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Don't forget to look at the how to guide.
Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by airy, Mar 9, 2012.
Nah. But we'll muddle through.
I'm with Airy on that. We'll muddle through because that is what we have always done.
I think there is a danger here that the public will perceive the profession as moaning minnies who cannot handle change. We should be pointing out the substantial difficulties PARENTS should have re curriculum organisation, the new exams in 2014 AND the Higher exams in 2015.
1. The fixation with broad general education in S1 - S3: this is likely to restrict pupil choice in later years in secondary. Thank goodness, many parents who have sussed this, are creating a fuss.
2. The problems with moderation of assessment: abandoning external assessment at N4 is only acceptable if teachers can accurately peg their pupils' attainment according to nationtal standards. This simply cn't be done at the moment. The exmples of "assessment" given in the NAR are hopless for this purpose.
3. Issues connected with particular subject curricula and assessment at N4 and N5: from the very vague outlines I have seen on the SQA website, I don't have an issue with the content in my subject but the details of the N5 assessment do concern me.
4. The new Higher: people are forgetting that the most able of current cohort in S2 will sit Highers in 2015: how many will they be able to sit? (See above point 1) Also, I have seen the proposals for Higher in my subject and I am seriously concerned. CfE was supposed to leave Higher alone. Higher was to remain the "gold standard". What I have seen in my own subject is a reduction from two papers to one and a reduction in the amount of K&U required. If that aint dumbing down, I don't know what is! I cannot for the life of me, see why ANY change was needed in the Higher we have now.
We need to be pushing these points hard. I am afriad the EIS approach (we support CfE and we always have, teachers just need another year to prepare) is potnetially very dangerous.
I agree but what is the SSTA doing about it? I replied to the email about progress in preparation for cfe and got an email back asking if I'd be willing to talk to the press! I am happy for the SSTA to pass my concerns on anonymously. However, I just don't see many of my colleagues willing to put their heads above the parapet even at a staff meeting, never mind to a newspaper!! What actually worries me the most is complete sheep-like nature of my so-called 'superiors' who are still trying to perpetuate the myth that this is the best thing since sliced bread and are refusing to absorb the (legitimate by the way) concerns of those staff willing to voice concern. Blah!
Here's one thing we're doing ...
The author is a well respected PT Geography and a long time SSTA activist. The SSTA will keep up the pressure, despite the apathy of some teachers and no matter what the EIS or Mike Russell say.
We have been muddling through because we've had to and we will continue to muddle through because we have no choice in the matter. It was always pretty obvious to me that CfE was going to create an enormous increased workload at every stage and I'm sorry to say that I was not wrong.I'm also sorry that both main unions have not really done anything about it.
As for delivering the course,I am teaching but I'm 100% sure that if somebody came to observe my lessons with a CfE checklist,I would fail. The only question is what happens to teachers who fall short of the golden standard?
And Rob Hands makes the point well; change will always be resisted until we know what the end game is . . .. . nobody likes to be led a merry dance, with a blindfold on and no idea of what destination our 'leaders' have in mind for us. On the other hand, changes with clear purpose and clearly identifiable benefits are usually embraced.
I find it incredible that in most Secondaries the timetable changes in June. Two and a half months away. Teachers have that time, 10 weeks, in which to build their new S3 courses and still we are waiting on having firm assessment criteria, course weightings and specifics for N4 . . . . . is it true those details won't be released until May?
But N4 is based on the level 3 and 4 outcomes and the SQA are dead against early presentation so really we have a whole year before we need to think about formal assessment. More delay won't solve anything as we won't really get to grips with these courses until we are teaching them. I do hope that within that year the SQA will take and respond to feedback but right now I just want to get on with it.
It's not the SQA, their role is to produce the exams based on the criteria laid down <u>by government</u>. Think about it - most of the functions of the SQA are performed by classroom teachers who share most of our concerns. I know for a fact they have taken up many of the implementation issues with Mr Russell raised by teachers (such as the non examination of Nat 4) but he is not for turning. They have also been told they will not be producing any additional support notes, instead they are just to publish a set of draft outlines.
One of the QIOs in my authority told PTs explicity that on no account should any National 5/Cedit work be covered in third year as this goes against the principles of a broad general education. No pupil should be progressing past Level 4 in third year. I will of course, completely ignore this as I believe that pupils should constantly be challenged. It will be hard for anyone (e.g. HMIE) to analyse what I am teaching as the outcomes are so woolly.
Local authorities should just keep their noses out and let those in the classroom get on with it, so much for flexibility.
It is the SQA. We already have all the info we need except the exam specs.
I think the feeling in my subject, maybe others too, is that the courses can't be built without specifics about the assessments
Kibosh you have hit the nail on the head.
Why not? What is taught in a course should be much
broader than what is tested in an exam. So fill your course with what needs to be taught and the exam will surely be covered.
Sometimes I think teachers want to know what the exam will look
like so that they can decide what the minimum they can get away with
No, teachers want to know what is in the exam so that we can properly prepare pupils to sit it. This is simply common sense. Are you actually suggesting that we just teach and hope for the best? This is not even to mention the S1-S3 stage where the assessment is unfit for purpose with no national standard, a hopless NAR and only a vague set of 'experiences' to work on.
I can only speak for my subject, which is a practical subject. For example there would be no point in building in a significant critical/theoretical component if at the end of the day the new weighting requires only 10% critical/theoretical. We don't have final exams, as such, at the end of S3.
I think that varies from subject to subject and I know some colleagues are horrified at the standard for N5 which seems to vary too with some subjects seeing it as dumbing down and others thinking it's far more like Higher than Int2. At the end of the day, though, none of us know and if this first cohort do spectacularly badly across the board then pass marks will be adjusted to compensate.
Do what the SQA have done - rebadge the old national tests.
The implication of this is that, as a teacher, you see no point in teaching anything that isn't in the exam.
Let's just leave it there why don't we.
No, what people are saying is they don't want to spend valuable hours of time developing resources and assessments only to find later on it all needs re-done as it doesn't relate to the exam. I spend a lot of time teaching my classes 'extra' things at the moment like French films, songs, etc which are very valuable but won't come up in an s.g or higher paper. However, I wouldn't spend the whole year doing this at the expense of covering the language in topics that generally come up in assessments/exams. This would be setting them up to fail.