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Education Syllabus in the UK

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    Firstly, I am deeply saddened by the fact that students aren't introduced to computer science at school. England has a rich heritage in the field with the legacy left behind by the original pioneers such as Ada Lovelace through to Charles Babbage and Alan Turing. The government has turned its back on this cultural and academic inheritance and the majority of UK secondary school students will know sod all about how computers work (from hardware to programming, the Internet and networking) - surely it's of utmost importance if we live in a world where we rely extremely heavily on these systems and machines. With the revolution of quantum computing and the imminent threat of cyber-terrorism, the government really needs to pull its finger out. Sure, the uni courses are great, but students are left to themselves to find an interest for the subject instead of being introduced to it at school and being given the opportunity to develop some curiosity for it. You may argue that IT is taught at GCSE and A-Level - I assure you that these are very lowly regarded qualifications (even amongst secondary schools) whose content is very poor and doesn't cover any involved form computer science or thought whatsoever. In my year, only myself and one other person can program / knows stuff about how the computer world works. Other countries are taking the forefront in this field now, and I think that action needs to be taken. :mad:

    Secondly, when mathematics is first introduced around GCSE, especially from a pure perspective, I don't think anywhere near enough emphasis is placed on proof, number theory and rigour. It's all very fuzzy and if you asked a student to define something as simple as a decimal or an irrational number, they would be hard pushed. Even trivial slip-up points such as spurious solutions, losing solutions and division by zero fallacies aren't tackled

    Finally, after having studied the Edexcel M1-M5 modules at A-Level mathematics, I've noticed that the classical mechanics standard which you can be taught up to in the UK soars way above the scope of this subject at schools abroad. After studying these modules, a student could easily ace an MIT exam on classical mechanics and still know more than has been introduced on their syllabus. I guess we've fully embraced our Newtonian heritage there

    Does anyone have anything to add about the shortcomings/advantages of our education syllabus or comments on the above?
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    Your examples are exactly the same as the ones I always use in this argument...


    I'm taking Computer Science next year at Loughborough Uni. I don't take ICT at A level, as I took it at GCSE and realised it was a heck of a lot of coursework (OCR I think...) that was completely irrelevant to CompSci, followed by an exam that drifts over the 'key' aspects of hardware and data protection [i.e. "what types of printer are there? What are their advantages?"]. Not one aspect of programming in there whatsoever. I've often referred to the course as being a Microsoft-Office Certificate, as that's all you ever seem to be taught...

    On to Maths (I take reg. and Further), then I definitely agree about the lack of proof being taught. Just the other week our teacher spent a double lesson walking us through the proof of some rule in FM, then once we'd finished we were told that the proof was completely unnecessary and all we needed to know was the (rather simple) final result. If it wasn't for our teacher putting the effort in to teach us that, we would have no clue whatsoever as to how it worked... I'm willing to bet that an awful lot of teachers would simply skip the working and use the all-too-common phrase "Just trust that it works for now". Ridiculous.


    They really need to review and focus these aspects of the syllabus, and then balance this across the exam boards. Right now, the syllabuses vary dramatically between exam boards, and there is no consistency whatsoever. =/
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    It really has affected me in life not know about irrational numbers. And don't even get my started on not being able to put division by zero fallacies on my CV.
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    (Original post by Maddog Jones)
    It really has affected me in life not know about irrational numbers. And don't even get my started on not being able to put division by zero fallacies on my CV.
    For you: http://thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=math
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    Not really. I've heard maths obsessives moan about people not having good enough standards of maths in the past. Why the **** does it matter? It's clearly a complaint aimed at making the person who's saying it look more intelligent. It's such a transparent boast it's cringeworthy.

    GCSE has 10 subjects and they're all at very vague, basic levels. If people want to take maths on and do it, they can. What gives you the right to try and force maths on everybody? I don't want to do maths. I don't like maths. I like politics as a subject. Everybody ideally should be educated to a minimum basic standard as they'll all be entitled to vote. Does that mean I come onto internet forums and create websites bitching and moaning and telling everyone how unintelligent and inferior they are, and claiming that my preferred subject should dominate the curriculum?

    No, because that would be ****ing stupid.

    Get over yourself.
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    (Original post by Maddog Jones)
    Not really. I've heard maths obsessives moan about people not having good enough standards of maths in the past. Why the **** does it matter? It's clearly a complaint aimed at making the person who's saying it look more intelligent. It's such a transparent boast it's cringeworthy.

    GCSE has 10 subjects and they're all at very vague, basic levels. If people want to take maths on and do it, they can. What gives you the right to try and force maths on everybody? I don't want to do maths. I don't like maths. I like politics as a subject. Everybody ideally should be educated to a minimum basic standard as they'll all be entitled to vote. Does that mean I come onto internet forums and create websites bitching and moaning and telling everyone how unintelligent and inferior they are, and claiming that my preferred subject should dominate the curriculum?

    No, because that would be ****ing stupid.

    Get over yourself.
    Wow, I guess you're right. Maths is for intelligent people. Who are we to impose it on the less gifted/able? Sorry for trying.

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