Parents role in Education ?


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Message 1196837 - Posted: 18 Feb 2012, 15:36:28 UTC - in response to Message 1196766.
Last modified: 18 Feb 2012, 15:36:48 UTC

Some do, my youngest always since he was about seven wanted to know all about computers, now MSc in computer science with mathematics, Manchester and Imperial.
My sister always wanted to follow her mother into nursing, specifically surgery, has been a senior theatre sister in large English city for over 20 years.
One of her daughters wanted to follow in her fathers footsteps and become a doctor, did change her mind though, she qualified as a dentist at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary's two years go.

So in our family, even in the younger generation, 40% knew what they wanted to do at a young age and did it.


We do know what the plural of anecdote is don't we? (Hint: it's not data)
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Message 1196917 - Posted: 18 Feb 2012, 18:14:06 UTC - in response to Message 1196766.

However, to be fair, 'A' Level students cover a wider breadth of subjects now than we did back then. It makes the British curriculum a little more like the rest of the world where students don't specialise so early.

Is that a good thing?
I personally am not totally convinced. I've been in situations where the late specialisation of people outside UK meant they did not have a deep enough understanding of the subject, even though on paper they had the higher qualification than the Brits. The subject involved the applied knowledge of Physics, Chemistry and Maths.

And in one area that is well known, most Americans have very little knowledge of foreign affair's or the location of the incidents, which theoretically a wider education should give them.

I think there are pros and cons. You are right that specialism can be a good thing, but we are dealing with very young people. Can we expect them to really know what they want to do at that age?

Some do, my youngest always since he was about seven wanted to know all about computers, now MSc in computer science with mathematics, Manchester and Imperial.
My sister always wanted to follow her mother into nursing, specifically surgery, has been a senior theatre sister in large English city for over 20 years.
One of her daughters wanted to follow in her fathers footsteps and become a doctor, did change her mind though, she qualified as a dentist at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary's two years go.

So in our family, even in the younger generation, 40% knew what they wanted to do at a young age and did it.

Well considering your background and education, your family wouldn't be typical.
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Message 1196944 - Posted: 18 Feb 2012, 19:40:03 UTC

Well considering your background and education, your family wouldn't be typical.


Nor would my family then ...

When I was 8 years old and got my first Meccano set for Xmas, I spent all my waking hours constructing models. All I ever wanted to be was a Mechanical Engineer. At 16 I was lucky enough to enter into one of the last full 5 year Indentured Apprenticeships, as a Toolmaker and Precision Engineer. That was registered with, and under the auspices of, the Gauge & Toolmakers Association, which I believe doesn't exist any more.

My eldest Niece from her early teens wanted to be involved in Veterinary science, but broadened her scope to Medical Microbiology. After a BSc at Southampton, an MRes at Imperial, she is now doing a PhD at Nottingham in that sphere.

My Nephew has been computer mad since age 10, and is now at Swansea doing a BSc in computer Science and will go on to a MSc. My younger Niece has always been interested in animals since she collected her own bug farm as a little girl. She is now at Birmingham doing a BSc in Zoolology.

We are just an ordinary family, but with Parents who want to encourage their children to explore their full potential. I just wish there were more.

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Message 1196993 - Posted: 18 Feb 2012, 21:09:01 UTC - in response to Message 1196917.

Well considering your background and education, your family wouldn't be typical.

Well no I don't think so. My fathers family is from east lancs, nearly all cotton weavers, and he was born in a two-up two-down with outside loo.
My mothers side is farming in east sussex, which got reduced and reduced by death duties. The family does still have the farmhouse and other houses built on what used to be the barns and stables. Parts of the farmhouse have been dendro dated to 12th century others to the 17th. My grandmother was in service as a cook before she got married.

Mum and Dad met due to being camped close by prior to D-day. He crossed the channel three times that day and therefore went up the beaches twice. He joined the Army becuse of lack of work during the recession.

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Message 1197729 - Posted: 20 Feb 2012, 12:53:14 UTC

Just read this, States Try to Fix Quirks in Teacher Evaluations.

Steve Ball, executive principal at the East Literature Magnet School in Nashville, arrived at an English class unannounced one day this month and spent 60 minutes taking copious notes as he watched the teacher introduce and explain the concept of irony. “It was a good lesson,” Mr. Ball said.

But under Tennessee’s new teacher-evaluation system, which is similar to systems being adopted around the country, Mr. Ball said he had to give the teacher a one — the lowest rating on a five-point scale — in one of 12 categories: breaking students into groups. Even though Mr. Ball had seen the same teacher, a successful veteran he declined to identify, group students effectively on other occasions, he felt that he had no choice but to follow the strict guidelines of the state’s complicated rubric.

“It’s not an accurate reflection of her as a teacher,” Mr. Ball said.


As usual, it seems the more politicians poke there noses in, the more they break.

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Message 1197742 - Posted: 20 Feb 2012, 13:49:05 UTC

I 100% agree WK. Teachers know damn well what is wrong with the current systems, in whatever country they may be, and they know how to fix it. But we have to be realistic here and accept, however reluctantly, that a Country's education system is a hot political potato.

Had I entered teaching 20 years younger, I am certain that I would have been very active in Teachers Unions challenging the Governments approach in that arena. As it is I can only comment now from the sidelines.

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Message 1197748 - Posted: 20 Feb 2012, 14:15:24 UTC - in response to Message 1191359.

Children and knives:

When I was in middle school, early 70's, I had one pulled on me. The other kid wasn't interested in hurting me, just getting me to shut up and get out of his way. I think I had one on me at the time, but I wasn't interested in a fight.

IIRC then you if you just had one, your parents would have gotten a call, if you used one a week vacation. Today just having one will get you expelled. Of course they give one to every kid in the cafeteria ...

What has really changed? Hype by the press.


I carried a knife damm nearly all the time from the age of about seven[ish] AFAIKR never threatened anyone with it, never saw the need to. In my day kids carried 'pen' knives as a matter of course, used for whittling wood, making catapults etc.

Whats changed isnt so much the carrying of knives, its the willingness to use them to harm others. And that the carrying of a knife now they are illegal is seen as some sort of street credibility gaining endevour.

Add to that the plain and simple fact that the law is an ass [regarding knives] its virtually impossible to police.Much like enforcing cycle regulations when cyclists arent required to have number plates on their bikes.. Jump a red light, cut across lanes, cycle on the pavement.. Even when caught on CCTV its too difficult to ID the culprits.. Especially wearing helmets and smog/dust masks etc.. Like the wearing of hoodies by those carrying and using knives in an antisocial manner.

I've had my share of dust up's:-) Have holes in my hide from blade, bullet and blast fragments, and have used guns, knives and other deadly weapons on a daily basis.. But never saw the need to threaten anyone or use a knife to harm anyone as a kid.. That came later as an adult.. In the Armed Forces.

Cheers,


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Message 1197755 - Posted: 20 Feb 2012, 14:24:19 UTC

Whats changed isnt so much the carrying of knives, its the willingness to use them to harm others. And that the carrying of a knife now they are illegal is seen as some sort of street credibility gaining endevour.


You are right. Street Cred almost means more to kids today than life itself. Seems to be some Afro/indy influence.

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Message 1197791 - Posted: 20 Feb 2012, 15:43:45 UTC - in response to Message 1197755.

Cant say for sure as to the cause, but I suspect the decline in moral standards in the general populace may have some bearing[?sp].

People tend to forget that for many millenia the ordinary populace of what is now the United Kingdom carried weapons of some sort, mainly bladed as a matter of course. Its only since we became 'civilised' or more likely over civilised that those weapons have become taboo.

As I recall another 'civilised' society had similar problems, when it was in decline, although it tended to be the 'upper' crust that roamed about with gangs of thugs terrorising others.. Rome in decline had more than slavery and corruption dragging it down.

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Message 1197855 - Posted: 20 Feb 2012, 17:34:46 UTC - in response to Message 1196750.

U.S. Math Education reform is trying to fight the "inch deep, mile wide" curricula. Kids from Asian countries score higher on international comparison tests because they obtain this deep knowledge beginning in elementary school.

US education is a mess, I wouldn't compare it to French or German for example where kids do the baccalaureate. They don't specialise before they are 18, but they certainly cover a good depth of the subjects they learn.

A Mile Wide, an Inch deep.
TIMSS-Third International Mathematics and science study.
Cross-Cultural comparisons of Mathematics Achievement

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Message 1197875 - Posted: 20 Feb 2012, 17:49:43 UTC

I'm beginning to see a wide cultural gap here.

The Eastern world has the view that education is a privilege and should be wholeheartedly embraced and be thankful for it. While the West seems to see schooling as an unnecessary irritation in their lives.

I find that extremely worrying.

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Message 1198687 - Posted: 23 Feb 2012, 2:47:43 UTC - in response to Message 1197855.

U.S. Math Education reform is trying to fight the "inch deep, mile wide" curricula. Kids from Asian countries score higher on international comparison tests because they obtain this deep knowledge beginning in elementary school.

US education is a mess, I wouldn't compare it to French or German for example where kids do the baccalaureate. They don't specialise before they are 18, but they certainly cover a good depth of the subjects they learn.

A Mile Wide, an Inch deep.
TIMSS-Third International Mathematics and science study.
Cross-Cultural comparisons of Mathematics Achievement

Some interesting reading there. Thanks.
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Message 1200418 - Posted: 27 Feb 2012, 19:50:08 UTC - in response to Message 1198687.

U.S. Math Education reform is trying to fight the "inch deep, mile wide" curricula. Kids from Asian countries score higher on international comparison tests because they obtain this deep knowledge beginning in elementary school.

US education is a mess, I wouldn't compare it to French or German for example where kids do the baccalaureate. They don't specialise before they are 18, but they certainly cover a good depth of the subjects they learn.

A Mile Wide, an Inch deep.
TIMSS-Third International Mathematics and science study.
Cross-Cultural comparisons of Mathematics Achievement

Some interesting reading there. Thanks.


Your thoughts?

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Message 1200424 - Posted: 27 Feb 2012, 20:09:52 UTC

I agree with the "mile wide an inch deep" analogy. Subjects just don't seem to be taught to the same depth as they were decades ago. Mainly because modern day students cant hack that level of education.

Is it because they are stupider, dumber, or thicker? No it isn't. It's because they are simply lazier because of modern technology.

50 years ago when I was set school homework, it was not unusual that I had to go to the local library to research my answers. These days kids just tap a button and look it up on the Internet. I used to have to use Log tables to work out trig questions, we didn't have scientific calculators to do it for us.

Result? Everybody knows something about everything, but nobody knows much about anything.

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Message 1200448 - Posted: 27 Feb 2012, 21:14:50 UTC - in response to Message 1200424.

they can't teach in depth because slower students are forced into classes that they are ill equipped for. These students tend to gum up the works while adding to the classes roll call so they can justify a class.

I recall being in advanced classes in High school that a couple of kids were just out of their league. They asked questions about the most simple topics and slowed the learning process down to a crawl. In effect forcing teachers to dumb down the class so that they can say at the end of the year they met all their goals and taught every aspect of their topic when in fact the had to glaze over many thing because of the slower kids.

I am by no means calling slower kids mentally retarded. I am saying that classes could more easily be divided to provide better learning for all.
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Message 1200486 - Posted: 27 Feb 2012, 23:22:45 UTC - in response to Message 1200424.
Last modified: 27 Feb 2012, 23:24:13 UTC

I agree with the "mile wide an inch deep" analogy. Subjects just don't seem to be taught to the same depth as they were decades ago. Mainly because modern day students cant hack that level of education.

Is it because they are stupider, dumber, or thicker? No it isn't. It's because they are simply lazier because of modern technology.

50 years ago when I was set school homework, it was not unusual that I had to go to the local library to research my answers. These days kids just tap a button and look it up on the Internet. I used to have to use Log tables to work out trig questions, we didn't have scientific calculators to do it for us.

Result? Everybody knows something about everything, but nobody knows much about anything.


You wouldn't, by any chance, be descended from Yorkshiremen, would you? ;-)

Is using the latest available technology really so evil? What use is the ability to navigate log tables when most have a calculator on their phone? Or have access to a spreadsheet? I remember from my school days, going to an RAF base to transcribe meteorological data for a geography project, then plotting the data onto a graph. A time consuming and mind boggingly dull task. Today, in the time I spent doing that, I could download raw data from multiple sources into a spreadsheet and be able to slice and dice that data over a hundred ways. Leading to, in all likelihood, a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

I think I learned one valuable lesson from that project. The value of good data.
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Message 1200551 - Posted: 28 Feb 2012, 7:43:19 UTC - in response to Message 1200486.

I agree with the "mile wide an inch deep" analogy. Subjects just don't seem to be taught to the same depth as they were decades ago. Mainly because modern day students cant hack that level of education.

Is it because they are stupider, dumber, or thicker? No it isn't. It's because they are simply lazier because of modern technology.

50 years ago when I was set school homework, it was not unusual that I had to go to the local library to research my answers. These days kids just tap a button and look it up on the Internet. I used to have to use Log tables to work out trig questions, we didn't have scientific calculators to do it for us.

Result? Everybody knows something about everything, but nobody knows much about anything.


You wouldn't, by any chance, be descended from Yorkshiremen, would you? ;-)

Is using the latest available technology really so evil? What use is the ability to navigate log tables when most have a calculator on their phone? Or have access to a spreadsheet? I remember from my school days, going to an RAF base to transcribe meteorological data for a geography project, then plotting the data onto a graph. A time consuming and mind boggingly dull task. Today, in the time I spent doing that, I could download raw data from multiple sources into a spreadsheet and be able to slice and dice that data over a hundred ways. Leading to, in all likelihood, a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

I think I learned one valuable lesson from that project. The value of good data.

I think there is a basic problem with your argument, you were taught and understand the ground rules, the present day generation for the most part do not.

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Message 1200639 - Posted: 28 Feb 2012, 13:39:24 UTC - in response to Message 1200551.
Last modified: 28 Feb 2012, 13:39:41 UTC

I agree with the "mile wide an inch deep" analogy. Subjects just don't seem to be taught to the same depth as they were decades ago. Mainly because modern day students cant hack that level of education.

Is it because they are stupider, dumber, or thicker? No it isn't. It's because they are simply lazier because of modern technology.

50 years ago when I was set school homework, it was not unusual that I had to go to the local library to research my answers. These days kids just tap a button and look it up on the Internet. I used to have to use Log tables to work out trig questions, we didn't have scientific calculators to do it for us.

Result? Everybody knows something about everything, but nobody knows much about anything.


You wouldn't, by any chance, be descended from Yorkshiremen, would you? ;-)

Is using the latest available technology really so evil? What use is the ability to navigate log tables when most have a calculator on their phone? Or have access to a spreadsheet? I remember from my school days, going to an RAF base to transcribe meteorological data for a geography project, then plotting the data onto a graph. A time consuming and mind boggingly dull task. Today, in the time I spent doing that, I could download raw data from multiple sources into a spreadsheet and be able to slice and dice that data over a hundred ways. Leading to, in all likelihood, a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

I think I learned one valuable lesson from that project. The value of good data.

I think there is a basic problem with your argument, you were taught and understand the ground rules, the present day generation for the most part do not.


The basic problem with my previous post, and one I typically note, is that it's an anecdote. As for the "present day generation", I'm sure that, as your point is one supported by a few other posters here, there must be plenty of evidence to support it. Sadly, I don't think any links to said data have been posted.
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Message 1200874 - Posted: 29 Feb 2012, 6:47:41 UTC

Not necessarily proof that education standards in the UK are falling, but pretty damned certain when the politicians manage to recognise the fact and order exams to be made tougher. GCSE's are nominally taken by 16 year olds, the official school leaving age in UK.

GCSEs in four key subjects to be made tougher


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Message 1200919 - Posted: 29 Feb 2012, 12:11:31 UTC - in response to Message 1200424.
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