1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Would this solve teacher shortages - almost at a stroke?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Nonentity, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Established commenter

    What I understand the OP to be suggesting; cut "traditional" teachers to 1-2 specialists in each department. Give all students lessons with these specialists however often the timetable allows. The rest of the time, stick them on a computer with an adult to supervise.
    I know I am taking your suggestion to the extreme, but this is where it would eventually lead. It may be inevitable, but there are some of us that want to fight this, for all the reasons already given already.
    The teacher shortage is a symptom. Trying to manage it or cope with it is wrong. We need to attack the cause.
    Laphroig and EmanuelShadrack like this.
  2. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    No I haven't any experience in IT projects - which is why I asked for thoughts. Given the two alternatives though, do you not think that my suggested solution would lead to a better outcome than the situation where there are teacher shortages?

    In answer to your question as to who they are a problem for: clearly the pupils, the cover staff, the staff in the department, the school as a whole - in fact everyone!
  3. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Lead commenter

    A splendid summary.
    Laphroig likes this.
  4. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    I am not suggesting anything of the sort.

    First of all, the smaller classes I suggest would be a vast improvement, that's one of the main things you pay for in the independent sector. Secondly the extra funding that NOT replacing the teacher with a human creates would benefit the school and the pupils. The phrase 'stick them on a computer' is misleading. Better to say 'enrol on an interactive online course'.

    I only started looking at such courses yesterday and that's what lead me to start this thread. Looking at the case studies, the courses seem to save teacher hours and (the best ones) enable students to learn at their own pace - and very quickly

    So smaller classes, online learning, less stress, spare funds versus supply teachers, inconsistency, uncertainty.

    IF the courses are good then surely this is the way forward?
  5. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    My suggested solution does not mean the cause cannot be attacked.

    Also all this 'attack the cause' is all very well. Meanwhile after half term in some schools a teacher will be missing.
  6. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Established commenter

    I know I was taking it to the extreme, but that is how any SLT/MAT will execute it.
    You should have made that if even bigger! From what I've seen, where this system is used, standards drop.
    Why are they missing? 10 years ago it would have been very unusual for any teacher to have handed in their notice within the first few weeks. What's driven them out?
  7. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    where have you seen online learning replace formal teaching?

    I know three cases where teachers have just handed in their notice owing to a) promotion and b) pregnancy. I also know of a vacancy just arisen where the teacher due to fill it in September, went on holiday and decided to emigrate.

    But that's not the point

    I am contrasting the accepted way of trying to deal with a teacher shortage and the online way...
  8. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Lead commenter

    Personally I don't think a technological solution would lead to a better outcome. We'd have to agree too in what exactly a "better outcome" would be. If you measure it in cash saved, then yes, I might have to concede the point. Better still just abolish teaching altogether. You wouldn't even have to pay for software licences then - another substantial saving.

    Decent technology has been around for quite a while now. How come such a solution isn't already up and running? It's because it's not as easy as first imagined. Projects are like that. Even relatively simple projects such as the Houses of Parliament, or the Garden Bridge, have suffered from this.

    With regard to the question about who it's a problem for, by and large it's only a problem for the teaching teachers and the pupils. It's not really a problem for anyone else. So personally I don't see where the desire to change is going to come from.
    Laphroig likes this.
  9. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    Better outcome:

    a. smaller classes for pupils and all that entails in terms of personal attention
    b. real time measurement of progress and report generation
    c. less absenteeism (maybe) as progress is definitely made. you'll fall behind
    d. funds freed up for other resources
    e. more motivated pupils
    f. continuity

    In terms of the 'decent technology' comment....

    Kids are more acclimatised to online learning
    I assume online learning platforms are constantly improving

    Just google 'A level online learning' and companies will be shown
  10. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Established commenter

    A segment of the BBC documentary "Billion dollar deals and how they changed the world" that looked at how it has been used in America. Think it was part 3 if you want to watch on iPlayer.
  11. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    Thanks, I will take alook
  12. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Lead commenter

    Here's my current opinion on those points, for what it's worth. If some new evidence turns up, I might well change my opinion.

    a. Haven't looked through the figures. Other posters have questioned the numbers though.
    b. Why is this so good? Because it pleases OFSTED. It does nothing for "improving standards"
    c. Questionable. I'd like to see the evidence.
    d. I am sure that if any funds are freed up, they would NOT be used for investing in the existing solution
    e. Questionable. I'd like to see the evidence.
    f. Possibly

    Just for the record, I'm not some sabot-rattling Luddite who fears anything new. I've just seen various "magic bullet" solutions for all sorts of problems, and they're never quite as Utopian as was first hoped. Furthermore, there are always new problems that arise from these magical solutions. Whatever happened to the paperless office? And what about the future lives of leisure we'd all be leading, when automation takes away all the drudgery?

    Education in the future will certainly be a lot different than how it is now. However human nature, and in particular the qualities of self-discipline and self-motivation, hasn't changed in thousands of years.
    Laphroig likes this.
  13. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    a) I gave a number of different scenarios.
    b) it does everything for saving teacher time in supplying data
    c) I did say 'maybe'
    d) unless you have canvassed every single school you cannot say that based on evidence. But there is no doubt the funds COULD be
    e) again, maybe but when compared to a string of supply teachers, continued large classes....
    f) definitely. Teacher missing? what chapter are you on? OK, disc IV
  14. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Lead commenter

    I forgot to mention the IT issues that would arise. (And they certainly WOULD arise). For example:
    • network maintenance
    • network security, e.g. against malware
    • outsourcing of IT expertise (as illustrated in the latest British Airways fiascos)
    Any cost-benefits would have to take the above into account too.
    Laphroig likes this.
  15. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    Yes almost certainly IT would have to be improved - more benefits for the whole school, especially if financed by the savings on replacement teacher.
  16. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    You're way behind the times - this has been on the cards for at least the past 5 to 10 years or so.

    Yes - it is a cheap way of providing education. But it only really works with a knowledge based curriculum that's obsessed with exams and terminal assessment. (Which is what the English education system has sadly turned into.)

    You do realise that people have posted about this, and the link between a deliberately created teacher shortage, and how it would inevitably lead to a privatised for profit education system? It's not an accident you know . . .
  17. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    My suggestion still remains, though. Whatever the causes, surely this 'solution' however unpalatable, is better than going without a teacher owing to the shortage?

    Where is your evidence for the deliberately created teacher shortage? I ask that because there are many vacancies in independent schools too where classes are smaller, pay tends to be higher and you're more likely to get a free lunch!
  18. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    Which is exactly why they created the situation. Evidence?? I saw it coming years ago. It's what the tories do when they want to privatise something - run it into the ground, automate it/ deprofessionalise the workforce and sell it off. Once you've been through a few cycles, you can see it coming. The edu tech companies have been trying to flog this vision of education for years - usually with plenty anti teacher red meat as we are apparently 'old fashioned' and 'set in our ways'.

    As for the indys - a) the state sector sets the tone and b) why do you think that the HMC tried to set up their own route to QTS with Buckingham? They saw it coming, and they know that a quality product involves qualified (in the looser sense) teachers. Tech . - although a great additional tool - simply doesn't cut the mustard.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  19. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    My question remains, though
  20. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    Which one?

Share This Page