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What teacher shortage? The numeracy test stops trainees in their tracks

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Vince_Ulam, Nov 23, 2015.

?

Are teaching candidates getting more stupid?

  1. Yes, and I have no idea why.

    21.1%
  2. Yes, and I blame the national curriculum.

    24.6%
  3. Yes and I blame bad teaching.

    3.5%
  4. No. Just no.

    47.4%
  5. No, 21st Century teachers don't need to know that much.

    3.5%
  1. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Presumably, unqualified teachers don't have to do these skills tests? Yet they are allowed to 'teach'.....TAs in primary schools regularly do maths & English lessons - but they don't have to sit the skills tests.

    If they are so important, surely anyone allowed to 'teach' should have passed these tests?
     
    kent1 likes this.
  2. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Try digging out an 11Plus exam from the late 60s and getting a passing mark! I always give my A Level students 70s O Level papers as revision, it sorts the thinkers out from the..........
     
  3. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Show them an Additional Maths paper; that would frighten even some of the better A-level students!
     
  4. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Hmmm - I remember getting full marks on a mock O level maths paper in the 70s - because I had learned every formula, every rule by rote, and was intelligent. Yet no way could I be described as a mathematical 'thinker' - just someone with (in those days) a good memory. My maths teacher wasn't fooled: she still gave me C+ on my maths report.
     
  5. TonyGT

    TonyGT Established commenter

    You keep going on about evidence as if the lack of it proves your point, which it doesn't in any way. Of course there is no evidence because, as I am sure know (I'd be a bit worried if you actually believed that the lack of evidence proves you right) there has been no data collection or research in to this. We have no evidence that trained firefighters are better at tackling fires than regular people without experience, but that doesn't mean they're not. We also have no evidence that training pilots to fly commercial planes is any better than sending up untrained 11 year olds, but that doesn't mean they're not.

    This entire issue seems to be related to the recent epidemic of 'special little snowflake syndrome' that now seems to exist on a mass scale. You can be whatever you want to be, and if someone or something stops you, then it's the fault of the obstacle, not you. Nothing is your fault!!! You are perfect! If you've wanted to be a teacher since you were 13, then it's your god-given right.

    In the real world, you're not owed a living. if you can't pass a simple high school maths test with years to prepare then you're not fit to be a teacher. Aside from testing actual mathematical skill - it's a pretty decent indicator of basic intelligence. I wouldn't want someone teaching my children who couldn't perform the basic calculations we expect an 11 year old to do. You can't just use the excuse "well I don't teach Maths". Numeracy and literature are supposed to be embedded across the curriculum. You can't just live in your little History bubble not being able to do basic multiplication because you never need it. What message is that to the kids you expect to learn about the Weimar Republic?
     
  6. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

  7. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    If there is no evidence, and no-one can be bothered to seek any, then this proves that the introduction of QTS skills Tests had nothing to do with raising standards, but was purely a political gesture. Why not admit it?

    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]


    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]


    'High school' - so you're not British then?

    'Apart from testing actual mathematical skill - it's a pretty decent indicator of basic intelligence' - really? Evidence for that statement, please. Or are these just more ravings?

    'I wouldn't want someone teaching my children who couldn't perform the basic calculations we expect an 11 year old to do' - even if they were teaching them art? Drama? History? French? [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]

    'You can't just live in your little History bubble not being able to do basic multiplication because you never need it' - actually I probably could. But as a former member of SLT, with an NPQH, responsible for the timetable at one time, for employing supply cover etc. I never had any problems about using numbers. Probably do it better than you. But that doesn't mean I agree with QTS tests.

    'What message is that to the kids you expect to learn about the Weimar Republic?' - wonder why you chose this example?

    BTW I didn't teach 'the kids' - pupils or students, depending on their age.


    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
     
  8. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Yes.
     
  9. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Established commenter

    Speaking from a primary perspective they are crucial. I also think it's better that you can't resit them as many times as you want either. If you qualify to teach primary then you should have the skills and subject knowledge to teach what the children are expected to learn.
     
  10. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Don't forget to vote in the poll, you lovely people.
     
  11. jamiedoorknob

    jamiedoorknob Occasional commenter

    Totally agree. I've recently been asked to tutor primary maths even though I teach a non numerate secondary subject. Primary teachers in their 20s can't do it because they haven't been taught arithmetic properly and they don't know how to do the calculations. The kids are taught about diagrams and fancy things but basic arithmetic seem to be a dirty word.

    Its shocking to think teachers have difficulty doing a simple mental arithmetic test. We were drilled so much at primary school that I can still do it in my sleep. Its the fault of the national curriculum but as you say it is also a mark of basic intelligence. If they haven't been taught arithmetic its easy enough to practice it before the test. It used to be that 7 year olds could do it and if entrants to the teaching profession can't do it they shouldn't be allowed to teach.
     
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  12. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Not sure when you went to primary school @jamiedoorknob but mental arithmetic wasn't drilled when I was at primary school forty odd years ago. Some people look back at our education system through rose-tinted spectacles, although I do agree the NC has much to answer for.
     
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  13. jamiedoorknob

    jamiedoorknob Occasional commenter

    I went to primary school in the 80s. I don't know what point you are trying to make.
     
  14. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    While I liked your post, I do wonder why history has become the forum whipping boy!

    Some of us got A-Level Maths you know!

    [yeah ok I did really badly, it was a mistake but I got an A-Level in it!]
     
    jamiedoorknob likes this.
  15. jamiedoorknob

    jamiedoorknob Occasional commenter

    Some people think arts graduates are thick and the student in the OP has a degree in English Literature.

    But there's a world of difference between Eng Lit at a Russell Group uni and a degree from somewhere you've never heard of
     
  16. waikatoriv

    waikatoriv New commenter

    In my opinion candidates for teacher training should not have to sit these tests. They are unnecessary and don't make anyone a better teacher. They will exclude some very good potential teachers. You have to have a degree anyway (and by implication they will have passed GCSE maths at grade C or above of course) and if they want to teach maths or science then they will have covered maths at a higher level anyway. You wont use the skills tested in these tests, and if by chance you do then you'd be able to work it out or ask or research. An example from the test: who would ever need to work out a fraction of a fraction in their day to day life, teaching or otherwise?! You might need to work out fractions but you would use actual numbers to work out your fraction from or you would use percentages. But fractions of fractions, I doubt it! I have just glanced at these test by the way. If they are going to insist that would-be teachers sit a maths test then they need to have more relevant maths skills tested, and better designed questions!
     
  17. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    My point? I am of the opinion that your assumption
    ergo today's young people are not exposed to mental arithmetic training due to the introduction of the NC, is flawed. How many primary mathematics lessons have you taught or observed over the past ten years?
     
  18. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Not the subject nor all its teachers.
     
  19. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

  20. jamiedoorknob

    jamiedoorknob Occasional commenter

    My evidence is based on the fact that parents are so unhappy with the quality of teaching that they need a tutor to fill in the gaps. Children aren't being taught the basics.
     

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