Monday, January 07, 2008

Soft Options

Soft 'A' Levels? How can anybody claim that Leisure Studies is an easy option compared with say Further maths? Oh, ok then.

The real scandal is that 35% of the students who take Further Maths are from Private Schools, despite the fact that only 7% of kids attend them. The Comps just can't attract teachers who are able to teach it, or teach students to a high enough level that they can even attempt it.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

A similar phenomenon is happening in Western Australia, and probably in many other parts of the world. The introduction of "Phys Ed Studies" as a legitimate subject for students sitting their final exams has seen dramatic declines in "traditional" subjects, particularly the social sciences. This move can't even be justified on the grounds that it reduces the instance of childhood obesity!

cabalamat said...

I did further maths in a state school. This was over quarter of a century ago, mind.

Anonymous said...

Err...lets not forget that this is actually a rationale choice for many kids at that age. do you want to i) stick your head in a book for four years at Uni surrounded by geeks and drones or ii) do the minimum of work and be surrounded by fit individuals of the opposite sex. DUH!

Sandy Mac said...

It's not just the UK that can't attract good teachers in 'hard' subjects. Here in the UAE I was asked, despite being an English teacher, to teach Maths AND Computing one semester.

OK, the level was extremely low (decimals and fractions; how to log-in, save a doc., etc) but still ... I would have had to prepare lessons - something I haven't dome for years now!!

Anonymous said...

The problem is two fold. 1) you can't polish turds, Frank. So the majority of the kids who attend sink hole schools probably don't have the academic inteligence to be able to deal with higher maths. Time was the better kids from these schools were weeded out and given a chance through the 11 plus. The rest were taught skills that they would need to go get a trade, or were able to find reasonably well paid work (i.e enough to afford a house and put food on the table) in factories, or down the pit. Unfortunately, those days are gone.

2) the apauling lack of discipline and kids thinking they are the equals of their elders and betters has meant that teachers are unable to keep control of classes and actually make kids shut up and listen to what they are being taught.

Answer, bring back setting and streaming and grammar and secondary modern schools. Then give teachers the power to discipline students properly and go back 50 years to when kids knew that no matter whether they liked it or not you did as you were told and you didn't question it. Then, maybe then, our educational standards might just start improving. Plus give the kids from shit areas a life line and a chance to escape the crap that they have been born into. Simple as.

matthew said...

i did further maths at state school - I had to teach myself.

rick said...

I also did further maths in a comp, 14 years ago, and like another commenter it was largely self-taught (they could only schedule a couple of periods a week for a subject with hardly any candidates). Now I teach it, in a public school.

Anonymous said...

From the linked article:

The move, if it has the intended effect, would undermine ministers' efforts to increase the numbers of state school students at luniversities.

That cannot have been a typo ... lol!

DorsetDipper said...

Not sure this statistic is relevant. The issue is whether the proportion of children with the capability and desire to do further maths who then go on to do it is different in state schools to private schools.

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