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End of Modular

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by pencho, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    It looks like the end is nigh for modular exams. What do people think?
    I think they have benefitted students at the lower ability end significantly and I genuine believe it is a backward step with regards to mathematics education. I know other people will disagree.
    I know it is too early to predict, but do you think Gove is going to allow any of the current specifications through.
    Back to the drawing board here I think. Why can;t they just keep things the same for a few years
    Any body got any initial thoughts
     
  2. Piranha

    Piranha Lead commenter

    I can't imagine that they will change the GCSE specs in time for a 2012 start, so I think they will last. I also suspect that A-level will be the next target, probably with the end of AS as a target.
     
  3. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    They have asked the boards to come up with linear schemes, but they already exist and therefore I think the transfer will not be difficult. However I'm trying to think it is has any implication on current Y9 students who doing modular courses now and aiming to finish in Y11.

     
  4. Good idea to start a thread on this one. People went for modular because they believed that it would benefit their pupils or at least improve their grades (is that the same thing?). Will a return to linear mean a drop in grades overall? Gove will not want that so grade boundaries will have to be lowered to show that standards are getting higher under the coalition.
     
  5. DM

    DM New commenter

    As the new National Curriculum in mathematics starts in 2013, any new specs will have a very short shelf-life! I suspect existing modules will just have to be taken all in one sitting at the end.
     
  6. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    It's all very interesting. Wish they would supply more details

     
  7. Good Riddance

    The only "modular" I have ever liked was the SMP green course ... providing very weak students with certificates for foundation skills
     
  8. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    But you never had to it. You always have had the linear option in maths. I could understand the rationale if they didn't have it. Why get rid of something that was popular and did benefit some students. I genuinley think it is a backward step in education if this happens. Everything seems to be moving on around us, yet we seem to still want to cling on to an out of date education system where the belief is that the exam you sit at the end of the course is the be all and end all.
    I'm 100% certain that within 5 years they will move back to modular.
     
  9. DM

    DM New commenter

    I will have full details in two weeks and will pm you then if you remind me.
     
  10. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    thanks DM. Really appreciate this. I have put out textbook order on hold (or I will do tomorrow)
     
  11. Thing is ... I disagree with this

    How does it advantage students in your opinion

    to me ... students who do not have C grade knowledge and/or skills achieve grade Cs

    a superficial advantage that disadvantages in the long run
     
  12. More details? Won't we just have them as soon as Gove makes them up? Or perhaps all of Thursday's parent workforce can tell us? I know some people will feel strongly both ways about modular, personally I don't. What I do question is that so long as we are playing for high stakes with targets and league tables educational standards won't improve. The modular course is not the problem with our schools.
     
  13. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    Why is this an effect of modular?
    The most popular qualfication to get C's in linear Edexcel Foundation as far I can see.
    I don't know how you can say this.

     
  14. Pancho ... we clearly disagree but I am still unsure about the benefits as you see them
     
  15. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    As Pencho (and others) have pointed out, there are already linear exams in existence that conform to the national curriculum. Presumably the modular courses will just be binned and everyone will have to do one of the linear ones. No rewriting of any courses necessary.
    And for those of us teaching the pupils, we still need to teach the same stuff to the same kids, and can do so in the same order if we choose. The only difference is that at the end of the course the pupils will need to revise slightly more stuff ... but they won't need to revise this before modular exams so there shouldn't really be a significant difference.
     
  16. I have been teaching Maths in the FE sector since 1983 ... when it was still "O" level Maths ... and didn't work at all well for adults or re-sit students trying to do the course in one year - so when the London Board ... and then the Southern Examining board came along with the idea of a modular course I thought it was a brilliant idea, as did many many others - initially of course it was the FE sector that welcomed it, but now secondary schools by the score use this as a better way of monitoring progress of students through years 10 and 11, and indeed I am sure getting improved results ... what better than being able to know how you are progressing with each module ... rather than sitting around waiting - in the case of schools for 2 years before you know where you are going ... for those in FE Colleges; especially adults modular Maths and the way it works has been a marketing plus since it's conception and for a government minister to now want to remove it on basically a whim is such a poorly concieved idea ... where is this man's experience in the teaching of Maths please ... at least what does he know about teaching adults .... overcoming their stigmas with Maths; their confidence in exams .... encouraging them to return to education and advancing/bettering themselves in their Maths and hence progressing into perhaps even teaching themselves? ... the linear route is not the solution for them and will not work for those in FE... ... ! Getting rid of it is not the answer .... fortunately I have just left the profession having retired ... you wonder why with ideas like this coming along for those younger than I to contend with ... where is the incentive to want to carry on when gentlemen like Mr Gove make decisions like this!!! ...
     
  17. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    The only logic to doing modular must be that we believe we can get better results for our learners than doing linear.
    Otherwise why does anyone do modular.
    And so the removal of modular must mean that the students currently gaining an advantage from doing modular exams will lose it.
    And if that doesn't mean lower pass rates then either:
    1. We were wrong and no one gained an advantage so the loss of modular is meaningless
    or,
    2. The exams must be easier.
    Now since a lower pass rate is not a politically acceptable option, I wonder which of the above will be true?
     
  18. DM

    DM New commenter

    Sentences are so 2010.
     
  19. It's tragic! Kids will have to, like, actually, like, remember stuff, like, for more than a couple of terms. It's, like, OMG, an abuse of their rights!
    As I see it, if results have to be maintained, then the GCSE will become even more debaseD.
    However, with far fewer exam sessions, we can
    ~Spend year 9 teaching Maths, rather than racing to the first exam.
    ~Not have to do revision sessions all year long.
    ~Have more time in years 10 and 11 to teach stuff, including perhaps memory skills.
    ~Have the opportunity for exam boards to set more interesting questions that cover the full specification, rather than the linear papers being a rehash of the three modular ones.

    So, all in all, a good thing for me. And the kids.
    cyolba, wondering how quickly any of it will happen. As quickly as Alan Johnson's "NO MORE COURSEWORK!" announcement? :)
     
  20. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    A step in the right direction. Now, one exam board, please; one syllabus too; oh, and bring back 3 tiers... Let's have a proper exam for the higher tier kids. Oh, and let foundation have their C grade - if they measure all the lines correctly...

     

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