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How to solve problem of primary teacher surplus!

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by BIGSIS, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Introduce literacy and numeracy test under exam conditions prior to college acceptance.

    Stunned by the number of teachers who can't speak or write proper English, who can't do basic primary maths and most frightening of all who claim they don't read.

    Ewes or use NOT yous!

    I was asked by a fellow teacher where in Scotland that place Freepost wis?
    Same teacher was teaching phoneme 'aw' as in paw....accepted 'away' and told one wee girl ,who volunteered awe as a word with the 'aw' sound, that awe was just a sound you make like when you see a cute baby.... The wee girl then said naw miss it means yer amazed like...to her credit!

    Surely it should come as no surprise that employers are finding it difficult to find employees that have the basic literacy /numeracy skills?
  2. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    God help us! Did she do it in that whiny, patronising voice?
  3. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Although, at least she didn't add, 'or something' on the end.
  4. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    Then again, perhaps we should ask how they managed to get Higher English and Credit Level Standard Grade Maths, or the equivalent, with such poor skills.
    Today's teachers are the product of our education system.
    Over the last 40 years successive governments have pushed to get an ever greater percentage of pupils into Higher Education for educational, or political, reasons so perhaps it's not that surprising if the school curriculum has been made 'more accessible'.
    Yes politicians, and HMIe, will talk about maintaining good standards of literacy and numeracy but what have they actually done in primary schools over the last thirty years? They have overloaded the curriculum with a whole range of prescriptive subjects - around eighteen of them.
    Under the 5-14 Guidelines, the average allocation of time for both English Language and Mathematics was just 45 minutes a day, with a degree of flexibility over the whole curriculum. That simply wasn't sufficient time to cover, and reinforce, basic literacy and numeracy skills for the majority of pupils, although in reality some teachers simply paid lip service to the Guidelines.
    In theory, a CfE was supposed to address some of those issues but, in practice, primary schools are now being encouraged to abandon structured programmes of work in English Language and Mathematics in favour of 'active learning'. Who knows what effect that will have on basic standards of literacy and numeracy in years to come?
    Every other day, someone suggests another social issue that should be covered within the school curriculum without, of course, identifying what it should replace.
    And there, perhaps, lies the crux of the matter. There is never a shortage of subjects that could be included in any school curriculum. The problem is what you have to decide to leave out.
  5. I agree about testing: I am also staggered by the number of (especially young) teachers who have no understanding of the apostrophe, whose spelling is frequently inaccurate, and who are almost boastful about how poor they are at Maths.
    I have had to correct my daughter's primary teachers' spelling and grammar in the past - it's shameful!
  6. piglet171

    piglet171 New commenter

    I try really hard to teach my pupils grammar. A significant number of them can't (be bothered to) even copy correctly from a page. Even if they know something one day, they've forgotten it the next. It doesn't seem to matter to them whether the correct form is their or there. Even in P6, some of them don't consistently use capital letters and full stops, despite it being on the board to remind them.
    I blame the age of the PS3, Nintendo DS and mobile phone - also computers that automatically put in a lot of the capitals for them.
  7. coaltown1

    coaltown1 New commenter

    That seems to be the case! I have taught in the same school for 11 years and have seen the deterioration of the popularity of teaching grammar. However my colleagues and I believe that it has an important role to play and decided to go for it (we've had to do it "hush hush" as it is frowned upon and, as you say Flyonthewall, not 'kool').
    The difference in my P3 class is amazing! They can all (apart from 1) recognise,use and explain conjunctions,verbs,nouns,adjectives,adverbs and compound words. We use them daily in all writing and they are expected to include them (with the exception perhaps of the compound words!).
    You can make these lessons exciting sometimes but there is a place for good old-fashioned writing and grammar lessons.

    And, by the way, the children LOVE these lessons!!

  8. Ditto for my P3s. They love their grammar lessons, and like yours, mine can identify, discuss, and use several parts of speech, which they study always in the context of improving their own writing.
    Teaching grammar is like teaching anything else: you engage the kids where they are, you make it make sense to them---you give it meaning for them, and, crucially, you display your boundless enthusiasm for it! I happen to be mad about grammar...It's not rocket science: no enthusiasm on teacher's part=boring lessons.
  9. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    I think you've just summed up why CfE is likely to put the kibosh on all this, especially after N4 pupils (almost by definition kids of average ability or below) are given their totally internally assessed awards.

    I'll get my coat before I start frothing at the mouth ...
  10. Yes. Primaries have to spend less time mucking about with nonsense like 'enterprise', 'eco schools', 'German' and so forth and actually go back to the proper nuts-and-bolts teaching of literacy and numeracy. I have only been teaching for 7 years, but in that time, I have seen a dramatic rise in really poor levels of basic skills as well as a (politically motivated) rise in 'faux-subject areas'?
  11. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    OK, what are we going to do about it? I am NOT prepared to dilute my subject anymore and realised today how things are going downhill. My S3 section (made up of S2 accelerated learning and S3 old-style) had their end of S3 test today and it's the worst results I have ever had. I'm not accepting this and if I'm too old-fashioned in my future approach they can damn well sack me.
    Sorry to hi-jack this thread about primary teachers but I'm mad, mad, mad after marking these papers today. If I'd used the same teaching style this year as in previous years, these S3 kids would have had better results. I'm in the mood to revolt - anyone going to join me?
  12. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    My son (now 29) had 2 hours of German from P4 - P7 and absolutely hated it. He chose French at high school and successfully studied it to 6th yr. level. This was in the late 80s - it was going wrong then - why wasn't anything done to stop the rot?
  13. coaltown1

    coaltown1 New commenter

    What CAN we do about it? As teachers are we being heard by the powers that be? I think not. You just have to read the various forums on Cfe to realise how most teachers feel about it yet nobody seems to be listening.
    I came to teaching late and am quite appalled at this new turn. Teachers are often portrayed in the press as being against change but the truth is that teachers have to change constantly! Initiatives come and go but a lot of damage can be done in the meantime. Change is not always good.
    Unfortunately we have to teach according to whatever is in fashion and the Cfe, in my opinion, is an ill- thought out, ill- prepared sales pitch which we have to fill in the blanks for. Why was there a need for a radical overhaul - are tweaks unheard of in education?

    Sorry been off sick today and am on my high horse!!
  14. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    Sadly, I suspect a CfE has been introduced with the specific intention of deskilling experienced teachers and destabilising the profession for political reasons. It has little, if anything, to do with improving the educational experience of pupils.
    If HMIe, and L&TS, were genuinely independent and committed to improving education, they would be listening to teachers and responding to their concerns about a CfE. They're not because they are agents of whatever government is in power and are more concerned with maintaining their own power base.
    In turn, the unions may have very real concerns about the new, ill-thought-through, initiatives but are wary of being seen as Luddite, as that would almost certainly be used by the powers-that-be to further discredit the profession in the eyes of the public. They possibly also believe, rightly or wrongly, that they can best shape a CfE, and avoid the greatest damage, by working from within.
    Perhaps the only way forward is for class teachers to pay lip-service to the latest, meaningless buzz words and, then, simply get on with teaching in a way that is in the best interest of the pupils. I suspect parents, with common sense, will actually appreciate any efforts to ensure their children do not suffer long term damage as a result of an ill-advised, educational experiment.
    I am beginning to get a picture in my head of teachers, in trenchcoats and berets, surreptitiously exchanging banned grammar books in darkened classroom cupboards ....
    Listen very carefully ... I will say this only once!

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