General Chat Thread, Tough new O-Levels to replace GCSEs under Gove plan in General; Originally Posted by flyinghaggis
In fact rather than "dumbing it down" to grades A-C why not put a pupils exam ...
21st June 2012, 06:27 PM #31
That would seem like a fair way but then how is that any different from having fairly distributed grades ie top 5% A*, next 5% A, next 10% B, etc.
Originally Posted by flyinghaggis
Problem is by what I have read (and what seems logical when you think about it) kids are getting ever so slightly cleverer year on year. Something like 0.3% higher IQ* iirc. This would be insignificant when comparing 2 20odd year olds but comparing a 20 year old to a 60 year old would make a 12% difference, which could potentially take a kid from a B grade to an A*.
* Yes I agree IQ is a crap way of measuring intelligence but that's probably the best way we have got.
But even so it would still be easy for an employer to make a comparison as they would know that a current B would be equivalent to a 1970s A* and adjust accordingly. Plus the 60odd year old has experience so it sort of evens itself out a bit anyway.
TBF I think everything needs a shake up now anyway. There's been that many changes in the last 30 years it's impossible to compare like for like. Experience and real world/job specific skills are the way to go. Why every kid has to achieve an academic qualification I just don't know. We are forever being told "we are crying out for *insert trade here*". So why not let the hands on kids go do plumbing from 14? Yes do English, maths, IT, and maybe some science but make it relevant to the type of life that kid is going to lead. Maths; how to do measurements, angles, basic book keeping, other trade type maths, work out interest rates for loans, etc etc. Concentrate on how to write CVs, letters, etc in English rather than learning Shakespeare...
Personally I'm all for a 2 tier education system for the above reason so long as there is processes in place to move between the 2 tiers should the need arise. Plus as said, you keep the normally disruptive kids away from the academic ones and hopefully engage them with something they might enjoy doing.
Last edited by j17sparky; 21st June 2012 at 06:41 PM.
21st June 2012, 08:56 PM #32
Having had three children go through the GCSE system in the last 8 years, I have to say that I do agree that the children of today have to learn far more than we ever did, BUT it is done in a shallower way. All three of mine got pretty good results and even the one who now says he did NO work at all for his GCSEs got one A, 8 Bs and a C !
Education has changed beyond recognition since I was young - children are far more able to think for themselves, and encouraged to do so, than we ever were. They are far more confident and self-assured than we were too. This is an important part of education which isnt measured by exams. ( the flip side is of course, less respect for adults and possibly a belief that they can do everything)
O Levels, GCSEs, what does it matter what they are called? What matters is that they test knowledge and understanding effectively which I don't think the current exams do, and that there is a path for everyone - the technical schools in Germany are regarded in exactly the same light as the academic schools.
Some of the changes are just a bit extreme. What the heck is wrong with taking a text into an Eng Lit exam? I spent countless hours learning many many quotes from Shakespeare when all I really needed was to know WHERE they were in the text and HOW to use them to show whatever it was I was trying to show.
Schools do teach to the exams and it was ever thus. At my grammar I really was just spooned the information and I really think that to this day I am not brilliant at the sort of analytical incisive work that my children seem to manage with relative ease.
22nd June 2012, 10:13 AM #33
NO NO NO!!!! I had to play drums for that <expletive> show and it took me months to get it out of my head!!!
Originally Posted by TechMonkey
22nd June 2012, 01:45 PM #34
I think the advance of the internet has changed the way we learn and think. In the past facts were drummed into you. Now you can quickly bring up that information in seconds through a wide manner of interfaces and then instantly forget it, information has become a throwaway commodity.
Originally Posted by witch
I saw the same thing in the 80s with the advent of calculators - why bother memorising formula when your calculator can do it for you?
22nd June 2012, 01:50 PM #35
I have said for many, many years now, that the best thing you can teach a child is how to learn for themselves. How to do effective internet searching. How to use a library.
Because as was said above, more often than not anything can be found using Google in under a few minutes if you know what you're doing.
Obviously that doesn't go for everything; some things require hands-on to learn them as they are skills not simply knowledge. But pupils being taught X Y and Z because it will be on a test 4 months later after which it will likely be forgotten or never used again, is pointless and archaic. Teaching needs to catch up with the real world; how often in your own job do you know the solution to a problem because you learned it on a training course? Much more likely that you read a post on here, or some other forum, or Wikipedia, to get the info required.
Thanks to Pete10141748 from:
22nd June 2012, 02:35 PM #36
Hasn't the mantra for the last 30 years been that competition is good? Now they want to restrict each exam board to a single subject.
Originally Posted by Geoff
6th July 2012, 11:46 PM #37
Last edited by flyinghaggis; 7th July 2012 at 12:00 AM.
7th July 2012, 12:32 AM #38
In my opinion, I think the examination system in UK schools is at fault. A child goes through the education system to meet so called 'national educational standards', be logged as a statistic and to ultimately pass an exam(s) at the age of 16. Who exactly looks at all this statistical data and league tables? And what purpose does it serve?
Every year more young people statistically are passing their exams A-C, but we're now in a situation where many employers feel the need to re-test candidates as young people lack the basics. This completely undermines the examination system and demoralises confidence. There are now more young people out of work than ever recorded, yet the Government decides changing to a different examination system may/may not solve the problem. Don't get me wrong, some form of examination is required but I think now we're getting to saturation point.
- I think the Government need to look at why are more people passing exams every year? There's only so much you can raise standards, but then what do you do?
- Why are employers re-testing candidates at interview? Why do they not trust the examination system?
- Who's right and who's wrong? The education system or the employers? Employers generate work and wealth. The educational system appears to generate a huge database of statistical data.
I think the problem has always been there and has been getting worse, but now the economic downturn has just magnified it. There's no responsibility or accountability and instead of looking at problems the Government ultimately appear to be burying their head in the sand.
10th July 2012, 09:43 AM #39
Some kids struggle with GCSE's as they are now, let alone making them harder. Silly idea!
10th July 2012, 09:56 AM #40
Making them easier isn't the answer, and that's what's been happening.
Originally Posted by SKELTON
No, making them tougher is the right way to go - it just means that everyone finally will just have to accept that not every child is capable of getting an A**** in every subject.
There are differences, and we should be catering to them and providing an education that will most likely give each child the best future they can. If someone has an IQ of 100, you don't expect them to become a Lawyer so why do we make them go through all the same stuff as those kids with IQs in the 140s etc...? It is doing the kids a disservice on both ends - its making it impossible for the lower ability kids to succeed or it is lowering the targets for those with higher ability, thereby reducing the speed at which they develop.
10th July 2012, 11:02 AM #41
How do we differentiate between the kids in the top 20%? At present there's no way to do that.
Originally Posted by SKELTON
GCSEs aren't hard enough. Multiple guess is part of the problem. It's cheaper to mark, which is why it's popular, but it doesn't allow the candidate to display any understanding.
10th July 2012, 11:10 AM #42
The best example I've seen of the problem with multiple choice is the ALAN tests. Choice out of 4 so that is effectively 25% of the marks handed over to you straight away. To pass the test... ~60% Mind most of the kids sitting it still failed their first go or two!
Originally Posted by Flatpackhamster
10th July 2012, 11:11 AM #43
I think doing anything to GCSE's would amount to little more than bandaging a damaged system. The fact is the GCSE's and A-Levels need to be re-evaluated together with two questions put first and foremost...
1) What do employers need?
2) What do Universities need?
I think GCSE's are little more than a mechanism to get on to A-Level's courses and A-Level's are only of any real use to Universities. From an employers POV I doubt anything beyond GCSE English and Maths means anything to them unless it is very subject specfic (BTecs/NVQs) or at Degree level.
We need to be honest about what we are educating for and design the qualifications and curriculum around that. The present system is little more than an exercise in target setting and league tables.
Last edited by tmcd35; 10th July 2012 at 11:12 AM.
10th July 2012, 11:40 AM #44
I always preferred to call them Adult Numeracy And Literacy exams. Somehow seemed more relevant given the level of child slacking their way through them.
Originally Posted by j17sparky
Used to have to invigilate those exams (as it were), hanging around to make sure the computers were ok... half of the room were done in twenty minutes as they randomly picked answers because they wanted to go home and knew they would be able to retake 5 or 6 times, the other half spent forever agonising over every question and still getting it wrong. It is very difficult in the latter situation not to just lean over and point at the obvious correct answer.
10th July 2012, 05:31 PM #45
surely thats the point if everyone has a qualification its worthless. Less people getting good grades isnt a bad thing
Originally Posted by SKELTON
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