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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.

  2. Yes, and I blame the national curriculum.

  3. Yes and I blame bad teaching.

  4. No. Just no.

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

  1. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    Didn't need to pass a 'skills test', that's for sure.
  2. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Telling the time and deciphering the 24 hour clock require subtraction skills. There are questions on the Numeracy Skills Tests that are timetable related. Being able to subtract 12 from a 24 hour clock given time is a relevant skill that sadly some supposedly intelligent people cannot master.

    Any teacher can be required to teach a subject that is not their specialism. With the scarcity of trained Maths teachers, more and more non-specialists will be called upon to teach Maths to lower sets and younger age groups in Secondary schools.
    Teachers could also be sent in to cover non-specialist subjects.
    Other teachers end up on supply and need to be all-rounders like Primary teachers.

    Your contention that a teacher can 'research or just ask' when they hit a basic mathematical problem that they can't manage to solve unaided is the thin end of the wedge. Why learn MFL when you can just input your mother tongue into google translate and get a response that is adequate for expressing the general meaning?
    Why learn anything when you can google it whenever the 'need to know' arises?
    jamiedoorknob likes this.
  3. Informant

    Informant New commenter

    I share your caution. I was a graduate recruiter in a large blue chip company before training to teach. Russell Group candidates were generally worthy of their reputation, but not always and certainly not to the exclusion of universities less successful at promoting their value. I worked with some great people from such different backgrounds.
  4. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    OK - so please explain the difference between being wrong and being 100% wrong. Is there one? I don't understand why you have included the 100%.
  5. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    gee....I still have to mentally subtract the 24 hour clock and double-check metric measurements - guess what, I WAS BORN IN ANOTHER COUNTRY where we do not use the 24-hour clock and still stick to the old fashioned imperial measurements and we do not use either. I still check on-line for cooking purposes and even had a handwritten card telling about conversion of celsius to farenheit in the minus AS I WAS BORN and LIVED IN ANOTHER COUNTRY and while I can mentally figure out the formula in the positive, rather tricky in the negative - and my home country still uses farenheit, so I am naturally more accustomed to what I grew up, so I am still have to take a minute to check timings -- oops!

    and.....guess what? I went to Oxford...(and graduated, too)
  6. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    [QUOTE="jubilee, post: Your contention that a teacher can 'research or just ask' when they hit a basic mathematical problem that they can't manage to solve unaided is the thin end of the wedge.
    Why learn anything when you can google it whenever the 'need to know' arises?[/QUOTE] -

    works for me - now see if you can explain the ablative in Latin and I will recite my times tables....

    ps. I did pass my maths and literacy skills tests, but the maths was hard for me; the literacy one was a joke - I wanted to correct the badly written sentences.
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  7. jamiedoorknob

    jamiedoorknob Occasional commenter

    Speaking as a graduate of a Russell Group uni I have no problem with this at all.
    wanet likes this.
  8. jamiedoorknob

    jamiedoorknob Occasional commenter

  9. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    You're right @jamiedoorknob. People in glass houses ...

    [QUOTE="jamiedoorknob, post: 11507661, member: 6747402"]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.[/QUOTE]
    cissy3 and sabrinakat like this.
  10. jamiedoorknob

    jamiedoorknob Occasional commenter

    Spelling mistakes, I'll grant you that.

    But "worse" instead of "worst" sounds illiterate.
  11. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    How do you know that my error was not a typo? I touch type and e and t are close together on a keyboard. Whereas your errors are grammatical: omitting an apostrophe to denote a contraction (it's) and using a noun instead of a verb (practise) are inexcusable, particularly as you claim you graduated from a Russell Group university.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
    cissy3 and sabrinakat like this.
  12. jamiedoorknob

    jamiedoorknob Occasional commenter

    The old green eyed monster, is it?

    Where do you claim to have graduated from, if anywhere?
  13. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    A Russell Group university just like you.
  14. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    If you don't understand, then start a conversation with me and I'll explain it to you - wouldn't want to embarrass someone who fails to understand basic English on an open forum.
  15. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    It would be a very poor secondary school that required a teacher - even with GCSE/Key Skills Test passes - to teach Maths....

    As it happens I taught a number of other subjects when asked to, but those requiring Maths? No.
  16. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    And I've met some who find Maths difficult.

    Plus some from Russell Group unis who were complete
    [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]
  17. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I've met some on this site, too. Just saying.....
    snowyhead and Vince_Ulam like this.
  18. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Quite agree @sabrinakat. Some are more 'knobbier' (if that's a word) than others.
    cissy3 likes this.
  19. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Someone who understands maths wouldn't talk about something being 100% wrong. This implies that you can be 1% wrong or 0.1% or 99% etc etc. You are using percentages in an inappropriate situation, unless you can explain what different percentages of wrongness look like. If you needed a condition their totally might be appropriate but not 100% in this case.
    snowyhead likes this.
  20. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    If you've not heard that phrase used in this way, you need to brush up on your literacy.

    Maybe the tests ARE needed for the likes of you....

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