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teachers views on CfE

Discussion in 'Scotland - curriculum' started by wwwwwwwww, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. Were you told how to find the timesonline website at school?
    Or did you find that fact out for yourself without the input of your Modern Studies teacher?
    Why do we need to be taught facts when we have Google? The useful everyday facts can be learned quickly, and the obscure, once in a blue moon facts can be Googled.
    That way, instead of spending valuable class time telling pupils to memorise the events leading to the potato famine, we can use the time to improve the pupils' critical writing, a transferable skill which cannot be memorised or googled. We may use the events of the potato famine as a context for their critical writing, but the facts themselves are momentary and pretty much useless. Writing skills will be with them for life.
     
  2. I would have thought that BOTH are important. Unless you can contextualise something, facts have little value it is true. You might just as well aimlessly Google. Yes, writing skills are hopefully transfewrrable but in order to learn them, you need a context.
    What is the point of learning about the potato famine, if you do not not learn FROM it? What is the point of learning about anything unless you can fit it into the grand scheme of things? I repeat my earlier comment about some children thinking they speak French in China. When all facts are the same, important facts get lost in the swamp. Writing skills need a CRITICAL faculty as well!
     
  3. I would have thought that BOTH are important. Unless you can contextualise something, facts have little value it is true. You might just as well aimlessly Google. Yes, writing skills are hopefully transfewrrable but in order to learn them, you need a context.
    What is the point of learning about the potato famine, if you do not not learn FROM it? What is the point of learning about anything unless you can fit it into the grand scheme of things? I repeat my earlier comment about some children thinking they speak French in China. When all facts are the same, important facts get lost in the swamp. Writing skills need a CRITICAL faculty as well!
     
  4. I agree - both are important. You wouldn't be able to write the essay without knowing the facts. And you are right, there is no point in writing the essay if lessons are not learned from it.
    However, current education system places a lot of emphasis on memorising facts. I don't think it's vital to a childs education that the facts surrounding the potato famine (for example) need to be memorised. Write the critical essys, learn the lessons from the story and move on to the next interesting lesson. I feel it would be a waste of time for the pupils to then try to memorise the facts so they can answer some dumb question in an exam which tests them on their memory rather than their ability to understand the lessons from the topic.
    There are, however, some things which I feel are worthwhile to memorise. But nothing like the amount that we expect them to memorise in the current curriculum.
     
  5. I teach Modern Languages. The problem with my subject is that (apart from them thinking it irrelevant) pupils think it is difficult. One reason for that is that you actually have to LEARN facts (vocabulary, grammar rules etc) and the pupils I am seeing have simply not developed the skill of memorising information.
    I think your pupils are lucky if in YOUR curriculum they are obliged to memorise stuff. My 12 year olds arrive from primary never having learned to memorise more than their times tables and maybe a couple of poems! Unsurprisingly, they find languages a turn-off then.
    The other difficulty is that, I grant you, there is too much information around so what is relevant is moot nor can a child learn everything. I'm sure some poster will correct me but is it not the case that many questions in exams nowadays are answered with "evidence" and "sources" which are quoted in the paper anyway and it is the interpretation of the information that is important?
    My beef is there is too much cutting and pasting of "stuff" which shows no real understanding.
     
  6. Does anyone have a course in place or nearly ready?
    Or is it just ad additional week of googling attched to some kind of rota whilst keeping the original materials?
    Has anyone prepared or designed anything useful yet? AND did you need money for it?
     
  7. Hi there,
    During the summer months we are developing and rehearsing performances and workshops that will work with the CfE. These projects are for suitable for all age groups from 6+ and will provide an affordable and entertaining way at tackling many of the CfE guidlines.
    We are working with teachers in Scotland this summer to provide a group of projects that will benefit the schools and the students.
    If you would like to see the proposal or have any other queries or comments, please contact us @ info@nltheatreproductions.co.uk or call 0141 416 3600.
    I would love to hear what everyone things about this?
    Norry Leonard
    www.nltheatreproductions.co.uk


     
  8. affordable?
    The CofE id cost neutral which is the politicians way of saying we want teachers to do this for nothing and if it doesn´t work.. it´s the teachers´fault...
    I don´t know who´ll be able to pay for it Norry... but Id imagine you won´t get many teachers in there during their summer holiday and you prob won´t get any secobndary teachers at all...
    CofE was basically designed (I use the word loosely) for primary ... secondary schools were mosrt certainly an after thought.
    Sorry about the negativity... but I just haven´t seen anything that´s ready for use in secondary schools at all. Has anyone else?
     
  9. No. We secondary teachers can't do our job properly unless we are told what to teach, how to teach it and when it should be taught. Until someone has planned it, written a textbook, produced the assessments and sent it to schools neatly packaged along with a detailed scheme of work, we shouldn't touch it with a bargepole.
     
  10. Thanks for your comments.
    I do understand your costing worry of the CofE but we are not trying to incur any extra costs. Instead of your school outsourcing a theatre company to provide an event that may have little effect on the CofE, we have now amended our projects to fit in with the CofE guidelines.
    I was actually pleasantly surprised at the number of teachers and practioners that were willing to be involved in our project especially during the summer holidays.
    Instead of focussing on cost I was more targetting towards the creative aspect in the CofE.
    Does anyone have anything planned as of yet?
    Norry
    www.nltheatreproductions.co.uk
     

  11. Norry... to drum up some support or potential customers, you´d be
    better off in the primary section... sorry. Or.. look under subjects...
    e.g. drama and see what´s going on. Good luck.
    This is for general CofE in scottish secondary schools ... at least that´s the focus of this thread.
    Anyway ...
    Thanks Mathsguy ...your insight and straightforward opinion was very welcome.
    Recently we had an in-service day involving 3schools ... 3 depts from the 3 schools met to talk about what had been done and where we could go... can go... what resources we could share etc etc Unfortunately, despite valiant efforts it just proved impossible to stretch ourselves so far... what time is actually timetabled for development work ... CPD ...where would this "development opportunity" fit in?.... etc how on earth does anyone think that anything of substance will be ready on time?
    What gets me is that the whole thing is a complete joke and we´re all groping about in the dark, searching for something that just isn´t there.... just wafting about in hot air really.
    So, would I be right in assuming that noone has anything ready? I mean materials not more rhetoric!


     
  12. The only thing that needs to be produced is a scheme of work. If you've been doing what the inspectors have been looking for over the last 5 years, then you should already have the resources you need. Investigative approaches, collaboration, cooperation, AIFL, ICT, real world contexts etc - there's nothing new here. If your lessons already include these, then you are ticking the boxes.
     
  13. On reflection, my last post was rather simplistic. :)
    There are, of course much more serious concerns with CFE, and these do need to be addressed, but the point I wanted to make was that if more of us looked at what we already do, we will probably find that CFE becomes a molehill. :)
     
  14. good point.
    BUT lining what we do now up to the so called "Learning Outcomes" that appeared somewhat late.. means that much has to be re-done.... not just re-invented. Which would mean for eg science... more materials, equipment etc and photocopying but... no money to do it.
    That´s if you worked in a motivated department... or, had the time available to generate such possibilities. Looking at the othe 2 departments recently.. they all appeared to be in the same boat.We have poked the whole thing gingerly with a long barge pole but have done nothing else...
    I hope those responsible for all this are kept in their positions till
    blame can be allocated appropriately... no doubt they´ll get booted up
    the slippery pole before the next brilliant initiative is pontificated
    to us...
    So, I conclude.... "we´re all doomed"


     
  15. You ever tried to blow up a balloon when someone is in front of you squashing it when it's half full of air? ;)

     
  16. I think the view for and against ACE will broadly depend upon the level of teaching experience. I do feel there is a level of naivety from some colleagues new to the profession, who have never worked through previous curricular changes and see ACE as some kind of panacea for the ills of Scottish education.
    Those who have been teaching during the 5-14 era, for all its faults, already have a wealth of curricular 'knowledge' to draw upon to ensure that their pupils continue to get the sound education they deserve and will use this to implement ACE coherently, embedding many good developments such as AiFL and seeing through all the 'fads' connected with education over the past few years e.g. critical skills, brain gym etc. which have no long lasting impact on day-to-day teaching, as a whole, and are no more than money spinners for those running the training days.
    A lot of colleagues are worried about how newer teachers will cope with outcomes that are more skills based and very opaque, particularly in relation to the foundations of maths and language, without which cross curricular work will become meaningless. There will be more inconsistency across stages, as some people will interpret the guidelines in their own particular way. This could seriously threaten standards.
    ACE depends upon a different way of planning and I have to laugh when I see people desperately looking for pre-written ACE planners etc. Such a thing should not exist! The guidance all leads towards the individual teacher planning to cater for the needs of his/ her particular class. My experience of working with students and new entrants is that they want things handed to them on a plate. Most experienced teachers will still remember, not in the too distant past, when every bit of a forward planner came from the inspiration of that person, not the bland photocopy of contents pages from textbooks, or pre written topic planners, used without question. If you don't have the appropriate knowledge or interest/ enthusiasm to invent your own materials, then ACE will be an uphill struggle for you.
    I am supportive of ACE in the hope that teachers can get back some of the autonomy that we have lost, but I will also cast a critical eye over future developments and be honest when staff discussions arise, having the experience to back up my views, rather than depending upon soundbites or following the latest craze like sheep.
     
  17. I am an old teacher and a very successful one. It is a load of rubbish. It has been created by people who dont teach and will lead to exactly that "No teaching"
     
  18. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    WOW!! Sorry, after your opinion on a music thread I wasn't expecting such a sensible post! From one old teacher to another - you are absolutely spot on Tim.
     
  19. How are we going to do that? Don't need money for ICT as they can get rid to ICT teachers and it can now be taught by any department.
     
  20. True story;

    HMIE: How are you preparing to implement ACfE?

    Private Sector Teacher: A Curriculum for Excrement you mean?

    HMIE: What do you mean by that?

    Private Sector Teacher: We all know it's a lot of s**t.

    There are so many things I could take issue with in maureen56' original post...not least the patronising tone.

    It is not "young" teachers who are viewing ACfE as a "panacea for the ills" of Scottish education...it is Government and LA bods who genuinely seem to believe that ACfE will change things for the better.

    Those of us (young and old) who actually work in the classroom all know that it is going to make things worse...there is confusion, there is anger, there is a lack of support. Nobody knows what is happening, when it is hapening or how it is going to happen.

    I like the idea that maureen56 has that somehow ACfE is in any way different to the other "fads" she talks about...it isn't. It is exactly the same and serves the same purpose...protecting those at LA level and making someone, somewhere money.

    What about this gem from maureen56...

    ACE depends upon a different way of planning and I have to laugh when I see people desperately looking for pre-written ACE planners etc. Such a thing should not exist! The guidance all leads towards the individual teacher planning to cater for the needs of his/ her particular class.

    I have to laugh at you maureen.

    You are seriously suggesting that I will be able to plan for each of my classes each day, each week, each month, each term and each year...forever? Without any sort of concrete guidance? Can I ask when I will do that? In the morning before school starts each day? During my non-contact time (when I am not taken for cover)? After school? At the weekend? During my holiday time? Will I be paid for that extra workload? Will I get paid more if the needs of a particular class are greater than the needs of anothers? Who will judge that?

    I would almost be willing to bet cold hard cash that you are in management, aiming for management, working for the LA, working for HMIe or somewhere else far away from the classroom.

    Who else wanted to punch something when they read this?

    If you don't have the appropriate knowledge or interest/ enthusiasm to invent your own materials, then ACE will be an uphill struggle for you.

    I've got as much knowledge, interest and enthusiasm as you or anyone else maureen56. I genuinely view my "job" as a blessing. I adore being an educator. The time I spend in my classroom with my pupils is the highlight of each and every day. I am motivated by a genuine desire to see them become happy and successful (that's a very different thing to wanting to see them pass exams, get to university or be wealthy) and I genuinely don't see anything in ACfE that will help in that.

    having the experience to back up my views

    What difference does experience have here maureen56?

    None at all.

    A day or a decade in teaching makes no difference in relation to this discussion.

    I have years of experience in senior management with two multi-national corporations...that doesn't make my views on anything any more valuable or relevant to anyone elses.

    I am not alone in thinking seriously about leaving teaching on the back of this shambolic state of affairs.

    I want to be in the classroom.

    I want to teach my subject.

    I do NOT want to be a CT.

    I do NOT want a promotion.

    I don't need more money.

    I just want to teach my subject and help my pupils.

    How does ACfE help me achieve that?

    It doesn't.
     

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