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Pop up Qualifications?

Discussion in 'Shape the agenda' started by neddyfonk, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    I have always thought the rigid timetables and required syllabus / curriculum for qualifications is not conducive to taking advantage of children's interests and encouraging them to do their best.
    I think many pupils would prefer to select short courses from a wider range of topics, find some that peak their interest, get a study pack, do some research supported by their parents/teachers/other agency and submit either written work or online multiple choice answers. Over time they build a portfolio of evidence about what they like and how well they can do it.
    Not easy/cheap to organise but certainly in the pupils best interests.
    Of course English reading capability and basic maths is a prerequisite.
    Food for thought ?
  2. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    Which is why this only happens in some specialised independents and in good quality homeschooling situations.
  3. streetno9

    streetno9 New commenter

    Interesting - I imagine you're thinking something similar to the university system where you choose which aspects to focus upon? I think it'd be a nice way to tailor learning for smaller cohorts, but in a 2000+ strong secondary comprehensive I'm not sure how it would work. However, I'm interested, so I shall put it forward to the boss and see what comes out the other side...
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Sort of like the US system? In High School everyone has to do a basic set of modules in core subjects (eg Math 101) and then they then get to pick from a smorgasbord of options where they can, if they wish persue interests such as Band or Cheerleading or concentrate of modules that will steer them to better college courses or even gain them college credits. Whilst I have my doubts about the academic level of US schooling compared to ours I do like the choice element that at least helps the kids to do courses they are likely to enjoy.
  5. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I would have thought that it would work better in a larger school because there would be more chance of operating viable sized classes and employing teachers of minority subjects to make sure their is breadth to the curriculum. Perhaps even groups of schools implying a specialist for a term each so that modules in really niche areas could be offered.
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    It would be great to be able to have some one-term courses in specific things, and particularly some of the more practical things that might be better taught by someone external; First Aid, a pre-driving course, home maintenance. And then add in more academic options that might also be a taster for future studies.
  7. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Its not really in the children's best interests, no, because education is supposed to be preparation for taking your place in the work force. What you describe is more for hobbies.
  8. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Education should be about educating to be a responsible, reliant ( however that is defined) citizen and happy and healthy individual.
    Preparation for work is only one part of that. An essential skill for work is being able to learn, re learn and relearn again. So inculcating a desire and ability to learn, perhaps stimulated by what some called ‘hobby subjects’ is fundamental to lifelong learning.with an enthusiasm to learn. I’m not sure that much of the current so called academic curriculum is, or even can be, specific preparation for work (beyond the soft skills) given that the world of work, - the skills, the knowledge needed, the make up of the workforce and the jobs etc change so quickly.
    neddyfonk likes this.
  9. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Employers should be encouraged to use short courses to train their workforce. I recall my time in industry. If I or a colleague needed a new skill or qualification we would be sent to the local tech for a short course. Sometimes 3 or 4 weeks of training, an exam and then a certificate to say we had attained the necessary paperwork in order to do a particular job such as adding your signature to a drawing to show that a component or assembly had met a standard or to be able to plan and initiate a process.
  10. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Anyone who ever worked for IBM would know the value of this. They contracted to provide training, even in areas not related to a specific job. I recently discovered a magazine from 1982 called The Linking Ring created by the International Brotherhood of Magicians, sponsored by IBM since before 1960 who organised annual Magic conventions and competitions for 'Rings' across the USA. IBM engineers often trained in the Bahamas and employees encouraged to follow their academic/sport passion during working hours.
  11. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Sounds a bit more exotic than my ASNT (American Society for Nondestructive Testing) diplomas that I have.

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