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The Uk 36 in the world for maths.

Discussion in 'Education news' started by oldsomeman, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    According to the news tonight we are 36 in the world for Maths.
    Yet I never understand how we get this low.Is Maths teaching really so poor and students so bad when they seem to be getting better A level results?
    How do they come to these conclusions about our level...and of course its being put down to poor teaching.
  2. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

  3. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Thanks Scintillant
    I have had a quick read through it but for me it raises more questions but not the answer to the above I asked...how do they grade so that we are seen in such a low standing?
    Once can argue, as the paper does, that poor questioning, poor teaching in terms of methodology to progress a learner . wrong approaches, inadequate training, poor knowledge and poor description of outcomes with some things or outcomes being judged wrongly as progress.
    It points out GCSE results are improving then debunks this as possible grade inflation....but little reference to other factors such as exam or curricula changes.Its almost a wish to challenge that what is taught is meaningless in raising scores for assessment..
    Do other countries follow this, or do for example socio/economic/cultural effects have more effect.Is the parental contribution undervalued along with the expectation by both the parent and the child.....and does commerce and industry have standards which measure what it wants differently.
    Nor is much said about the leadership of schools and departments .or if say the leavings/pushing out of older teachers has effect.or conversely those with new experience having a greater effect.
    Its along while since I have dipped my toe into to research reading..... so thank you for the link....but are all tests from all countries standerised.eg recently it seems China has refused to have wider results being taken from its country and still wants Shanghai to be its city of choice,thereby skewing the figures.
  4. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    If only OFSTED and Wilshaw were deemed responsible for our International rankings. Teachers are held responsible for their pupils results now, so why not? It happened while they were in charge...
  5. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    According to who? How was it measured? How many other countries were in the list? Were there any political motivations behind the announcement?

    I've given up trusting this nonsense as something that accurately measures academic achievement. (Except when I'm talking to Americans ;) )
    chelsea2 likes this.
  6. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    According to Google there are 196 countries in the world.
    36th puts us in the top 20%. The likelihood is that this is where the data points get close together and a slightly better or worse score has quite a big effect on position.
    Given the value that the UK actually puts on education in terms of funding, treatment of teachers, public value of maths and education, this placing seems about right.
    Why should we be best at it when we treat the delivery of the service so badly?
    Middlemarch likes this.
  7. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    Or it could just have been a case of lazy journalism?

    In the last PISA Maths scores, the UK came 26th. Who came in 36th? The US.

    Not the first time I've seen a UK news agency take US based education research, and then repeat it verbatim without thinking. They do the same thing with the impact of Summer holidays, where most US schools get from 12 to 14 weeks summer break compared to the UK's 6 weeks.
  8. Godmeister

    Godmeister Occasional commenter

    Yes all the reports I've read about the UK say 26th not 36th.
    wanet likes this.
  9. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    We are 86th in jumping on one leg.

    The question is, does this lead to young people who become happy tax paying, law abiding citizens? It is all very well saying, our capacity for poetry is on par with Vogons or our young people use their phones as calculators, but at the heart of it is: how do we measure our young people against those in other countries?
  10. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    Interestingly the 2012 report that the above figures are based on, also asked students how much they enjoyed / disliked school. The UK was well above the average with most European countries and the US coming lower, their students being more negative than ours. At the very bottom is South Korea.

    So if they are doing ok in Maths, Science and Reading, and seem to be enjoying school (largely), compared to most other countries, would that be a good start?
    cazzmusic1 and wanet like this.
  11. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    One of the issues that i see with Maths is that students can do exam questions because they have been taught a method to do so, but they don't have any real understanding of maths. When I was discussing this with an ex-maths teacher, it was sugested that this is often because most / many maths teachers now are not really mathmaticians, but have been retrained to teach maths.
    JL48 likes this.
  12. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    What I am concerned over is the spin which is stated as some great failure by our system and by implication those who deliver it.
    I think measurement of performance would only have effect if all children in the world sat the same exam/material at the same time i the same year and one set of markers marked them without reference to a country.
    What in these tests are we wanting? Understanding,ability to utilise concepts,ability to apply thinking or mere ability to answer a question. Its only testable if all pupils undertake the same exam with exactly the same input and with the socio/economic pressures being equal.
    Some where it showed a video of older pupils gaining and enjoying maths where the class room was a fluid place and the teacher was a developer of ideas rather than a mere presenter or teacher of methods.especially as Wanet says.Yet would we be allowed to undertake teaching in such a way. Pre NC I used to have sessions in primary where we worked as a whole class and the lesson was led rather than taught. the children gained a lot, learnt to over come problems, asked awkward questions and occasionally got answers and produced good research findings, etc.........sadly it died with NC.
  13. darklord11

    darklord11 Occasional commenter

    Just shows how all these fabulous changes and the watering down of our education system has benefitted the masses (NOT).
    Year on year improvements in the number of students getting the A* to C grade, but when compared to the rest of the world the truth comes out but nobody is held accountable except the teachers who teach what has been dictated to them by politicians and OFBOLLOCKS.

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