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Students - independent learners?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by monicabilongame, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    But you will then be coerced into doing those Saturday sessions for revision purposes.

    Happened at my last school. I asked what the pay rate was? Told the children NEEDED intervention and think of your appraisal...... My reply, if they need it then you'll have to pay........

    If they can't be bothered then why should you, the teacher, give up free time for nothing? It creates the wrong message to the pupils.
    petenewton and lizziescat like this.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I believe we are getting paid for these saturday sessions. I'm prepared to do it because there are some really nice kids who want to go to good colleges and want to boost their chances.

    This is in addition to the after school sessions we do anyway and undoubtedly there will be more.
  3. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    We were offered a flat instructor rate for holiday and weekend, sessions.
    I declined - if you want my teacher skills you'll pay me the proper rate.

    (15- 20 years ago before all this 'compulsory' intervention lark started, I voluntarily ran residential Easter revision courses for my A level students)
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  4. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Noja and Compassman like this.
  5. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    What students never learn, if they are never allowed to fail, is that it can actually be ok to fail; mostly it's not the total disaster everyone imagines it to be. So they don't get their GCSE grades? So they need to retake. So they don't get the A levels they want? So they don't get into that university. Failure can lead not only to working out what went wrong and what needs to be done to redress the situation, it can also lead to a realisation that maybe this isn't the best path/subject/career and to widening one's horizons more. Failing to be good at this can lead to finding out that one is good at that. Nobody is rubbish at everything, and not everyone can be good at the same things. If it's 'ok' to not be good academically then you're not a 'failure' - it can lead to exploration at other things you might be good at instead.

    The massive problem is that Ofsted and this (and previous govts) insist there is only one way to be successful, and that is academically. Everyone is expected to get excellent academic grades and go to university. Schools are graded on such things. And so, obviously, children, parents and teachers all think the same way, or at least act as though they do.
    drek, wanet, petenewton and 5 others like this.
  6. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    You are correct in some contexts, and horribly wrong in others.

    I put it to you that failing is a scandalous fault of the education system, if a student fails at something he or she has been forced to study for a long period of time.
  7. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Let me precis the expected response and read the invisible and unstateable ink:
    "what value are grades if you can't lord it over others?"
  8. fineliner

    fineliner Occasional commenter

    To go back to the article in the OP I don't think it goes far enough. Surely as a teachers' union leader Bousted should be stating that if certain educational practices are detrimental to students then members of ATL will no longer be supporting, co-operating or implementing them. Otherwise she's just telling us what most of us already know.
  9. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    I do not think the climate is right at the moment for any union leader to rock the boat and to take an aggressive stance but to advise and publish articles which inform - the government are not listening and their determination to steer the education system onto the rocks is obvious.
    Whether pupils pass or fail is more to do with whether they value education and that comes from parents, teachers and the government (media).
  10. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    It might be that education is only valuable to a few because it has been designed that way. And I'm sure that suits those who education benefits. Lets trample on the oiks huh?
  11. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    monicabilongame likes this.
  12. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Of course resilience and tenacity are good things to have. But the word "failure" can mean different things. I fail all the time to get programs to work. I have to rewrite and redesign all the time to end up with something that works because bugs are part and parcel of the process. I am used to my efforts "failing" almost continuously. But I am not a "failed" computer programmer.

    In the school context I ask again - is it good to be forced to study a subject for several years at then fail at the end? Nice articles about the importance of "failing" are not going to justify the central edifice of the education system, which is to divide kids up into winners and losers. Nobody seems to want to answer that question - I have asked it three times now.

    "Failing" is only positive if
    1)you have the chance to try again
    2)you want to try again
    3)you can improve

    These conditions are far more likely to hold when the try-fail-repeat cycle is short, rather than long. But apologists for the education system who reference resilience ignore the length of time of the try-fail-repeat cycle they are referring to. Consider an A level maths class. Once a student falls behind there is little chance to catch up. At the end of two years such a student receives a very low grade or a fail.

    An education system that wants to exploit the psychology of resilience needs a different approach. I have suggested one such approach - stepper modules - 4 to 6 week long modules that students take and must pass with flying colours in order to proceed to the next module. Otherwise they must retake. This is good rigour - robustness applied to student learning, rather than the traditional sort of educational "rigour" - which only rigorously separates students out into winners and losers.
  13. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    The article does indeed tell us what we already know, but what seems to have become the norm and the accepted way. As a returner to the classroom (albeit in a support role now) I have been bewildered by the constant requirement for evidence, but am someone who adapts quickly, so sadly beginning to accept it all as normal.
    Things like the need to take photos of children doing anything that isn't in their books. Photocopying whiteboards. Getting children to write yesterday's date because the work should have been done the day before but the lesson didn't get that far. SLT feeling the need to inform TAs how many marks a child will need to get a level 5 in their SATs test so that the TA can "keep an eye on them" during the test. Shows the kind of pressure managers are under. Heads losing their jobs over a few percentage points in SATs results. The corruption filters right down from top to bottom. Ultimately someone at the top has to be accountable for this mess.
    Thank goodness the coursework nonsense is stopping in secondary school. It tells no one anything about a student's true achievements and ability. Which is, after all, what assessment is about, isn't it?
    cissy3 likes this.
  14. fineliner

    fineliner Occasional commenter

    I do not think the climate is right at the moment for any union leader to rock the boat ... the government are not listening and their determination to steer the education system onto the rocks is obvious.

    So do you think that we should allow the entire fleet to sink and all drown with it?

    take an aggressive stance

    I don't favour 'aggressive stances' either. What I was suggesting is that unions should not co-operate with practices that are detrimental to education - surely this is a professional position not an aggressive one.

    the government are not listening

    I agree. Which means that attempts to

    advise and publish articles which inform

    are futile - as most teachers already agree. There is little point preaching to the converted.
  15. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Could not agree more. I feel really old, often as if I come fromadiffedenr era, when I see how some, thankfully not all, children approach learning. There doesn't seem to be this passionate curiosity for learning independently which there was when I were a kid! I suspect it is the way that children are so IT savvy now, and expect instant info from teachers in the same way they use iPads and smartphones. They lack patience and don't want to focus. Far easier to play thick and get Miss to do it all for them.
    Compassman likes this.
  16. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Hmmm...not so sure...even Eton must have its share of spoon children...think it is a wider cultural change now. Miss will do it for me, after all, it's her job...
  17. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    The last time I went on strike was not that long ago and I did my part in the 80s to get the improvements in pay and conditions that this government have almost destroyed with academisation. I often go to union meetings with only a handful of teachers there and usually only there when some action by the head affects them directly. The reason I made the point about an aggressive stance was that many members do not show the will to take industrial action as I saw during the last 1 day strike, members of my union went into work even though the school was closed so as not to lose a days pay.
    There is already industrial action taking place concerning the 20 or so administration tasks we are not supposed to do but you look around and see how many people are not doing them and telling their SLT they are not doing them.
    The union leaders will only act if the membership show support for industrial action and if it serves the purpose of reversing the government direction. Neither of these are evident but the unions know that sooner or later the 'elephant in the room' will become so evident that the media will do the job for us. OFSTED are already making noises about recruitment and shortages of teachers so the ball is already rolling.
    cissy3 and Compassman like this.
  18. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    It baffles me how repeated application of an ineffective strategy is supposed to get results. Students who do not work in lessons are hardly going to do so in 'catch up' sessions, after school, before school, at lunchtimes, or at weekends. If anything, running such sessions can be counter-productive, allowing students to think that they can catch up on lost learning opportunities at a later date, or even worse, that if the drag their feet for long enough, someone will do it for them.
    cissy3 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  19. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Spot on.

    Why the hell should the teacher put extra time in if the pupil can't be bothered. Time for the student to take some responsibility.
    monicabilongame and cissy3 like this.
  20. Abblou

    Abblou New commenter

    I am a primary school teacher and have been for almost fifteen years now. It was what I wanted to do since I was five years old. I taught in three different schools before having my first child. That child is now nearly four and starting school herself. I have to say that the last three years have been absolute hell for me. Starting my marking and/or planning at nine at night and finishing at eleven or even midnight to get up and do one or two feeds during the night and then getting up at six to get to work at seven to pick up the marking I never finished and get ready for 30 other people's children to come into class and be taught. This was almost doable but then half way through the year to be told that actually the predicted grades you give in September at the start of the year 'need' to be a lot higher (despite their capabilities and first language). Going back through interventions, books, and having to document EVERYTHING to prove you are moving every single child along was pretty much the end. I got behind on my marking. Desperately tried to hear every child read and I now am on maternity leave with my second child. This one doesn't like to sleep until ten or eleven so I guess I get to start my marking and planning then? Workload is totally messed up and there is not nearly enough PPA given to teachers how can you and a colleague plan for a full week and get it differentiated five ways and get it typed up and printed out and discussed with TA's and put on the network for the head to oversee within one hour. Answer is THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO TIME!
    Anonymity and TEA2111 like this.

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