm sure Wayne, were any thoughts ever to trouble the collection of ganglia that masquerade as a brain, might have a similar outlook on avoiding me in his Maths lessons.

    cyolba, already manourvering to avoid certain classes :)
  4. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I taught in one school where each group was taken by the same teacher from January of year 7 to year 11. They rotated which set they got, and it did keep it all very fair - but they might have had to change it if they'd had recruitment difficulties.

    In another school, we had a year when over half the year group had a change of teacher in year 10/11 - policy was to keep the same teacher through GCSE, but a combination of maternity leaves, long term sickness and staff turnover made it impossible. Results were down that year,

    I think there's a lot to be said for playing it year-by-year. After my first year of teaching, I kept all the groups I was getting on well with, and lost the ones I was finding tough going. In general, if a group is working well with their existing teacher, that seems a good reason to keep them together, but there are bound to be occasions when that isn't best (perhaps because another group have had a bad year and so giving them a strong teacher is the top priority).
  5. shamussy

    shamussy New commenter

    I have always rotated at KS3, same at KS4 (wherever possible of course) Teachers get to know more students - students have more of a range of learning styles. That said, I often consider that it would be benefitial to keep the same class. I think the problem lies where a class has had difficulties with a teacher and the change can make a difference
  6. Being more serious, there's also the issue of the kids changing. In some schools, where all sorts of things happen to kids in their pubescent years, the sets themselves can change quite radically from, say, year 10 to 11. Things can be exacerbated by other timteable changes (being backed against English one year, Science the next; kids dropping a GCSE in History to take up Whicker Basket Weaving BTEC and thus changing "pathways").

    Ideally, I'd go for one teacher for the whole of GCSE (and that should be a 2 year course starting in yr 10, none of this early start and entry ballacks), but a different teacher for each year of KS3.

    cyolba, not on the timetabling committee as he makes too many sensible points :)

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