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The pressure isn't just on the teachers

Discussion in 'Education news' started by monicabilongame, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter


    The system is teaching people that your best isn’t good enough, that you must constantly try harder and that one bad result makes you a failure. Success is measured by how well you remember the criteria on a given day. How can we justify putting the health of children on the line for an exam board’s definition of achievement?

    Next year the government’s new GCSEs and A-levels take effect and the grading switch from letters to numbers is not the only thing that will change. The introduction of one final exam in place of multiple modules means students will now only have one chance. One set of answers will mark the difference between success and failure.

    How can it make sense for us to be deemed responsible enough, at 16, to make decisions that shape the rest of our lives when we’re not responsible enough to vote for the people making these decisions?
  2. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    It's become like a group of super-competitive mums vying with each other to get their offspring potty trained first. "mine was trained at 13 months, well mine managed at 9 months"

    Except it's the politicians vying with other countries to get the children through the greatest number of hoops.

    It will only end when the politicians listen and the evidence is that they don't know how.
    Eureka! likes this.
  3. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Oh they know how, it's the who to they have a problem with. Right now money and leadership status talks, and it is talking very loudly and disparagingly about any lower ranked staff in the public sector.
    These are the voices the govt chooses to hear, and most often and unsurprisingly that turns out to be each other and their donor 'mates'.
  4. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    [My highlighted section] Those of my generation - and lots of years before & after too, only had one chance, with no retakes/no coursework.
    wanet, InkyP and RedQuilt like this.
  5. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    And did that work for your generation @FolkFan?

    Or even my generation... was the same for me. But then at university they suddenly had modules and points you acquired and I found it ... liberating.
  6. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    It worked pretty well for most of those I was at school with - at least we did our work ourselves, and it wasn't done by parents/friends (coursework) or teachers (controlled assessments) as has clearly happened in more recent years. It seems a fairer system, tbh.
    wanet, RedQuilt and lanokia like this.
  7. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I was going to be flippant but I'll just speak plainly: Panic attacks are natural. That Miss Vogt-Vincent has experienced panic attacks is not a sign that the education system has destroyed her health or that the education system is ruining the lives of young people. She needs some perspective. I don't blame her for being a sensitive teenager but I do not think that a page from a teenage diary is an imperative for extending EYFS into Secondary. We've gone too far with SEN, no further.

    wanet likes this.
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I'm 57. I took O levels in 1974, A levels in 76 and my first degree finals in 79. Apart from 1 dissertation (which you couldn't plagiarise) replacing one of my degree finals papers, all my exams were based on final exams. And at GCSE and A level, there was more than on paper for each subject, too. No 'open book' exams - they were all entirely unseen, with no resources, etc allowed in the exams.

    It was all down to me, how much I learned in class and at home and how much revision I did. I don't recall anyone I knew breaking down with stress.
  9. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I'm about the same age, Middlemarch, and I agree. In fact, I would say there was less stress because exams and assessments (I don't think I knew that word!) didn't carry on all year round.

    However, we represented a much smaller proportion of our age group. If you couldn't revise and remember you didn't get to university.
    Middlemarch, wanet and Noja like this.
  10. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I think it works for a lot of people. I don't like modules. I don't understand why lots of little assessments are less stressful than one bigger one - it's a longer period of focus.
    But then I used to love study leave and exams.
    wanet and Mangleworzle like this.
  11. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I confess to being torn between the two. I liked modules at university. I liked end of year exams at school.

  12. drek

    drek Star commenter

    The module system is far too open to abuse, and the latest generation of outstanding leaders seem to have come (suspiciously, I might add), from the modular ( top two GCSE sets) or coursework route (100 percent distinction and 6 or seven levels of progress....?!!!).
    And the amount of testing entire year groups have to endure to make sure that these future leaders have the top performing students beggars belief!
    They then try to run performance appraisals on the same basis, which is one of many reasons it is now a corrupted mess.
    Imagine someone applying media or advertising analysis to student results and then rag rating teachers on performance, against each other. (Shudder)
    The adverts I get from Google ad services makes me shudder in the same way.
    I once bought a pair of leather shoes, and some text books online, so their ad services and data analytical software keep sending me ads based on things I'm not remotely interested in, ( think leather goods), and would never buy in a million years.
  13. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    It is a shame that so many people cannot think of a role for education beyond "academic rigour". There is scope for it, of course, but I would suggest it is best left until after 16 - the A level stage, if you like. The issue of whether modules or big final exams are best is a minor issue, compared to the ridiculousness of foisting academic subjects and exams onto kids in the first place. It is artificial, and unforgivable. It will only have one major outcome - to pi55 whole layers of students off even more while the middle classes rub their hands with glee.

    Dinosaurs, most of you!
  14. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    It is blatantly stupid, I agree Monica. Before young people make big decisions, they need to have a meaningful period in their lives where they are learning, growing, and developing as much as possible. Middle class children, and very bright children will be OK - they generally have more motivation to do well at 16. But a lot of kids will have been badgered and bored to learning oblivion by the time they reach 16, and they will not do well. Minds will not have been switched on, they will have closed - possibly for life.
    lanokia likes this.
  15. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Hurray, you said something I liked:

  16. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I to am of the generation when we had a one off exams and that's yourlot....mind you as a secondary mod child we didn't have GCE.Those i had to wait till the 197o'S to take along with my A levels, and like many it was sit down and write exams. Also similar was my RHS exam, HNC exams,HND exams, teacher training exams for my Certificate and OU exams for my degree.
    I wil say though that the level of knowledge require then and today needs to be examined and for some the level has fone u p and some it has gone down

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