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UK crisis - A-level choices watch

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    Blame the government.

    The government is giving the clear message that education is for everyone and people who are of a below average intelligence tend to take the so-called mickey-mouse subjects. The government is wrong for giving this message out because resitting all your GCSEs and taking such AS-Level is never going to allow them to catch up with the highflyers, so they may as well take a more vocational/practical course which may allow them to catch up with high flyers in terms of salary. For most doing a degree in Media Studies, doesn't provide what we need.

    I think our AS/A2's should be a bit like the IB, we should have to take a language, do maths skills and communication skills and then maybe we could allow people to choose Media Studies if they wish. It would give our qualifications a bit more credibility and be helpful to our country.
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    This thread makes gives me the feeling that a lot of you think that "mickey mouse" subjects are for less intelligant people and that everyone who takes them is not intelligant and would fail at "traditional" subjects. Am I right?
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    There is a way to solve this problem.

    Why not make all university courses in "proper", science based subjects free of charge?

    The extra funding could be found by adding to the fees for the less traditional subjects. In this way people doing the very "useful" degrees would be encouraged to do so by the lack of fees, and the people who have all the fun with the doss subjects would have to pay a still very reasonable price to do so.
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    (Original post by samdavyson)
    There is a way to solve this problem.

    Why not make all university courses in "proper", science based subjects free of charge?

    The extra funding could be found by adding to the fees for the less traditional subjects. In this way people doing the very "useful" degrees would be encouraged to do so by the lack of fees, and the people who have all the fun with the doss subjects would have to pay a still very reasonable price to do so.
    Yes, that is another option that I agree with. But then, there will be the problem of classification (e.g. which subjects should be free of charge? Is subject "x" a "proper" or "science" subject?). Obviously with maths, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine etc there is no problem. But then some people will argue that (for example) Geography should be on the list, others will say it should not. And there will always be people who will argue that (for example) Art is a fundamental subject, that all of society will dissintegrate without artists and will argue that therefore you should not have to pay for doing an Art degree.
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    (Original post by dieeiervonsatan)
    England is one of the few countries in Europe where subjects such as Psychology, Sociology and Photography are allowed to be studied. In Russia for example, everyone takes the same subjects, and hence the system is much fairer when it comes to university applications. Since everyone has done the same subjects (easier comparison), admission is much fairer. You don't have this problem of "oh this subject is easier than this one though, this person has this subject and that one hasn't so lets choose him/her, oh but this person had this exam board, which is a much harder one, so lets choose them over so and so".
    I would agree that the idea of multiple, buisiness-run exam boards is absurd. Also, General Studies is ridiculous. However, making everyone do the same - presumably science-based - subjects would stifle any kind of independence in the education system. Not everyone wants to do the same things. You need to specialise to be able to understand the things you are interested in in any great depth.

    (Original post by dieeiervonsatan)
    At that, I don't think anyone will suffer too much if there were a shortage of creative people.
    That is actually painful to read. Without the capacity for creativity Watson and Crick wouldn't have come up with the double helix structure for DNA. Without creativity, there would have been no Leonardo Da Vinci, no printing press, no Stephen Hawking, no space programme. Without creativity, we cannot advance.

    (Original post by dieeiervonsatan)
    An A Level in drama isn't as good as an A Level in any other subject.
    Even for someone who is passionate about the subject and who wants to take it on to a higher level? What use is an understanding of cellular biology to such a person?

    (Original post by dieeiervonsatan)
    In any case, you don't have to take a subject to get a general feel/idea of what it involves.
    Sure you do, I little conception of what was involved in Economics before I took it as an AS level. History as AS is nothing like GCSE, A2 even less so.

    (Original post by dieeiervonsatan)
    You don't have to take Further Maths to be able to say it is harder than most A Levels and requires more thinking.
    Further Maths does not require more thinking, it just requires you to be good at Maths and have a mathematical brain. And as for it be harder - well duh! - it's twice as much maths, naturally you'll be going into more detail.


    (Original post by dieeiervonsatan)
    Similarly, I don't have to take Media, I can just go to the Media Studies Department in my school and see the kind of things they are doing (not all that much) or talk to people that have taken it.
    Is it possible that this reflects more on your school's media studies department than Media Studies as a subject generally?

    (Original post by dieeiervonsatan)
    It is easy to get good grades in subjects like Psychology. All you need to do, is memorise a bit of stuff (like the Freudian rubbish - why is that even taught?!), then use your knowledge of every day life and common sense and you've passed your exam. It's not that amazing and not that much of an achievement.
    "It is easy to get good grades in subjects like Chemistry or Biology. All you need to do, is memorise and rote-learn a lot of stuff (like the photosynthesis rubbish and chemical formulae - why is that even taught?!), then regurtate all the stuff you've learnt word for word without really understanding it. It's not that amazing and not that much of an achievement." - what would you say to that? Outrageous - eh? Well there we go.

    The reason Freud is taught in Psychology A-level is because he is amongst the most important figures in modern Psychology. Simple, really. Shouldn't take a scientist genius to work it out...

    ALL A-LEVELS, LIKE MEN, ARE EQUAL!!!
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    (Original post by Pegasus)
    I actually think that A-level Maths could pick up in the next few years, as people are starting to realise how important it is and also a generally good A-level to have.
    And that its getting a lot easier with the new system.
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    GOD! All this bloody talk of certain subjects being easier - it depends WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT!!!

    I found psychology loads harder (and got a lot less points in) than maths, because I find maths a lot easier. Psychology is v. hard to get an A in.
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    (Original post by samdavyson)
    There is a way to solve this problem.

    Why not make all university courses in "proper", science based subjects free of charge?

    The extra funding could be found by adding to the fees for the less traditional subjects. In this way people doing the very "useful" degrees would be encouraged to do so by the lack of fees, and the people who have all the fun with the doss subjects would have to pay a still very reasonable price to do so.
    WHAT?!? God are you Hitler?!?
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    (Original post by Wise One)
    I would agree that the idea of multiple, buisiness-run exam boards is absurd. Also, General Studies is ridiculous. However, making everyone do the same - presumably science-based - subjects would stifle any kind of independence in the education system. Not everyone wants to do the same things. You need to specialise to be able to understand the things you are interested in in any great depth.
    It works great in Russia, where the education system is much better than it is here. No, agreed, not everyone wants to do the same things. I hated english lang and lit at GCSE, but I was made to do them (and I think I am better off for it). I think subjects like Science and Maths (along with a foreign language and English) should be compulsory until 18 (like they are in the rest of Europe - apart from English of course). You can specialise LATER, after you have finished school, and gone on to university.

    (Original post by Wise One)
    That is actually painful to read. Without the capacity for creativity Watson and Crick wouldn't have come up with the double helix structure for DNA. Without creativity, there would have been no Leonardo Da Vinci, no printing press, no Stephen Hawking, no space programme. Without creativity, we cannot advance.
    You are misunderstanding what I meant by creativity. The kind of *creativity* you are talking about, that helps us advance, is the kind of creativity you get spending weeks/months/years trying to come up with a solution to a problem and finally achieving it. This is the kind of thing that mathematical/scientific research is all about and is what helps us advance. You don't need any Art A Level or whatever in it. I was referring to the kind of drawing/taking pictures and performing on stage etc creativity.

    (Original post by Wise One)
    Further Maths does not require more thinking, it just requires you to be good at Maths and have a mathematical brain. And as for it be harder - well duh! - it's twice as much maths, naturally you'll be going into more detail.
    Further Maths DOES require more thinking. As for it requiring you to be good at maths and have a mathematical brain - well duh! - why else would you take it if you didnt?

    (Original post by Wise One)
    Is it possible that this reflects more on your school's media studies department than Media Studies as a subject generally?
    I doubt it, I think its pretty much the same in any school.

    (Original post by Wise One)
    "It is easy to get good grades in subjects like Chemistry or Biology. All you need to do, is memorise and rote-learn a lot of stuff (like the photosynthesis rubbish and chemical formulae - why is that even taught?!), then regurtate all the stuff you've learnt word for word without really understanding it. It's not that amazing and not that much of an achievement." - what would you say to that? Outrageous - eh? Well there we go.
    I'd say "that's nice". It doesn't change my viewpoint about Psychology.

    (Original post by Wise One)
    ALL A-LEVELS, LIKE MEN, ARE EQUAL!!!
    Bulls***.

    (Original post by maattdi_2000)
    WHAT?!? God are you Hitler?!?
    Lol.. this isn't actually some random, new, off the wall idea. It has already been suggested and discussed and debated quite a lot! I don't see what exactly people find so absurd about it - the fact is, that the UK is lacking in certain professions (namely engineers, mathematicians, teachers, doctors, nurses etc) and have too many people going into other professions or specialities (namely Psychology, Sociology, Drama, Theatre and Media Studies, Politics, Philosophy, Art etc). The point is that the economy is actually quite desperately in need of the former. This is merely one idea that has been proposed, which holds quite a lot of value in my opinion.
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    (Original post by The Chameleon)
    Chemistry is the UK's biggest exporter and if its popularity at A-level status continues to diminish, then what the heck is going to happen to our economy? Chemistry is one of those subjects that can't die out because we are so reliant on it in everyday society.
    Well with the amount of people on here that do chemistry and all of the other sciences/maths, I don't think that should really be worried about!
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    Well without English Literature GCSE I would not be able to modify and recognise this quote,

    ALL A-LEVELS, LIKE MEN, ARE EQUAL!!!
    All A-Levels, Like Men, Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others

    Ok now for something more serious, an observation about the demographics of my 6th form to add fuel to the debate:

    The students with the higher grades at GCSE (and for this statement I am talking about avarage GCSE points score) opted for all science/maths/language subjects while those with lower grades opted for other subjects. Read into that what you will.
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    (Original post by icetopaz_h454)
    Well with the amount of people on here that do chemistry and all of the other sciences/maths, I don't think that should really be worried about!
    but few of these people are going to be directly using chemistry later on in life....most of them are using it as a way into medicine/dentistry/vet science
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    (Original post by samdavyson)
    There is a way to solve this problem.

    Why not make all university courses in "proper", science based subjects free of charge?

    The extra funding could be found by adding to the fees for the less traditional subjects. In this way people doing the very "useful" degrees would be encouraged to do so by the lack of fees, and the people who have all the fun with the doss subjects would have to pay a still very reasonable price to do so.
    Well it's an option that is being seriously considered, but the obverse of that is it costs more money to train a scientist than a media studies student. If tuition fees at an institution are the same for all courses, science students are getting much better value for their money.

    Somehow we need to encourage more people into science, but they need to be interested and good. I'm not sure offering financial incentives is the best way to get more good scientists.
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    (Original post by samdavyson)
    Why not make all university courses in "proper", science based subjects free of charge?
    Becuase the world needs more than just scientists.
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    (Original post by Lord Huntroyde)
    Becuase the world needs more than just scientists.
    But it needs more scientists more urgently than anything else.
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    Piffle.
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    (Original post by samdavyson)
    There is a way to solve this problem.

    Why not make all university courses in "proper", science based subjects free of charge?

    The extra funding could be found by adding to the fees for the less traditional subjects. In this way people doing the very "useful" degrees would be encouraged to do so by the lack of fees, and the people who have all the fun with the doss subjects would have to pay a still very reasonable price to do so.
    You couldn't do that to all the science courses. Universities are stuffed for monye as it already is. Although because of lack of mathematicians I do believe a maths is 'free'?
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    (Original post by The Chameleon)
    Does anybody think that we are going to become a nation of psychiatrists, drama teachers, actors/actresses, care workers etc due to our A-level choices. Etc psychology, media studies, sociology, the cop out subjects (also referred to as mickey mouse subjects)
    I may be wronge but don't you need a medical degree to be a psychiatrist. Therefor it is less likely for there to be too many.
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    (Original post by randdom)
    I may be wronge but don't you need a medical degree to be a psychiatrist. Therefor it is less likely for there to be too many.
    you do need a medical degree to become a psychiatrist, but not for a psychologist.
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    "I still don't think that these subjects teach anything useful, that sciences don't teach better, with the exception of perhaps creativity."

    I don't think that you can 'teach' creativity. Some people are naturally more creative than others, and some subjects encourage creativity more than others. English and Art are more creative than, say maths and Chemistry (at A level standard) and creative people should be allowed to take them.

    I honestly can't believe that some of you are talking about banning art! People (like myself) who want to take science a levels and science degrees should be allowed to do so, because that is where our interest or ability is. But other less academic subjects (like art) should also be allowed because other wise the whole country becomes too 'lop-sided'. Subjects like art require a lot of talent, you cant teach someone to be good at it, any more than u can teach someone to be good at maths.

    You need a wide spread of subjects at A level because other wise very intelligent but un-sciencey people will be less inclined to continue in education (can u imagine how bored you would be if you were forced to take a subject you had no interest in), and everyone looses out.

    That doesn't mean that I encourage idiots to take 'fake' subjects like media-studies though, and get an easy A. If people have a genuine interest in the area then they should pursue it at degree level, otherwise stupid people who haven’t a chance at getting a decent grade in anything else, like English or history, use there A to take up places on courses which should by rights go to the smarter people.

    (I do think that even people of below average intelligence should have a chance to go to uni, they should just do it with Cs, Ds, and Es at A level in 'proper' subjects, at less prestigious Unis)
 
 
 

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