Parents role in Education ?


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Profile Chris S
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Message 1184968 - Posted: 13 Jan 2012, 14:44:07 UTC
Last modified: 13 Jan 2012, 14:48:19 UTC

Oh gosh, I promised myself that I wouldn't start so many threads this year, as I have so many other commitments, but I simply couldn't ignore this one ... Michael Gove, the UK Education Secretary, has announced the following :-

Parents should ask to go into classrooms – in sensible numbers – to see how their children’s learning is progressing.

‘In the Far East, they regard every classroom as an open place. If a parent wants to come to observe a lesson, they think [that's] fantastic,’ he said.

‘If a parent says, I would like to come along and watch when my children are being taught, then I think teachers should not be afraid and encourage that level of commitment.’

Total poppycock, I cannot think of a better recipe for disaster. The main criteria for a successful lesson are :-
    • Has Learning taken place? i.e. have the students obtained extra knowledge?
    • Has this learning process been enjoyable for the students?
    • Has this learning taken place in a safe environment? e.g. both physical and psychological?
    • Has Equality been demonstrated? i.e, equal attention given to the slowest as well as the brightest students?

The average parent would not be able to assess a lesson in those ways without prior training, and without a natural bias. We all know what would happen don't we. The kid would say to it's parents that they disliked a certain teacher, and the parents would go into that class with a pre-conceived idea. The moment that little Johnny misbehaves because his mum is there, and the teacher tries to deal with it, Mum will wade in with "Don't you talk to my child that way..."

The other parts of his statement address poor teachers, Annual appraisements, and ways to get rid of them earlier, which is to be welcomed. But parents in the classroom is a no-no from day 1.

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Message 1184985 - Posted: 13 Jan 2012, 16:28:02 UTC

We made the mistake of turning the education of our children to the "professionals" without oversight. The result is our children are being raised by progressive and being taught by the latest untested idea in education instead of time tested methods of teaching. For some people this might be ideal but many others find this is not meeting with the values they want their child to have.

Some people in our country have resorted to home schooling the give their children values they approve of and in testing their children do far better that public schooled children. You are being given what you should demand and that is the ability to ensure your child is receiving a proper (by your standards) education.

When I was in school, I was the product of some of the educational fads (no parent involvement and no Phonics). As the results, it always seemed like I was a year or two behind. I know what I am talking about and it's good to see that others are making the right decision in education.

Think of the value you would least like to have your child taught. How would you feel if they started teaching it to your child without telling you about it and without letting you check on the class room progress. This is why you must take a very active role in you child's education.
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Message 1185010 - Posted: 13 Jan 2012, 18:21:54 UTC

The moment they try and hide stuff from inspection, you know there is a rotten apple in the barrel and they know it too are are conspiring to hide it which is worse.

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Message 1185035 - Posted: 13 Jan 2012, 21:36:16 UTC - in response to Message 1185010.

The moment they try and hide stuff from inspection, you know there is a rotten apple in the barrel and they know it too are are conspiring to hide it which is worse.

That's really unfair of you to call Chris a rotten apple.

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Message 1185043 - Posted: 13 Jan 2012, 22:00:28 UTC

'ello Sarge, long time no speak :-) It's OK, I know what Gary meant.

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Message 1185531 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 18:42:22 UTC - in response to Message 1184968.

I think like a lot of ideas thought up by politicians and others, is their idea is going to suit all pupils. I can see this may be of to some pupils but probably more of an hinderance overall.

To me the problem with modern education in the UK is this attitude of 'One size fits all' which is being applied across the education system and at the moment.

Kids are all different, some clever, some dumb, some academically minded, other practically minded and each requiring diffeerent sort of teaching.

Has Equality been demonstrated? i.e, equal attention given to the slowest as well as the brightest students?


Chris, this is valid to point. Putting bright kids in same class as dumb kids is not a good idea. The bright kids will get bored and become disruptive whilst the teacher is going over a point, again, that the dumber kids can't comprehend. Classes should contain kids of roughly the same ability, then lessons should be structured to suit the ablility of the kids in that class.


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Message 1185568 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 22:08:03 UTC
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 1:52:53 UTC

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Message 1185652 - Posted: 16 Jan 2012, 11:04:37 UTC - in response to Message 1185568.
Last modified: 16 Jan 2012, 11:05:15 UTC

Luigi, that would immediately be called institutionalized racism here in the U.S.


It was not my intention to be racist. I certainly did not mean to imply intelligence or lack of is specific to race, creed or nationality, but I think I know what you trying to say.

Here in the UK we have a similar problem, where selection of pupils on ability for a school is looked upon as bad thing. This, to me, is the crux of the problem. Kids will have different abilities, and will need taught appropriately to their abilites and this would mean different types of schools or least different types of classes within a school.
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Message 1185671 - Posted: 16 Jan 2012, 12:21:03 UTC - in response to Message 1185652.
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 1:47:10 UTC

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Message 1185675 - Posted: 16 Jan 2012, 13:10:27 UTC

Here in the UK we have a similar problem, where selection of pupils on ability for a school is looked upon as bad thing.

Luigi is quite right to highlight this point. In the 1950's when I went to school, it was all so simple, and it worked.

At age 5 you went to school. From 5 until 8, you attended Primary School, from 8 until 11, you went to Junior school. At 11 you took the 11+ exam, if you passed you went to the local Grammar school, and were given a higher level of education more suited to your abilities. If you didn't pass you went on to the local Secondary Modern school.

In the Secondary Modern schools there were usually 3 classes for each year, A, B, and C. If you were bright at 13 you were in 3A, if you were average at 14 you were in 4B, ending up in 5C wasn't good though :-)) But the point was, that we all accepted that some kids were brighter than others for whatever reason, and it made sense to get the best out of them. We didn't think of ourselves as second class people in any way, but apparently we are supposed to have done ....

Then unfortunately, the Loony Left got involved, and started listening to educational psychologists who maintained that segregating pupils like that caused elitism on the one hand, and feelings of inadequacy amongst the others. Why should kids lose friendships they had built up over the years by suddenly sending them to different schools etc. The poor darlings would end up in therapy. So, in 1965 we had the introduction of Comprehensive schools, which had A streams for the brightest Pupils and other streams for the not so gifted, but all within the same premises. Of course there are strong views for and against this method of education. Issues

But there are signs at last that some sort of common sense is coming back to UK education. Grammar schools are now popular again, and getting back to the principle of the three "R's" is gaining momentum. But unless the whole education system is completely overhauled it is not going to get very far. The problem is that educational establishments are treated like businesses and funded upon their results. Therefore they concentrate upon the soft subjects where they are more likely to achieve better results. We are now faced with the situation of people coming out of University with a degree in Media studies or Philosophy, then find they can't get a job. Times changing

BTW 1 - I initially failed the 11+ but got enough marks to have a "second chance" exam, which I also just failed. But us borderline chaps then got an interview at County Hall in London, which again I just dipped. One question which I still remember was, add together using metal arithmetic, 17, 18, 19, and 18. What they were looking for was an ability to see that the average was 4 x 18 therefore 72. Bit of a tall order for an 11 year old! But I did pass my 13+ exam and went to Wimbledon Technical school where we learnt engineering.

BTW 2 - I taught IT at my local FE College for 8 years. ECDL, MSOffice etc up to level 3.

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Message 1185799 - Posted: 16 Jan 2012, 20:25:44 UTC - in response to Message 1185675.

Yes Chris, I too also failed my 11+ and was not pleased at the school I was allocated (I thought it was a bit rough). I was told if I studied well I could take the 13+ and if passed I could change school. By the time I was 13 I didnot want to change school. Our school had four streams A, B, C and D for the first four years and two streams for the fith year. Each year we had exams and depending on your results you could move up or down a stream. At that time you could leave school at 15 yrs old and the 5th year was optional and for those who were taking their GCE's O levels and CSE's.

I had to change schools to take my A levels and found difference between the schools quite startling and probably didnot do as well as I should at my A levels. Through this experience I come to the conclusion, that how well a school does is dependant on person - the Headmaster/mistress. How they control the school, the teachers and pupils determines how succesful the school is.

Regarding Higher education in the UK, I feel that situation is worse as everything is geared to getting a degree and if you cannot get one, there seems to little or no alternative education path now available. I personally was not able to go to university for a degree for financial reason, but through day release I was able to get ONC and HNC in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Nowadays these alternative routes seem to become so downgraded, that they have become meanless.



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Message 1186055 - Posted: 18 Jan 2012, 1:14:51 UTC - in response to Message 1184985.

With only 11 posts in this thread so far, there is still so much to respond to. Unfortunately, I'm a 99%er, who actually worked through his break between semesters and am tired as the new semester begins. So, I'll just ... start? ... with this.

When I was in school, I was the product of some of the educational fads (no parent involvement and no Phonics). As the results, it always seemed like I was a year or two behind. I know what I am talking about and it's good to see that others are making the right decision in education.


Pardon me, Dena. but I've pointed this out to you before and apparently you've forgotten or chosen to ignore it. Regarding "Phonics", first, apparently the program began in the 1980s and widely "marketed" in the early 1990s. That corresponds to my memories of when I first heard of it. That means I was finishing my BA or working on my MS. From your posts, I can reasonably surmise you are at least as old as me, perhaps even in your 50s. Thus, of course you received no Phonics! Second, as I told you before, it was quickly maligned. See the picture of the bumper sticker shown at http://www.zazzle.com/hooked_on_phonics_joke_bumper_sticker-128284086582077834. Unfortunately, I must point out that, except for the post of yours I am responding to, the spelling errors you make seem to fit the mold suggested in the catchphrase illuminated in the bumper sticker. Odd, since Phonics was not available to you as an elementary student (again, because it did not exist yet).
So far, I have not tracked down any indications of studies performed to test the program.
On the other hand, I do know of many many many educational studies that have taken place. I have assisted in, or performed, some myself. Frankly, you sound like someone complaining about "untested" educational ideas that came out of Chicago around the 1920s, but, guess what, that was about 90 years ago. Do you really think no testing of these ideas have occurred? That there has been no modification in theory? If so, you are sorely mistaken. You are also sorely mistaken when you claim that there is "no oversight of the 'professionals'".

Think of the value you would least like to have your child taught. How would you feel if they started teaching it to your child without telling you about it and without letting you check on the class room progress. This is why you must take a very active role in you child's education.


This has virtually nothing to do with the issue Chris raised. You ignore the influence of parents and peers on values, as if the child has a mind and soul that is "full of mush" (Limbaugh misquote) ready for the teacher to fill with "values" (as opposed to facts, concepts, and so on?) in a ... vacuum? Sorry, don't buy it.
Last, I pretty much agree with Chris. If I was teaching at that level instead of at a university, I can imagine a parent going berserk over my showing a different approach to multiplying whole numbers ... simply because, to the parent, "that's not the way *I* learned it". The standard/traditional algorithm used in the US is not the same as what is used elsewhere, and probably has only been around 100-200 years. It is correct, has its pros and cons, and should not be eliminated from the curriculum. But, if there's another good algorithm (one that works in all cases, is justified, etc. ...), there's nothing wrong with including it. And I would not be surprised if I could find studies checking how well children learn whole number multiplication when using the "Lattice Algorithm" (hopefully as one option, not forced as the only approach).

P.S.-I was present when a math education professor asked a group of math grad students that were generally only interested in math, not the teaching and learning of it, whether the answer to something such as such as (5/72) divided by (15/108) could be determined by finding a least common multiple. They either said no or were very uncertain, much like elementary and second teachers I have read about.

But it can be: 5/72 = 15/216 and 15/108 = 30/216. 15/30 = 1/2.
The answer is the same with the method most of us "older" folk in the US have learned, invert the second fraction and multiply (which will be easier if common factors of the numerator and denominators are canceled first): (5/72) * (108/15) = (1/2) * (3/3) = (1/2) * (1/1) = 1/2.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, but both are mathematically sound. Completely.

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Message 1186063 - Posted: 18 Jan 2012, 1:54:12 UTC - in response to Message 1185675.

Here in the UK we have a similar problem, where selection of pupils on ability for a school is looked upon as bad thing.

Luigi is quite right to highlight this point. In the 1950's when I went to school, it was all so simple, and it worked.

At age 5 you went to school. From 5 until 8, you attended Primary School, from 8 until 11, you went to Junior school. At 11 you took the 11+ exam, if you passed you went to the local Grammar school, and were given a higher level of education more suited to your abilities. If you didn't pass you went on to the local Secondary Modern school.

In the Secondary Modern schools there were usually 3 classes for each year, A, B, and C. If you were bright at 13 you were in 3A, if you were average at 14 you were in 4B, ending up in 5C wasn't good though :-)) But the point was, that we all accepted that some kids were brighter than others for whatever reason, and it made sense to get the best out of them. We didn't think of ourselves as second class people in any way, but apparently we are supposed to have done ....

Then unfortunately, the Loony Left got involved, and started listening to educational psychologists who maintained that segregating pupils like that caused elitism on the one hand, and feelings of inadequacy amongst the others. Why should kids lose friendships they had built up over the years by suddenly sending them to different schools etc. The poor darlings would end up in therapy. So, in 1965 we had the introduction of Comprehensive schools, which had A streams for the brightest Pupils and other streams for the not so gifted, but all within the same premises. Of course there are strong views for and against this method of education. Issues

But there are signs at last that some sort of common sense is coming back to UK education. Grammar schools are now popular again, and getting back to the principle of the three "R's" is gaining momentum. But unless the whole education system is completely overhauled it is not going to get very far. The problem is that educational establishments are treated like businesses and funded upon their results. Therefore they concentrate upon the soft subjects where they are more likely to achieve better results. We are now faced with the situation of people coming out of University with a degree in Media studies or Philosophy, then find they can't get a job. Times changing

BTW 1 - I initially failed the 11+ but got enough marks to have a "second chance" exam, which I also just failed. But us borderline chaps then got an interview at County Hall in London, which again I just dipped. One question which I still remember was, add together using metal arithmetic, 17, 18, 19, and 18. What they were looking for was an ability to see that the average was 4 x 18 therefore 72. Bit of a tall order for an 11 year old! But I did pass my 13+ exam and went to Wimbledon Technical school where we learnt engineering.

BTW 2 - I taught IT at my local FE College for 8 years. ECDL, MSOffice etc up to level 3.


The system in place in the 1950s was the result of the 1944 Education Act, which set up the Tripartite System of schools (grammar, secondary modern and secondary technical). If you ask me, the divisive nature of this system was pointless, far better to let parents and their children decide at 14 what specialisms they should enter into than have a test at 11. I guess that makes me a member of the Loony Left.

Odd that you call out Philosophy as one of the degrees that result in poor job prospects. I hope that employers in the UK have a little more faith in this particular degree. It has been my experience (anecdote alert) that in the world of professional IT, the best minds often have a Philosophy degree rather than one in Computer Science. I don't have such a degree so I'm not saying this for bragging rights (my BA(Hons) is in Computer Sci and Politics). It seems to me that an education in formal logic is a very useful tool that can be applied in a number of different ways.

On the matter of parental admittance to class rooms, if it is effective in the Far East, and it helps the parents help their children, I'm not entirely convinced the idea is without merit. As Sarge points out, there's often more than one approach to teaching, even in subjects such as mathematics, and a parent who has been taught one way may not be equipped to assist their child if s/he is being taught in a different way. Attending the classroom may help equip parents with useful tools as well as the child ...



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Message 1186066 - Posted: 18 Jan 2012, 2:06:26 UTC - in response to Message 1186063.

On the matter of parental admittance to class rooms, if it is effective in the Far East, and it helps the parents help their children, I'm not entirely convinced the idea is without merit. As Sarge points out, there's often more than one approach to teaching, even in subjects such as mathematics, and a parent who has been taught one way may not be equipped to assist their child if s/he is being taught in a different way. Attending the classroom may help equip parents with useful tools as well as the child ...


http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=handbook+of+research+in+mathematics+education&btnG=Search&as_sdt=0%2C6&as_ylo=&as_vis=0
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=%22liping+ma%22&hl=en&btnG=Search&as_sdt=1%2C6&as_sdtp=on

Teacher preparation in Asian countries is different. The opportunities for newer teachers to confer with "master" teachers in Asian countries is different. I'd perhaps go so far as to say that Asian parents are different from Western parents, as well. I think the parental involvement there, as claimed here, might be overstated. Trying to translate their approaches over to the West, as a whole, is not easily achieved. And people like Dena might claim, when we attempt to include at least some of the Asian approaches here in terms of teacher preparation programs, then they're "untested", because that's not how it has been done before in the US.

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Message 1186973 - Posted: 21 Jan 2012, 1:33:11 UTC - in response to Message 1186055.

Pardon me, Dena. but I've pointed this out to you before and apparently you've forgotten or chosen to ignore it. Regarding "Phonics", first, apparently the program began in the 1980s and widely "marketed" in the early 1990s. That corresponds to my memories of when I first heard of it. That means I was finishing my BA or working on my MS. From your posts, I can reasonably surmise you are at least as old as me, perhaps even in your 50s. Thus, of course you received no Phonics! Second, as I told you before, it was quickly maligned. See the picture of the bumper sticker shown at http://www.zazzle.com/hooked_on_phonics_joke_bumper_sticker-128284086582077834. Unfortunately, I must point out that, except for the post of yours I am responding to, the spelling errors you make seem to fit the mold suggested in the catchphrase illuminated in the bumper sticker. Odd, since Phonics was not available to you as an elementary student (again, because it did not exist yet).
So far, I have not tracked down any indications of studies performed to test the program.
On the other hand, I do know of many many many educational studies that have taken place. I have assisted in, or performed, some myself. Frankly, you sound like someone complaining about "untested" educational ideas that came out of Chicago around the 1920s, but, guess what, that was about 90 years ago. Do you really think no testing of these ideas have occurred? That there has been no modification in theory? If so, you are sorely mistaken. You are also sorely mistaken when you claim that there is "no oversight of the 'professionals'".

Sarge, you may be part of the problem. Phonic were taught through most of the 20th century and they were taught in Arizona in 1963. My problem is by the time we move to Arizona, I was beyond the age that you teach Phonics so I was in a school where I was expected to know Phonics and I didn't. Also when I entered school, my parents were told not teach me anything to prepare me for school, The thought was that the different methods of teaching would confuse me and it would be best if only the teachers instructed me. I entered school with no knowledge of letters or numbers, something most kids have today.
The truth is that an education need to be shaped to fit the child. Not everybody learns the same way and many of the teachers didn't understand the way I need to learn is to understand how something work. Just dumping a list of facts in my head will result in me retaining very little. Understanding how it works will work. Also because I was very well behaved in class, the teachers tended to ignore me when I wasn't getting it.
In short you need to pay very close attention to your child's education because they may not be getting it.
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Message 1186976 - Posted: 21 Jan 2012, 1:47:17 UTC - in response to Message 1186973.

[quote]Sarge, you may be part of the problem.[/quote[
I have made a claim, and I provided a link (or links) to support my claim.
I do not teach any subject except math.
You chose ot ignore the rest of my post.
Clearly, you try to make a point I already made, ignore that I am making it, and suggest I am part of the problem? You are incorrect.
If I am incorrect about phonics, which is outside my area, that is not surprising, and besides giving me your word, it is on you to back it up.

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Message 1187024 - Posted: 21 Jan 2012, 2:27:06 UTC - in response to Message 1186973.
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Pardon me, Dena. but I've pointed this out to you before and apparently you've forgotten or chosen to ignore it. Regarding "Phonics", first, apparently the program began in the 1980s and widely "marketed" in the early 1990s. That corresponds to my memories of when I first heard of it. That means I was finishing my BA or working on my MS. From your posts, I can reasonably surmise you are at least as old as me, perhaps even in your 50s. Thus, of course you received no Phonics! Second, as I told you before, it was quickly maligned. See the picture of the bumper sticker shown at http://www.zazzle.com/hooked_on_phonics_joke_bumper_sticker-128284086582077834. Unfortunately, I must point out that, except for the post of yours I am responding to, the spelling errors you make seem to fit the mold suggested in the catchphrase illuminated in the bumper sticker. Odd, since Phonics was not available to you as an elementary student (again, because it did not exist yet).
So far, I have not tracked down any indications of studies performed to test the program.
On the other hand, I do know of many many many educational studies that have taken place. I have assisted in, or performed, some myself. Frankly, you sound like someone complaining about "untested" educational ideas that came out of Chicago around the 1920s, but, guess what, that was about 90 years ago. Do you really think no testing of these ideas have occurred? That there has been no modification in theory? If so, you are sorely mistaken. You are also sorely mistaken when you claim that there is "no oversight of the 'professionals'".

Sarge, you may be part of the problem. Phonic were taught through most of the 20th century and they were taught in Arizona in 1963. My problem is by the time we move to Arizona, I was beyond the age that you teach Phonics so I was in a school where I was expected to know Phonics and I didn't. Also when I entered school, my parents were told not teach me anything to prepare me for school, The thought was that the different methods of teaching would confuse me and it would be best if only the teachers instructed me. I entered school with no knowledge of letters or numbers, something most kids have today.
The truth is that an education need to be shaped to fit the child. Not everybody learns the same way and many of the teachers didn't understand the way I need to learn is to understand how something work. Just dumping a list of facts in my head will result in me retaining very little. Understanding how it works will work. Also because I was very well behaved in class, the teachers tended to ignore me when I wasn't getting it.
In short you need to pay very close attention to your child's education because they may not be getting it.


I think the misunderstanding here is because the two of you are discussing two different (though related) things. Phonics and 'Hooked on Phonics'. 'Hooked on Phonics' came about roughly on Sarge's given timeline. It was a rehash of the older concept of phonics which was at one time a popular teaching method but along Dena's timeline was rapidly falling out of favor as newer methods came into vogue.

I was exposed to phonics in elementary school (1st through 4th grades) in the 60's, but my class was one of the last at that school. I got exposed to the new math too. Neither one really had much affect on me. I already knew reading and arithmetic by then. While phonics may have had some utility to those that did not yet read very well, the new math didn't affect me at all. I was already studying algebra out of my dad's old college textbooks by then. The New Math was thus unable to give me a lifelong case of brain damage as it did to so many others.

And, on subject of the thread, I *will* be visiting my sons' schoolrooms from time to time (along with frequent parent/teacher conferences). I am *highly* motivated to see that my sons get the best education possible. If my sons are falling behind in school, I will do what needs doing to bring them up to speed. Same if I think the school is falling behind and I almost certainly will, especially if it is public school. The state of public school in the USA today is... deplorable. In fact, the entire educational system in the USA has a bad case of lag. A local university was using the same textbook in its first year general chemistry class for chemistry majors (though a later edition) a few years ago that my high school chemistry class used back in the '70s. I knew one of the chemistry professors at that university, and she just about fainted when I showed her my old high school copy of that textbook (she thought the then-current edition was one of the best textbooks on the market for college chemistry students, though perhaps a little too difficult).

I have a lot of textbooks here that I have accumulated from various sources over the years, everything from 'losing' and paying for some of my high school textbooks, to saving my college textbooks (and the one my dad gave me from his college), to trolling around used bookstores looking for ones I needed to fill in the gaps. Everything from art history through advanced physics. And I plan to use them to give my sons every advantage I possibly can. A good education is the key to a young person's future.

Edit: I don't think that I left anything out... You can send a 2 year old to his room for the night, but you can't make him go to sleep... He wouldn't stay in bed... ;)
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Profile Chris S
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Message 1187137 - Posted: 21 Jan 2012, 14:15:04 UTC

We had Phonetics in the UK in the 70's. Some loony left educational psychologists decided that kids could learn to read and write earlier and more quickly, by writing words down how they sounded. We'll sort out the correct spelling later they reckoned. Absolute poppycock of course, and we now have a whole generation of adults in their 40's who can't spell for toffee and never will do.

The other crazy idea was "Colour Factors" where parents had to purchase a set of coloured blocks for their kids which was very expensive, and achieved damn all. Of course then there was "New Maths" which in theory may well be a valid alternative method of calculating things. But it wont get you a job with anyone schooled in the traditional way.

All these cockeyed ideas come and go and screw up kids education. Why? Because we have league tables, which determines how much funding schools get, dependent upon their results. Consequently they look to cut corners, and get swayed by the latest educational fad.

Lets get back to the traditional 3 R's, taught in the traditional way, it worked, it is as simple as that. No, we don't want parents in classes getting in the way, what we do want is parents interested enough to come along to open nights and PTA meetings, which sadly most don't. What we most definitely don't need is educational psychologists interfering in things they know nothing about. Most of them are half way to the loony bin anyway and should be put there.

Mainstream education in the UK is in a total mess. I talk to people who run businesses who refuse to employ anyone under the age of 21, because they are simply unemployable. They can't add up, cant write simple English, have no idea how to speak properly, and think taking a day off without warning is no big deal. We have people falling out of University with soft degrees that nobody wants, Youth unemployment has doubled in the last year.

MajorKong - good for you I wish more parents were the same.

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Message 1187459 - Posted: 22 Jan 2012, 17:54:31 UTC - in response to Message 1187137.

Lets get back to the traditional 3 R's, taught in the traditional way, it worked, it is as simple as that.


Let's first review the data, and let that take us where it may. Here's a start:

the tendency of a significant proportion of the population to have low literacy skills is not a recent phenomenon, but dates back at least to the generation who entered school around 1925.


More data can be found here:

The proportion succeeding in their examinations at age 16 remained stagnant from around 1970 to the mid 1980s. Thus in the 1980s not only were around half the cohort leaving full time education altogether after the age of 16 but they were leaving with no qualifications.


The accompanying graph shows that rates of examination success had been increasing since 1955 through to 1970, then stays virtually unchanged until the late 1980s where there's a dramatic increase. The paper argues that the increase is most likely a result of the market reforms, together with the National Curriculum, introduced by the Thatcher government. IIRC the educational establishment was opposed to these reforms.
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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

Profile Chris S
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Message 1187473 - Posted: 22 Jan 2012, 18:33:39 UTC

This only goes to confirm that UK education is crap ....

Very few school-leavers and adults can be described as illiterate, but a significant percentage have limited literacy skills. For many people, literacy skills are insufficient to meet the demands of life, work and citizenship.


But international evidence and adult literacy surveys also show that there is a significant proportion of the population who have poor or very poor literacy skills; and this pattern seems to have persisted for many decades.


key reforms which were designed to address a number of specific problems in the UK education system, namely poor and apparently falling standards in schools, the low staying on rate at age 16, the relatively poor basic skills of the UK population and persistent inequalities in Higher Education.

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