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General Chat Thread, Petition to remove Michael Gove in General; Originally Posted by tmcd35 I'm not sure I 100% agree. Are you advocating larger class sizes? Maybe that's okay if ...
  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I'm not sure I 100% agree. Are you advocating larger class sizes? Maybe that's okay if the pupil:teacher ratio is maintained or improved, but it does set alarm bells ringing for some reason. Surely the best answer (especially with an aging population) is to attract more professionals into teaching as a second profession and help them through QTS while at the same time actively discouraging (but not barring) students from entering QTS straight out of uni? It seems to me that QTS should be a minimum standard for educating our kids, but what we want is more worldly wise and experienced individuals in the profession.
    Class sizes are larger in the sense that it is a larger group in a larger room but taught by 2 people. The ratio of teacher / instructor / etc stays the same though. Team-teaching like this has been around for a heck of a long time and has a significant amount of research to show the benefits when used appropriately.

    Teaching as a second profession is a difficult thing to raise. The question gets asked about why the person did not go into teaching to start with. Teaching is a vocation more than just a job, and this amount of passion and dedication is something you can find in many areas. Good chefs who take trainees into their kitchens are not always the best instructors, but when you do find someone who has the spread of expertise and ability to pass on knowledge, skills and the ability for self-development ... Then you have a teacher. It doesn't have to be someone in a school, with QTS or any other form of teaching accreditation.

    We also have to remember the largest slice of any schools budget is staffing costs. Having two teachers per class (one QTS, one specialist) will be expensive. We often have these discussions here with IT. I am actively advocating a 1 device per pupil model. However in the back of my mind I know that to afford it we may have to make staffing sacrifices which may impact teaching and learning in other ways - larger class sizes and/or less TAs, more contact time, more teaching outside of specialist areas, etc.
    The model of creator / information-provider and facilitator has been around for a while. A specialist creates resources, a structure for learning and developing and then guides the learning, which is facilitated by someone of a lower scale, be it a less experienced teacher, HLTA, etc ... You get this in Universities with Post-grads doing some of the donkey work for the senior staff ... In sports clubs with junior and trainee coaches working under the direction and supervision of the club coach ... But the argument is that the specialists who are needed now are above the ability of the classroom teacher. It will not be cheap but the idea is that the better the resources to start with the easier it is for learning to take place. There is some evidence around this but also a lot of evidence that says the ability of the classroom teacher to engage with the learners, and to get them engaged with the subject, is more important.

    Ultimately I think models such as this are never a one size fits all approach and should never be mandated by central government, however attractive it might look on paper. I believe it should be the responsibility of governing body and senior leadership team to set a school curriculum and teaching practices.
    Schools used to set a lot of things themselves. In some schools it worked, in others it didn't. That is why you get the swings from centralisation and decentralisation ... The idea is that you eventually get a workable balance. A fine idea in principle.

    If people are interested in a good blog to look at why bits of education have been tried before, where some of the research comes into play and how some of the myths on education are debunked then have a read of Donald Clark Plan B ... And Donald also did a brilliant series highlighting the top Learning Theorists over the years ... from Socrates to Kirkpatrick.

    To be honest , there are a number of arguments about why Gove is a problem in schools, but the idea of non-QTS is not going to be a good point to argue it around. There are plenty of others which people will be able to provide though.

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  3. #62

    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    Look its simple

    A good "teacher" can learn a subject and deliver/teach it well and get good results.

    A good "non-teacher" knows a subject and can learn to deliver/teach it well and get good results.

    and vice-versa

    End Of

    Si

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  5. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    A good "non-teacher" knows a subject and can learn to deliver/teach it well and get good results.
    I disagree.

    A good lobotomist may not be able to empathise with students and cannot for the life of him understand why the students don't "just get it". He doesn't need to to do his job. Doesn't make him a bad lobotomist, just not a good teacher. Some can, and we need them to train the next generation of lobotomists.

    Nothing wrong with that, but it is just the way it is.


    It is like saying any teacher can teach anything. A primary literacy teacher being asked to to teach advanced maths? Maybe, maybe not, but I'd be impressed if you find one. But saying any teacher could do it is crazy.

  6. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    A good "non-teacher" knows a subject and can learn to deliver/teach it well and get good results.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    A good lobotomist may not be able to empathise with students and cannot for the life of him understand why the students don't "just get it". He doesn't need to to do his job. Doesn't make him a bad lobotomist, just not a good teacher. Some can, and we need them to train the next generation of lobotomists.
    Seems to me as if you are agreeing with Si?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    It is like saying any teacher can teach anything. A primary literacy teacher being asked to to teach advanced maths? Maybe, maybe not, but I'd be impressed if you find one. But saying any teacher could do it is crazy.
    Now that is why I'd have a problem with this quote...

    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    A good "teacher" can learn a subject and deliver/teach it well and get good results.
    Although to be fair - Si didn't say any teacher.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    Schools are about educating the students but all I seem to hear from a good majority of these so called teaching professionals with their teaching degrees is the constant slagging off of the very students they are supposed to be looking after and caring for, the only thing they care about is themselves and any other teacher who does go the extra mile and raise the standards are suddenly pounced on by the other mediocre staff and brought to heel as it is not the done thing, it makes some of the others look rather ordinary.
    Indeed. I've arrived at that view, some directly but mosty via tOH's cumulative "What's your day been like.." responses. Levels of professionalism and ethical standards aren't quite what I naively expected for institutions we trust with our kids.

    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    Look its simple
    Too simplistic... there's also ability to navigate the 'system', including variously challenging bureaucracy, school SMTs, other teachers, staff, and not least kids & their parents. See above, I think the pure teaching is often the easy part.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    The question gets asked about why the person did not go into teaching to start with <snip> Class sizes are larger in the sense that it is a larger group in a larger room but taught by 2 people
    Answer: Because I thought life-experience gained outside the profession would make me a better, wiser teacher. At which point the school->uni->PGCE->school person interviewing probably gets childishly offended, but at least you learn you didn't want to work in that school.

    My off-the-cuff reaction to two people is that this is uh.. academic because: a) School aren't designed to support double-sized classes, b) As a profession teachers often tend to be outrageous divas, [king|queen] of their classroom and getting them working in more equitable teams, as oppposed to having assistants, might be rather difficult.
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 8th August 2012 at 01:56 PM.

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    We had the perfect example here.

    When the old Head of ICT (a career teacher) retired on a bumper payout and pension, and his last set of results for IT were 21% A*-C.

    The school employed 2 new staff, an guy from the private industry (telecom sales, but IT experienced) and an AST in ICT. Industry guy on the cheap 25k pa, AST on 41k as per pay scales, AST went sick for 6 months and left, no help to the Industry guy, they then hired another teacher to replace the AST on 40k pa.

    Industry guy gives a new lease of life to IT, more students want to take it as an option than ever before with his interesting take on IT, wanting more technical aspects introduced, programming computer building animation etc. He changed the way the subject was taught using student relevant themes that they could relate to, and achieves 96% A*-C in his first year, he quits after 2 years due to lack of recognition in terms of re-numeration for what he has achieved.

    The teacher remains in post, when Mike Gove announces that programming must be part of the curriculum the teacher thinks it's ridiculous and a waste of time and that we should carry on teaching spreadsheets and word and refuses to advance their skill set t support this outlook, that is what uni is for they say.

    I know who I would rather teach my kids, it seems to me a large amount of teachers thenk they have hit pay dirt and don't need to learn anything anymore, this becomes more apparent in technology based subjects.

    And the OP is betraying his Lefty Labour roots if he actually thinks that politicians are targeting education just because they want to be nasty, what an absurd thing to say.

    And before people saying the Tories are privatising Education I think that's better than Labour's idea of bankrupting education through BSF/PFI.

    I say big up Mikey Gove, give the out of date, overpaid (in respect of teachers) and pampered education industry a good kick up the a*se.

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  11. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    My off-the-cuff reaction to two people is that this is uh.. academic because: a) School aren't designed to support double-sized classes, b) As a profession teachers often tend to be outrageous divas, [king|queen] of their classroom and getting them working in more equitable teams, as oppposed to having assistants, might be rather difficult.
    And so we get onto the discussion about how important flexible learning spaces are when designing and building schools ... something that was missed on many PFI / BSF builds due to cost-cutting, but when it was considered and put in place it works well. As for the teachers who are divas ... yes, there will always be those in any sector / field. One thing I have come across which worked was the idea of shared planning / marking making life easier for everyone, but it really does have to be part of a well-lanned, well-run school ...

    Just because it is difficult it doesn't mean it shouldn't happen. It is whether the effort is worth the outcome ... that is the important question ... not just giving a straight "don't do it" which is what some folk in education are doing (including some unions).

  12. #68

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    It always astounds me the level of inadequecy and downright lack of common sense that some teachers show, it seems that most teachers are hell bent on climbing up the ladder to more money and less contact time, I have not ever come across any other profession that has 22 hours contact time and a 32 hour contractual working week with 13 weeks holidays a year, even then if a teacher takes on extra responsibilities which most do they then have that time taken away from their contact time and gain extra points and we all know what points make don't we!

    If we want more money we have to justify in a written letter to the governors as to why we deserve a payrise, we have to take on more workload as we cannot dump any of our responsibilities as who else would take them on?
    i'm not really going to comment on the general standard and efficacy of teaching and learning, but i do think you have a point about teacher career progression and contact time with people who need to be taught.

    it's all too easy to create an environment where support staff are made to feel like worthless punks who can be proverbially hit with the big stick called PFI/BSF money and managed IT because the era we live in makes it a reality rather than just an idle threat. Our roles effectively reduced to trained monkey complete with comedy fez while qualified teachers status and standing doesn't really have those same disruptive agents that come in the disguise of efficiencies and private sector competitive tender.

    That doesn't mean there aren't challenges to teachers in the govian world where they rightly or wrongly feel under threat from changes afoot, but the difference is teachers still have union power not diluted by wholesale shifts to academy status. Whereas we as IT support staff have seen the results of PFI money, new build money, and BSF money marginalising our roles to such an extent that no senior teacher worth their salt would put up with if they felt similarly undermined.

    And whatever petitions that could have been drawn up to stop that happening would have been drowned out by the noises arguing for more please of that pot of gold [and flexible learning spaces. sic] from the last government.
    Last edited by alttab; 8th August 2012 at 10:37 PM.

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    Too many divergents to discuss but
    Now that is why I'd have a problem with this quote...

    Originally Posted by SimpleSi
    A good "teacher" can learn a subject and deliver/teach it well and get good results.
    Although to be fair - Si didn't say any teacher.
    Exactly - its important to read all the adverbs and adjectives - didnt you have a good teacher when you were little
    Too simplistic... there's also ..., I think the pure teaching is often the easy part.
    I'm only talking about teaching kids stuff Stupidly, I know, I believe (despite everything that has happened in education in the last 15 years) that, at the end of the day etc etc its what kids learn that counts -all the rest is really just bullshit.

    If standard/thick-sorry challenged/gifted child knows the same or more useful stuff nowadays than the old days then the human race in the this country is doing good - if not - we are not.

    I think useful stuff involves computers nowadays - 50 yrs ago - it was mechanical stuff that was important - I want/do teach it- I sleep well at night even thought not QTS

    Simon

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    And so we get onto the discussion about how important flexible learning spaces are when designing and building schools
    New learning spaces are a bit of a minority (in both senses in some cases) interest now surely? Let some free school's play with the glorious eduVisions and we'll see what happens. Surely the trick is to focus on what can be achieved within the 'wriggle room' the overwhelming majority of schools have got right now. I'd actually prefer folk to be discussing useful, pragmatic, bite-sized things that can actually be widely implemented to at least some good effect in non-glacial time-scales i.e. stuff that might improve something or other for my child.

    As for the teachers who are divas ... yes, there will always be those in any sector / field.
    Can tell you've had lots of practice tiptoeing around them ;b

    I wouldn't have made the remark if I didn't think that the levels in teaching were remarkable, and with plenty of good cause. They're also reasonably predictable because the job selects for it - it hardly appeals to say, unassertive quiet folk who want to spend their days doing tightly integrated team-work does it?

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    I say big up Mikey Gove, give the out of date, overpaid (in respect of teachers) and pampered education industry a good kick up the a*se.
    1. Glad to see the other side coming out of hiding

    2. Its not the good kicking that's the issue, its the good kicking followed by lets go back to the 50/60/70s that's the problem

    The problem is that education IS a political issue . Tories want high achievers and middle class parents to be allowed to huddle together and push upwards leaving the other children behind - Labour want all children to move on and prepared to sacrifice high achievers a bit but not too much as they don't want to lose the middle class vote as well.

    I'm the product of 11+ grammar school education - it surely let me develop my qualifications to the best of my ability - had I gone to the comprehesive school, I might have made it but probably not.

    Having gone through life now and had kids go through school, what I'd want is for all kids to be mixed up in schools to even out the ability range and for the kids to be setted in each subject and good teaching pitched at that sets level and for EVERYONE to realise that the real target for education is to educate a child to the right level for them - not to go totally overboard in trying to get the not so bright over an imaginary line.

    Si

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    I'm the product of 11+ grammar school education - it surely let me develop my qualifications to the best of my ability - had I gone to the comprehesive school, I might have made it but probably not.Si
    I'm also the product of a grammar school and I think I would have done better in a good comprehensive - at the grammar I wasnt really noticed or pushed - I was an 'average' student and they really werent very interested in you if you werent brilliant at something! But there are many comprehensives now that do provide a good all-round education. My three children could have gone to grammar and all passed the exam but opted for the local comp (we are on the border of three different education systems). They all did well and all got to University.

    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    what I'd want is for all kids to be mixed up in schools to even out the ability range and for the kids to be setted in each subject and good teaching pitched at that sets level and for EVERYONE to realise that the real target for education is to educate a child to the right level for them - not to go totally overboard in trying to get the not so bright over an imaginary line.
    Si
    Totally agree - my children really benefited from being in a mixed sex, mixed ability school and the only thing I would change if I could is the setting - I would like to see it in every subject right up to and including A level. I know that this probably makes a timetable a nightmare though, and very probably impossible. Even in the subjects that are set, the school has a very wide range of ability so even though there were sometimes 10 sets,the sets were necessarily quite wide, ability-wise, which was a bit of an issue sometimes. At A level, because the school was keen for all children to do A levels if they wanted to -there was a vast difference between a student who could get an A and one for whom a D represents success - but no setting meant they were all together and the 'brighter' ones were held back a bit

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    so even though there were sometimes 10 sets,the sets were necessarily quite wide, ability-wise,
    That doesn't compute ????
    What necessity made them wide - only grouped by surnames?
    10 sets would surely be enough in 99% of schools
    Si

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    That's the new mission isn't it: "Ensure every child achieves their full potential".

    BUT we still seem to have floors in the spotlight more than ceilings e.g. the 20% of kids that don't hit level 4 reading by the end of Primary that was exercising Wilshaw earlier this year and sparked "Every child shall be above average" taunts. Meanwhile at least 20% of Sprogette's class have allegedly hit level 5 and have two years Primary to go. Before anyone mentions level 6 I'd *much* prefer something different right now, broader as opposed to higher within rather narrow academic confines, especially not climbs that may well get repeated at Secondary. Don't fancy their chances with broader though, but perhaps they could spend Y5 competitively cycling round-and-round the playground or on rowing machines in the hall instead.
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 9th August 2012 at 06:56 PM. Reason: tpyo

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    That doesn't compute ????
    What necessity made them wide - only grouped by surnames?
    10 sets would surely be enough in 99% of schools
    Si
    Well, no, not when you are talking about 450 children in each year with abilities ranging from the very bottom to absolute genius - obviously the split isnt equal but it did mean, for example, that in the top set you might get the very cleverest 5, the next cleverest 20 and then the next 10, whereas in a grammar the children are closer in ability so you might not get the 'bottom' 10 in the same set, they would be in the next set down. This would also be the case if the sets were more numerous. If you see what I mean....

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