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Increased appreciation for the UK education system

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by purpleapple, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. purpleapple

    purpleapple New commenter

    Having worked in the state system (not at an international school, but a bilingual state-funded school) as a science teacher, I feel that I can now compare with the UK. I have a much increased respect for UK-trained teachers and the standard of UK education. Everyone assumes that UK education is rubbish and below that of other countries, but it is head and shoulders above that of the country that I am in comparing the ability of the kids age for age. Also the quality of the teachers are higher too. I feel as if my 4 years in the UK were a boot camp of how to teach most effectively in comparison to the other teachers here, who have a much more relaxed approach (ahem, putting it politely). Obviously the UK system has it faults, but they seem alot less to me now having been abroad. Has anyone else found this?
     
  2. No, where the hell are you?
     
  3. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    So you are in OZ ? or NZ ?

    Not pretty. Hope you weren't educated in the UK.
     
  4. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    We benighted expatriates would normally write 'the quality (noun singular) IS higher' but we appreciate that grammar may have been taught differently in your particular boot camp.
    Would that be 'allot', meaning 'to distribute or aportion', or 'a lot', meaning (ahem, putting it politely) 'a large quantity'?
    Tell him, somebody.
    I didn't think so before reading your post but you've done quite 'alot' to convert me.
    Does anyone else agree that those of us who are English (and who, of course, have consequently won first prize in the lottery of life) ought to think more carefully before blowing our national trumpet?
     
  5. Ow.....my head.
    Spain, no?
     
  6. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Colourless green ideas wake up!
     
  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    "Obviously the UK system has it faults" and one of those faults is not being able to use apostrophes.
     
  8. Mere lighthearted obfuscation.[​IMG]
     
  9. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Maybe I'm being a bit thick, but which one is the last remaining nationality?
    As to the OP, UK education has always been admired across the world which is why you'll find Engliash Natioanl Curriculum schools everywhere you go.
     
  10. "Maybe I'm being a bit thick, but which one is the last remaining nationality?"

    My guess is that yasf is referring to the Evil Empire (of which I'm a member). I do take a LITTLE exception with the post as I think I took more than 3-6 weeks to get a license and it wasn't "dreadful" teacher training. I DO agree with the "pretty appalling education system". Sweeping generalisations are a bit of a pet peeve, though, so I give yasf benefit of the doubt in that she may have not met any of the "proper" teachers from the States.

     
  11. Louisiana, Alabama or North Carolina? I spent a year on theory and six months on practicum for my original certificate AFTER a four year degree. Then I spent another 2.5 years while working full time on my MA.
     
  12. While being tested constantly from both state and national standards bodies.
     
  13. The US considers an overall 75% graduation rate 'appalling' That's keeping 75% of students in school and more or less engaged until they are 18. The UK would call that a screaming success. If ever I find myself back in the states I swear I will never moan about anything again.
     
  14. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    The National Curriculum dates, I think, only from 1988. Just imagine - for ten blithe happy youthful years I was able to hand on the torch of culture to the next generation without any reference to the baleful mandates of the State.
    As it is such a Johnny-come-lately, it is unlikely that the NC has inspired whatever respect British education retains in the wider world.
    This won't please the Class Warriors - but a much more potent and long-term influence must have been those Barrows and Shrovisburgs currently so busy spreading their brand into the planet's economically muscular regions. The mother schools date from 1572 and 1552 respectively, many a long year before 1988, back in a golden age when the National Curriculum consisted of 'little Latin and less Greek.'
    There have been several threads discussing the opacity of the term 'British' and the varied and contradictory things 'overseas' parents think they are buying into, when they choose a British International School.
    As for our colleagues from the United States of America, I've admired almost all those I have met, and wish we were able to employ more of them. They are energetic, idealistic go-for-it types. They manage to be friendly with their students without becoming either matey or condescending. And they generally stay clear of the ghastly bog of cynicism, sarcasm and ***-taking-passing-for-a-Great-British-Sense-of-Humour, which sucks in many a teacher from the sceptr'd isle.
     
  15. "As for our colleagues from the United States of America, I've admired
    almost all those I have met, and wish we were able to employ more of
    them. They are energetic, idealistic go-for-it types. They manage to be
    friendly with their students without becoming either matey or
    condescending. And they generally stay clear of the ghastly bog of
    cynicism, sarcasm and
    ***-taking-passing-for-a-Great-British-Sense-of-Humour, which sucks in
    many a teacher from the sceptr'd isle."
    Agreed SMT Dude. And not to forget that their schools found abroad generally offer far better pay, benefits and satisfaction than those espousing the ideals of the Old Dart! Go to any major city in Africa, Asia or latin America and you'll generally find that the top ranked international school in that location is decidely of the Yankee-ish variety. I would take up a position at one in a heartbeat!
     
  16. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Absolutely. The Americans played the Cold War to win. They made mistakes, but they weren't foolin'.
    So all over the developing world they set up High Schools for their expats and their clients in the local elites, who were thus offered a choice between the the flash new American outfits and the various Greyfriars-lookalikes already spawned by the Empire but characteristically under-regulated.
    Not here, though - we are the cocck of the Ruritanian dunghill, enjoying a slight edge over Uncle Sam in the pay-and-conditions lark, and a big lead as far as academic and co-curricular life is concerned. They've recently erected some kick-ass facilities, but our buildings have a certain louche olde-world charm. They have a Strong Female Principal, we have a weak male head.
    Several American parents prefer us, although one newcomer told us in August that she was choosing the American School "because I don't dig Harry Potter"...
     
  17. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    I don't much dig him either but our American consuegros obviously do judging by the admiring 'Geeze, it's just like Harry Potter!' when we entered the Old Hall at Queens' Cambridge for our son's and their daughter's wedding bash. Such charming naivety aside, I know some of our compatriots are comforted by the old chestnut that American education is inferior to the British variety but as an idea it's much like Harry Belafonte's bucket, i.e. it doesn't hold water. Nevertheless anybody who talks about a 75% success rate also needs to be able to answer the question '75% of what?'
    Incidentally, I seem to remember that 'the Evil Empire' was a phrase first coined by President Regan and I'd always thought he was talking about the Soviet Union, not, as some of you appear to think, his own country.
    I'm somewhat disappointed by this thread. I was hoping the OP would come raging back with the assertion that solving simultaneous equations doesn't require the ability to write a coherent sentence.

     
  18. All teachers have a minimum of a BA. Most have completed a MA in five years. It pays to. Sorry.
     
  19. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    US qualifications are not the same as UK qualifications.
    This is due to their Bachelors degrees being liberal arts which means that you tend not to really specialise until your final year. The US Masters continue from this basis.
    That is not to say there is anything wrong with their methodology, but you are not comparing like with like.
     
  20. No. Not all degrees are in the liberal arts.
    The problem is that Yasf doesn't understand what an 'hour' means. European History 101 would be a three hour course. It would meet three hours per week for a semester. A full load of classes in a semester would be 18 'hours' - six separate topics each meeting for three hours per week. 138 hours would be just about enough 'hours' for a degree.
    First two years are spent on broad based curriculum - then specializing in the last two years. Its why American English teachers can work quadratic equations and understand maximum velocity while British English teachers are stumped by fractions and how to figure miles per gallon.
    Its why American science teachers can write a coherent paragraph. Its why Yasf can't be bothered to find out the facts before he tries to post on forums.
     

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