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Think of . . .

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by bigjimmy2, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    . . . attainment before CfE was implemented, and after.
    . . . attainment in your own subject before CfE was implemented, and after.
    . . . attainment in your own school before CfE was implemented, and after.
    . . . basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills before CfE was implemented, and after.
    . . . your workload before CfE was implemented, and after.

    Now think of the hours you work now, and your overall workload.
    Now think of the hours and overall workload of every teacher in the country, in every school in the land.

    My question is: has the implementation of CfE really been worth it?
    If all teachers' workload has increased, say, by around only 10%, has attainment risen by the same amount? If it had then I would be the first to admit CfE was a resounding success. I would still moan about the increase in hours (and remember, 10% is only 3.5 hours!) but would judge that against the equivalent rise in attainment and probably think CfE was "a good thing".

    But despite the huge increase in workload, the huge amount of effort put in with minimum support, there has been no improvement in attainment at all.
    Conclusion? CfE is a waste of time.
  2. Potatoes005

    Potatoes005 Occasional commenter

    I wasn't teaching classes at the implementation of CFE. I got out just before it really started.

    Why did I get out? Because after talking about it for six years I realised they weren't joking.

    Has it made a blind bit of difference to the educational prowess of our young people?
    Was it worth any of the hassle to teachers or the cost?
    My conclusion.
    A complete and utter waste of time and resources.
    In five years time, it'll be something else.
  3. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    To say that CfE is a waste of time is to vastly understate the problem. A huge amount of time and effort has been wasted working on a 'development' that was not needed. The case for CfE was never made. The SNP led government could have stopped CfE in its tracks but chose not to do so - preferring to listen to a self-promoting 'guru' that most teachers have never heard of, rather than the real experts, classroom teachers. That in itself indicates that CfE was politically driven rather than educationally driven.

    The fall-out to date is that educational attainment has fallen, teacher morale has plummeted and essential subjects have disappeared from the curriculum. Before CfE every secondary in a certain northern shire had a Computing Department; now less than 1/2 offer some form of Computing Science. That is directly attributable to CfE and the Faculty system.
  4. aspensquiver

    aspensquiver Star commenter

    National 5 English is a HUGE improvement. Higher has been made easier.
  5. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    I wonder who - politician or educational guru or whatever - will have the courage to cut our losses and call a halt to it? Someone will have to tell the Emperor.
  6. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I've said it before,N5 and New Higher are fine in my subject. I'm hating the junior phase more and more.
    Freddie92 likes this.
  7. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    I was at a meeting last month when I dared to ask a (useless and over promoted) QIO when we would actually get some evaluation forms on the success (or otherwise) of CFE. After all we have to complete evaluation garbage on everything else.

    I don't see these coming to my pigeon hole or inbox in the near future.

    There was nothing wrong with most of what we did before (and I'm still doing 95% of it). The exams needed updating and tweaking and there would be variations across the curriculum as to the amount of changes per subject.

    What we've had is a huge pile of s h i t e dropped on us from a very great height and the rancid smell (in the form of the nondescript BGE and the incompetence of the SQA) is continuing to linger. The basic skills (reading, writing and counting) are being eroded away whilst kids spend time compiling Powerpoints, cutting and pasting from the web and faffing about doing meaningless guff.
    Freddie92 likes this.
  8. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    If people are still doing 95% of what they did before why has workload changed so much?

    As for literacy, I remember handing out Level B and C national tests to kids in S1 and S2. Were the skills really so much better under 5-14?
  9. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    I would agree with Catmother. N5 and Higher are fine.

    The BGE is a shambles. Utter shambles.
  10. subman68

    subman68 Occasional commenter

    Freddie how can Nat 5 be fine when it is now a task of how the teacher can get the kid to pass the assessment rather than giving them a National test which they had to sit.

    The GTCS is now full of teachers being disciplined because they are "over helping" pupils pass assessments. Some subjects don't even have an exam it is all done in the classroom. We then have teachers being told pupils must achieve. Are we shocked that teachers then end up doing to much to drag the pupil to the finish line?
  11. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Sounds like something has gone seriously wrong in Scottish Education. Who would have thought it???
    A robust system works by command and control - it appears that the 'control' side has failed. Who is paid to be responsible for 'control'? How about Faculty Heads in the first instance? That is not to absolve the classroom teacher from basically 'cheating'. Referral to the GTCS should be a last resort.
  12. Marco82

    Marco82 Established commenter

    The clue to how useless it is lies in the very name. So typical of the Scottish education establishment which overhypes everything it does and claims that "the eyes of the world" are looking enviously towards us. The annoying thing is that to challenge the so called experts you would need to dedicate years of your life drawing up a case and so they end up winning because they can hide behind the mountains of sheer tripe they produce on a daily basis. I have come to the view that, to preserve your sanity, you just have to ignore the **** - to the extent that you can - and carry on doing what you know in your bones as a professional to be right. It is depressing, though, to think of the money these people get paid for doing so very little and in such an incompetent manner. I mean, have you seen how many mistakes there are in the material they produce, NARs included? Quality control is a foreign word to them. And the level of the NARs in my subject is incredible, each and every one of them is at least one level above what it should be, that is Higher is more flitted to Advanced Higher etc. A couple of questions to finish. How do you deal with NARS in your school? I have heard that some schools are ignoring them and only doing them in case of an appeal or moderation. And on the point raised in a post above, how do you know about the number of teachers being referred to GTCS? Is there any way of finding out about this?
  13. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    You're missing the point.

    The teaching is much the same but the recording and assessing is the burden. Devise your own assessments, get them verified, cross reference with all those effin assessment outcomes and then crunch the number in spreadsheets and tracking systems. A total joke.
  14. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

  15. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    The reason some pupils were working towards Level B and C under 5-14, when they transferred from P7 to S1, was because that was an accurate reflection of their academic ability in English Language and Mathematics.

    There would also be pupils, from the same P7 class, working at Level D or E, in English and Maths, when they transferred to secondary - that is, working at, or above, the level that most pupils should be able to achieve by the end of primary school.

    Unfortunately, the powers-that-be want the electorate to believe that all pupils have roughly the same potential academic ability and any lack of performance must, therefore, be attributed to a failure on the part of schools and teachers.

    If some pupils were working at Level B or C at the end of P7, it was highly unlikely that they would 'catch up' or 'close the gap' and be working at Level E, or above, by the end of S2; yet that was the unrealistic expectation placed on schools.

    All the discussion, at the time, about secondary teachers not being able to trust primary school National Tests/Assessments because of teaching to the test, inappropriate teacher support and resultant grade inflation, was no more significant than the very same practices that higher education institutions complained about in secondary schools keen to artificially improve their standing in league tables.

    Secondary teachers were just as capable as primary teachers of working out, fairly quickly, which pupils were able, above average, average or below average in terms of academic ability or, indeed, had significant learning difficulties.

    So, what has a CfE done to improve measured performance in English and Maths?

    Well, if we are to believe a recent survey, performance in literacy and numeracy has fallen since the introduction of a CfE. To be honest, I am not surprised.

    The school inspectorate has been very critical of any primary school that does not have pupils out of their seats playing educational games for a large part of the school day. They have also been critical of too much 'teacher directed' learning and of not allowing pupils to decide what they want to learn about in the school curriculum. Add to that the ridiculously overloaded primary curriculum and the pointless, box-ticking, pupil-tracking bureaucracy, and it is not difficult to see why a significant percentage of pupils are now performing below their academic ability in English and Maths.

    The time available for literacy and numeracy has been squeezed and squeezed, continuously over the last thirty years, and the government, and school inspectorate, are responsible for that, by insisting on a 'broad and balanced' (and ever expanding) curriculum. They now even want primary pupils to learn two additional modern languages before they have even had time to acquire reasonable proficiency in their first language.

    Most significantly, I suspect it is the average and below average pupils who are suffering the most in the acquisition of numeracy and literacy skills under the rationale, and teaching methods, of a CfE.

    Why? I would suggest, that whilst their more able classmates can adapt more readily to different methods of teaching, average, and below average, pupils tend to lose out when there is a lack of structure in the curriculum. What they need to make optimum progress, in English and Maths, are regular routines and lots of practice and reinforcement.

    Oh yes, and it helps if you have smaller classes, an uncluttered curriculum and the provision of regular, small group learning support.
  16. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Music has not changed - a quaver is still a quaver, Beethoven's compositions still sound the same, I continue to speak individually to all my kids about their progress + next steps, encourage them to listen to their own performances and evaluate, listen to others and peer- evaluate. The difference is I no longer have time for a choir, after school/lunchtime groups or take pupils to experience live music. The whole thing stinks - Pots had the right idea and was lucky to escape. I have had a few Foundation/General kids who loved music but were relatively poor academically - today they would be Nat 3 which is meaningless.
    I am bitter because I missed PT promotion by a matter of weeks and went down the Fachead route, with a FH who couldn't have cared less about my (very successful at the time) dept. I moved schools and am happy where I am. School I moved from cannot get a music teacher so 100s of kids are missing out (mainly younger ones) and it will take a saint to build it up again (a daft saint I may add, sadly)

    Thank God my own kids are finished with school and I will be encouraging any grandchildren I may have (their parents I mean) to go to the best school they can find - probably in central Scotland. What a shambles.
  17. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    I am an intense critic of 'Curriculum for Excellence' as is because of what I was once told on a course many years ago - 2008 to be precise - and then what I saw unfold.

    A man I respect and whose words I still abide by - Brian Boyd - championed Keir Bloomer's vision and the "woolly liberal" or "vitally creative" Finnish/Australian concept of secondary as pupil-driven, actively inter-disciplinary and quite organic - near Monty Python-esque in its insistence on a non-boring non-rows-of-desks learning environment.

    The idea of throughlines of learning was meant to have been adopted - the room for (especially NQTs) colleagues to go off on wild ideas of how to learn and no "come-uppance" for honourable failures.

    However I feel two things happened. The suits had to implement and run the thing and had to sell it to workaday teachers. So there was no training in this inspirational new era of teaching because (a) there was no money and (b) the suits implementing it were uninspired - talked a good game but were not convinced themselves (and why the pompous filibustering Mike Russell was given the job of seeing it through and remaining in charge of it for a while is anyone's guess. That made me flee the SNP just as ex-Labourites were clambering aboard!)

    We were promised the Starship Enterprise with several holodecks and instead got twenty Haynes manuals for combine harvesters. A warped version of the old exam system has been introduced as "something, anything new!!!" and the multi-textual ideas of CfE have been murdered from it. Paper, paper, templates and dubious margins for success and failure have been introduced to make the system seem bleakly, miserably and dully "credible" to the "taxpayer".

    What an awful, dreary, extended death throe to a promising concept it has been.
    Flere-Imsaho likes this.
  18. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I think the spreadsheets and tracking appears at school and LA level and that it would have appeared in those particular schools and LAs regardless of curricum change.
  19. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Under the FOIS [Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act] you can request information from the GTCS and they have to provide it to you. The same applies to the SQA.

    Look at: http://www.gtcs.org.uk/home/foi.aspx
  20. inthered

    inthered Occasional commenter

    I can see no advantages in this ridiculous and appalling system other than financial (fewer exams, make teachers make up assessments themselves etc etc), and in my subject, it has become easier to pass N5 than it ever was to pass Credit level (NOT a good thing - leads to delusions of ability) and easier to pass Higher - NOT because the kids are any better but because more of the 'exam' is internally assessed. Kids leave being able to creak out a few phrases about employability or mobile phones but can't ask where the train station is in French. It's so far beyond absurd I can't express my concerns without dissolving into frothing rage.
    lescargot likes this.

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