Parents role in Education ?


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Profile John Clark
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Message 1187519 - Posted: 22 Jan 2012, 21:44:07 UTC - in response to Message 1187459.
Last modified: 22 Jan 2012, 21:48:54 UTC

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.


Not fully true.

Yes exam pass results rise from the 1980s as you suggested. But, this increase is down to the GCSE exams which replaced the GCE "O" level, which was far more searching and rigorous in the questions asked and the standards expected in exam replied.

As Chris comments - Education standards have slipped badly since about the mid 1970s.

Small studies have been conducted by asking pupils to answer GCE "O" level papers and the marks given to all top flight GCSE pupils has been below the pass standards expected of the past.

Another small point which shows the deterioration is the literacy standards.

In the early 1960s 8% of school leavers were considered illiterate and relatively enumerate. Today that level is now estimated to be 23%. This fact is almost certainly due to the fiddling and fads that emanate from Educational Psychologists.
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Message 1187591 - Posted: 23 Jan 2012, 4:07:30 UTC - in response to Message 1187519.

The three R's are reading, religion and relieving.

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Message 1187645 - Posted: 23 Jan 2012, 11:08:47 UTC - in response to Message 1187519.

...

As Chris comments - Education standards have slipped badly since about the mid 1970s.

...

In the early 1960s 8% of school leavers were considered illiterate and relatively enumerate. Today that level is now estimated to be 23%. This fact is almost certainly due to the fiddling and fads that emanate from Educational Psychologists.


You're correct about the education standards. The slipping started well before the 1970s, but got bad around then. I have seen, for instance, an 8th grade geography exam from about 100 years ago. Dayuuuummm!

When I saw it, I might have been able to pull a C on it. These days, I doubt that even PhD students could pass it, and high school students would likely only be able to stare at it and drool on it. And only about 100 years ago, this was expected to be common knowledge for 8th graders.

And the illiteracy problem... Kids these days are crippled in more than just reading and writing. They can't even make change without the cash register telling them how much it should be. If I owe $3.68, and I pay with a $5... I have to tell them that 'that is $1.32 in change'... Back in the day when I was in school (late 60s and the 70s), we were expected to be able to do such simple arithmetic in our heads, almost instantly.

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Message 1187646 - Posted: 23 Jan 2012, 11:17:26 UTC

When I was at Junior school we had RI or Religious Instruction, but it was seen as to formal so they renamed it RE or Religious Education. Similarly we had Physical Training or PT. Nope, it wouldn't do as it was seen as too authoritarian, so it was changed to PE or Physical Education.

10 years ago years ago they introduced Key Skills, which was basically shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted. The abilities you would learn at L2 were about the same as any average school leaver would have had 30 years ago. In other words Key Skills teach adults what they should have learned in full time school in the first place. FE Colleges are being used to pick up the pieces of the failed mainstream education system.

But do you want the best bit? one module was called "Application of Number". We daren't call it maths they said as it will turn the students off, and they'll arrive in class with a pre conceived idea that they won't like it. Ahh diddums ..... No wonder we're turning into a nation of pampered and mollycoddled under achievers.

Then we had the EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) which was supposed to help financial hardship, but was basically a government bribe not to play truant. That has now gone and been replaced with by 16 to 19 bursaries. We will see what happens next.

Don't forget of course we also have Citizenship classes, a compulsory part of the national curriculum for 11 to 16 year-olds in England since 2002. Wasn't that something your parents used to teach you at home as a normal part of bringing you up?

How did we get in this sorry mess? Easy. Too many modern day parents don't give a fig about their kids education, they bring them up until the age of 5, then hand them over to the State Education system, and then wash their hands of any further responsibility. The schools are dumbing down exams to maintain results and keep their funding, and they can't discipline kids because teachers would get sued for assault. Universities offer soft degrees no one wants for much of the same reasons.

Add into the melting pot successive governments that refuse to champion marriage with the resultant increase in one parent families, without role models, and its not hard to see why we are in this situation. What to do about it? Well that's the question isn't it?

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Message 1187843 - Posted: 23 Jan 2012, 23:36:35 UTC - in response to Message 1187519.

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.


Not fully true.

Yes exam pass results rise from the 1980s as you suggested. But, this increase is down to the GCSE exams which replaced the GCE "O" level, which was far more searching and rigorous in the questions asked and the standards expected in exam replied.

As Chris comments - Education standards have slipped badly since about the mid 1970s.

Small studies have been conducted by asking pupils to answer GCE "O" level papers and the marks given to all top flight GCSE pupils has been below the pass standards expected of the past.

Another small point which shows the deterioration is the literacy standards.

In the early 1960s 8% of school leavers were considered illiterate and relatively enumerate. Today that level is now estimated to be 23%. This fact is almost certainly due to the fiddling and fads that emanate from Educational Psychologists.


GCSEs replaced the GCE Ordinary Level and CSE exams. The text accompanying the chart says:

The exam achievement series measures the percentage of school-leavers achieving five or more higher grade GCSE (or O level) passes.


The higher grade GCSE passes were meant to be comparable to "O" level passing grades. Asking students that have passed one to attempt the other is not straightforward, the curricula are different. I passed "O" level Math with an A, and then went on to an FE college to take "A" level Physics, Chemistry and Math (Pure and Further Pure). I have no idea how well I'd do if I were to take GCSE Math, though I do recall struggling to help out a half-sister with her GCSE course work. Of course, the plural of anecdote is not data, and I think it might be useful if some independently verifiable date were provided.

I am not sure why educational psychologists are the recipients of such disdain, psychology does it's best to employ the scientific method, testing hypotheses and the like, and its research is subject to peer review (for example, this paper makes for some interesting reading). While at university I helped a few of my fellow students that were reading Psychology with the Math the coursework required, much of the discipline is grounded in a thorough understanding of statistics, indeed many Psychology graduates are better at statistical analysis than natural science graduates (which can result in poor papers being written by, for example, neuroscientists).

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Message 1187848 - Posted: 23 Jan 2012, 23:55:56 UTC - in response to Message 1187646.

Too many modern day parents don't give a fig about their kids education, they bring them up until the age of 5, then hand them over to the State Education system, and then wash their hands of any further responsibility.

If true of the majority of parents then why worry about parents being invited into the classroom, none will attend.

The schools are dumbing down exams to maintain results and keep their funding,

I did not realize individual schools set GSCE exams and National Curriculum targets, clearly that needs to be addressed.

and they can't discipline kids because teachers would get sued for assault.

Why should children not be given the same protection from assault that adults expect?

Add into the melting pot successive governments that refuse to champion marriage with the resultant increase in one parent families, without role models, and its not hard to see why we are in this situation.

Are married parents the only ones able to provide suitable role models? I take it there is data to support such a conclusion?

What to do about it? Well that's the question isn't it?

Presupposes that something needs to be done. If the comments were meant as more than statements of opinion, then they need to be supported and the question of what to be done can be examined. However, if they are opinion, then the question has no place, why should anybody be reasonably expected to act based on the unsubstantiated opinion of another?
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Message 1188009 - Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 13:12:49 UTC
Last modified: 24 Jan 2012, 13:14:35 UTC

As Chris comments - Education standards have slipped badly since about the mid 1970s.

It may have started a bit earlier that that John. I can clearly recall in the 1960's seeing job adverts for Mechanical Engineers quoting "Old style HNC preferred.". This was because of the 1961 Government White paper, having 2 year ONC's instead of 3 year ones, and introducing the General and Technician City & Guilds courses.

These recommendations were an attempt to reduce the proportion of early leavers from technician and other programmes, especially among younger students. The reasons for dropout were familiar: poor teaching, problems associated with weak basic literacy and numeracy, and an inadequate appreciation or knowledge of scientific concepts.

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Message 1188069 - Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 19:27:52 UTC
Last modified: 24 Jan 2012, 19:33:38 UTC

How about this for a fine how d'ya do, you couldn't make it up if you tried. You might well notice, as I did, that at no stage were parents being involved. Anyone care to postulate why? Now I know for absolute sure that the UK educational system has totally lost the plot .....

How to teach kids to behave

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Message 1188112 - Posted: 24 Jan 2012, 22:53:40 UTC

For those who think teachers would never use our children for political purposes Link
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Message 1188134 - Posted: 25 Jan 2012, 0:07:01 UTC - in response to Message 1188069.

How about this for a fine how d'ya do, you couldn't make it up if you tried. You might well notice, as I did, that at no stage were parents being involved. Anyone care to postulate why? Now I know for absolute sure that the UK educational system has totally lost the plot .....

How to teach kids to behave

Parental involvement is not mentioned in the article. Parents are mentioned once (in relation to pupils' attendance) in the Ofsted inspector's letter. I have no idea why the inspector did not make more references to parents, I am not sure whether such references are common in such reports (there are none in the full report from 2010), and see no reason to speculate reasons for the absence of further references.

It seems to me that the inspector is generally positive about the school's attempts at improving the behavior of its pupils, and it seems to be having positive results:

ofsted wrote:
The school’s behaviour management strategy is showing signs of impact. The task remains challenging, which is reflected in over thirty eight exclusions last year but school leaders are making inroads in improving the atmosphere and ethos in and out of the classroom. The volume of incidents and dangerous occurrences has reduced significantly. Pupils endorse this, and say they feel safer.

Perhaps this is a case of the plot being found rather than lost.
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Message 1188253 - Posted: 25 Jan 2012, 11:29:31 UTC
Last modified: 25 Jan 2012, 11:39:19 UTC

Some further points here.

The school stated that no child of the age of 5 was in anger management classes, therefore as a Primary school, we are left to conclude that the age group concerned is from 6-11. Anger management classes are usually given as part of sentences at Youth Courts to unruly teenagers up to the age of 17, it is incredible that this should prove to be necessary with children of that age.

One of the reasons for this is likely to be that in addition to having little or no interest in their education, parents are also not taking any responsibility for their childrens behaviour. It is not hard to see how a child could think, if I don't have to behave at home, why do I have to at school?

I'm glad the school is making some effort to redress the situation it finds itself in, and anger management classes are better than nothing, but the fact that they are needed at all is a sad indictment upon the way things are. I would suggest it's going to be an uphill struggle without strong support and backing from the parents, and I would like to have seen the inspector recommend closer parental involvement, and the school looking at introducing that.

In my opinion, neither the Inspector nor the school made any references to parents, because they probably knew that for all practical purposes they would get little if any support from them, so they are leaving them out of the equation. That's half the problem, a teachers job is to educate, not instil acceptable behaviour and respect for others, that's basically a parents job, which through in loco parentis, a school can helpfully reinforce.

The Education sector should be pressing that point home, to parents and Government, until then education is reactive not proactive, so in my view they have lost the plot!

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Message 1188356 - Posted: 25 Jan 2012, 20:48:15 UTC - in response to Message 1188253.

The Education sector should be pressing that point home, to parents and Government, until then education is reactive not proactive, so in my view they have lost the plot!


What's the evidence that the Eduction sector is not pressing the point home?
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Message 1188383 - Posted: 25 Jan 2012, 22:07:53 UTC

I agree with your view Chris.

Back in the 1950s the solution to unruly behaviour was brief and worked effectively.
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Message 1188391 - Posted: 25 Jan 2012, 23:03:18 UTC - in response to Message 1188383.

I agree with your view Chris.

Back in the 1950s the solution to unruly behaviour was brief and worked effectively.


"Why should children not be given the same protection from assault that adults expect?"

Further, what is the data (plural of anecdote <> data) that shows the 1950s "solution" as being effective?

Here's a start:

The research to date also indicates that physical punishment does not promote long-term, internalized compliance. Most (85 percent) of the studies included in a meta-analysis found physical punishment to be associated with less moral internalization of norms for appropriate behavior and long-term compliance. Similarly, the more children receive physical punishment, the more defiant they are and the less likely they are to empathize with others.


If inappropriate and defiant behavior are your intended outcomes, then I agree, the 1950s solution was effective. I do not believe these outcomes to be positive.
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Message 1188417 - Posted: 26 Jan 2012, 0:38:29 UTC

The old ways of education and control were shown to be effective in the general pupil population, and the result was higher achievement in examination results which were much more searching than current offerings.
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Message 1188501 - Posted: 26 Jan 2012, 12:09:23 UTC

"Why should children not be given the same protection from assault that adults expect?"


Between the World Wars, punishment in schools, particularly the Public ones like Eton, Harrow, Rugby etc consisted of the cane, which did leave bruises and weals and in my view, was quite unacceptable. The behaviour correction methods that John and I are talking about are the slipper on the backside, or the ruler across the palm.

That might have stung for a few seconds but certainly nothing more. But the whole point of it was the embarrassment of it being done in front of the whole class. That was the real deterrent to behave properly and respect your teachers. These days the kids are cute enough, with money grabbing lawyers, to sue teachers for assault, or complain to the Court of Human Rights.

And yes, I got the slipper once for talking in class, and the ruler for throwing a paper plane. I don't think that those experiences affected my psychological development in any adverse way, nor encouraged any defiance.

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Message 1188525 - Posted: 26 Jan 2012, 13:20:31 UTC - in response to Message 1188501.

"Why should children not be given the same protection from assault that adults expect?"


Between the World Wars, punishment in schools, particularly the Public ones like Eton, Harrow, Rugby etc consisted of the cane, which did leave bruises and weals and in my view, was quite unacceptable. The behaviour correction methods that John and I are talking about are the slipper on the backside, or the ruler across the palm.

That might have stung for a few seconds but certainly nothing more. But the whole point of it was the embarrassment of it being done in front of the whole class. That was the real deterrent to behave properly and respect your teachers. These days the kids are cute enough, with money grabbing lawyers, to sue teachers for assault, or complain to the Court of Human Rights.

And yes, I got the slipper once for talking in class, and the ruler for throwing a paper plane. I don't think that those experiences affected my psychological development in any adverse way, nor encouraged any defiance.


It seems the lesson of "the plural of anecdote is not data" refuses to sink in. Your personal experience, and that of mine or John's may not be indicative for the population in general. Cane's, slippers and rules were still in use while I was at school, however my own experiences (whether the same or different) would be further anecdotes, and not a useful basis for discussion given that data on the subject has been systematically collected and reviewed.

Physical punishment (of any type) would be inconceivable as a method of behavior correction in a typical work environment, adults would rightly object and take matters to the police, why should it be different for children? "Because it happened to me and did me no harm" is not the best justification of its continued use, all the more so when the data shows it has adverse effects in general.

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Message 1188547 - Posted: 26 Jan 2012, 14:59:10 UTC

It seems the lesson of "the plural of anecdote is not data" refuses to sink in.

You are not a teacher and I am not your pupil, so please don't be so patronising, it does not become you.

not a useful basis for discussion given that data on the subject has been systematically collected and reviewed.

By the Loony Left that has dominated Education for decades.

Physical punishment (of any type) would be inconceivable as a method of behavior correction in a typical work environment, adults would rightly object and take matters to the police

Sheesh, talk about stating the obvious. Of course, but what has that off the cuff comment got anything to do with what we are discussing? Up until the school leaving age of 16, young people need and require to be taught appropriate behaviour both at home and in school as part of their general upbringing and education. This can usefully be reinforced by restriction of liberty i.e. being grounded, or by other minor methods of correction.

Unacceptable behaviour in the workplace is usually dealt with by giving someone the sack, or if it is more serious than that, it can go on further to an Employment tribunal. You seem for some reason to have a "bit of a thing" about assaults and punishments. Whether this is due to some experiences in your own past I have no idea.

Perhaps you might like to comment upon this item which recently was in the news.

Smacking

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Message 1188576 - Posted: 26 Jan 2012, 16:40:52 UTC

One of the old fashioned, and it doesn't hurt, methods I would be content to advocate in an extremely unruly class is -

- choose 1 pupil, preferably a ring leader(backed by class nomination). Carefully draw a kukri, sharpened as the Gurkha do, and bleed the chosen pupil in to a large bowl (like a chicken). Get all the class to drink the contents of the bowl, and dispose of the body in the school furnace. It will help global warming.

I doubt is any of the remaining class members would ever step out of line again.

Problem solved for the rest of the school as well!

Oh, the discipline would have been sanctioned by the local police chief ....
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Message 1188584 - Posted: 26 Jan 2012, 17:06:30 UTC - in response to Message 1188547.

It seems the lesson of "the plural of anecdote is not data" refuses to sink in.

You are not a teacher and I am not your pupil, so please don't be so patronising, it does not become you.


Your constant use of anecdotes to justify a position is frustrating and irrelevant when adopting the approach commonly referred to as "critical thinking". I have referred to critical thinking in the past, as I believe others here have. You might want to research it and find out how its application may be beneficial to a discussion of this nature. As for patronizing, the repeated references to how things were done in the 50s is not? If not, why not?

not a useful basis for discussion given that data on the subject has been systematically collected and reviewed.

By the Loony Left that has dominated Education for decades.


The data I posted was from US based studies, I would imagine that they have likely escaped the worst excesses of the "Loony Left" (if indeed there are any such excesses pertinent to the topic at hand). However, if systematically collected data is not acceptable, what type of evidence would you suggest be used in defense of a position?

Physical punishment (of any type) would be inconceivable as a method of behavior correction in a typical work environment, adults would rightly object and take matters to the police

Sheesh, talk about stating the obvious. Of course, but what has that off the cuff comment got anything to do with what we are discussing? Up until the school leaving age of 16, young people need and require to be taught appropriate behaviour both at home and in school as part of their general upbringing and education. This can usefully be reinforced by restriction of liberty i.e. being grounded, or by other minor methods of correction.

Unacceptable behaviour in the workplace is usually dealt with by giving someone the sack, or if it is more serious than that, it can go on further to an Employment tribunal. You seem for some reason to have a "bit of a thing" about assaults and punishments. Whether this is due to some experiences in your own past I have no idea.


What part of "further anecdotes [are] not a useful basis for discussion" escaped you? It is my opinion that idle speculation is frequently the product an idle mind.

My question, which also seems to have escaped you, is "Why should children not be given the same protection from assault that adults expect?". I believe that it is currently unanswered by you and John.

Perhaps you might like to comment upon this item which recently was in the news.

Smacking


Using the fact free opinion of a Labour politician to support your case is no better than posting your own opinion. Indeed, it might even be worse, as it likely demonstrates a fallacious appeal to authority.

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