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Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by zik123, Apr 17, 2012.
Why it is important that pupils pass their mathematics GCSE before leaving Secondary schools?
Are you looking for a philosophical answer or a realistic answer or a cynical answer?
That was question asked from me at PGCE interview and therefor I suppose answer should be realistics.
Well, I suppose the realistic answer is that if we are to show progress in the mathematical understanding of students then there has to be some standardised, universally acceptable way of measuring that understanding.
The GCSE exam allows a measurement of that progress in a way that is readily understood and allows the students to apply for either future study or employment with the guarantee that a certain level of competence has been reached.
I, personally, am not too bothered about GCSEs. I am a HoD in a school which does not bother to sit any qualification at the age of 16 as it feels that the only qualifications that matter are those at 18.
and you said ...
Realistic for a PGCE student.
The cynical answer is for School League Tables.
Do you think then, that if we scrapped any quals other than those at 18 that we would raise the standard of general ed in England?
Qualifications are not the mark of general education in any country. All they are is a signpost to what has been learned and repeated in an exam.
At 18 one must do them in order to go on to the next phase of education, but that is it. the journey is what is important, not the piece of paper at the end of it.
Except in the case of GCSE maths (and English), obviously.
Both are "gateway" qualifications - many jobs (teaching included) require Maths & English GCSE at C or above.
So regardless of any other benefit, not having these two limits future life options.
Not that they have to be obtained before leaving school (the original question?), but certainly easier to obtain while at school because, well, it's not as if the kids are supposed to be doing anything else at the time.
Once out of school, the practicalities of life can easily get in the way of further study (though that can also be the time that motivaton arrives too).
I quite agree and I think I mentioned as such in my original reply.