I want to talk about our education system Watch

Daniel Tamosev
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You may or may not have noticed that we loved learning in primary school, but as we near our GCSE's or A Levels, you may or not have noticed that this is no longer the case.

My personal and prime example is my interest in literature. Only a year ago I loved reading and analysing poems, novels, plays among other things, but now I can't stand it. English Literature has sucked the joy out of a subject that I once enjoyed and many others have as well. This is, of course, true for other subjects for all students. You may have loved science in primary school where you used to go onto the playground and look at the different species of birds, or investigating whether or not air has weight, but now you regret choosing triple science at GCSE and would do anything to drop if it wasn't too late. The hypothetical examples are endless, given that, is there something wrong with out education system? Personally, I think yes.

The modern education system has a 'one size fits all' approach, we shove students into a building, categorise them into groups based on academic ability, and expect all of them to honour and repeat the same, monotone regimen for 13 years, from primary school to sixth form, with little to no regard for their well-being or happiness. We need to understand that everyone is different, I'm not saying make a separate education system for every pupil, I'm jut saying maybe our 500 year old education system is the reason why attendance is so low, why grades are so low, today. What is the point in working students for an entire year only for them to lose motivation by the end and just completely give up on their exams?

I don't have a solution for this, I only wanted to state my opinion, which is the belief that I should allow myself to enjoy a subject and learning without being subject to standardised testing, which does nothing but prove the power of my memory and essay-writing skills, rather than my knowledge and enthusiasm of the subject. What's your opinion?
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mnot
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(Original post by Daniel Tamosev)
You may or may not have noticed that we loved learning in primary school, but as we near our GCSE's or A Levels, you may or not have noticed that this is no longer the case.

My personal and prime example is my interest in literature. Only a year ago I loved reading and analysing poems, novels, plays among other things, but now I can't stand it. English Literature has sucked the joy out of a subject that I once enjoyed and many others have as well. This is, of course, true for other subjects for all students. You may have loved science in primary school where you used to go onto the playground and look at the different species of birds, or investigating whether or not air has weight, but now you regret choosing triple science at GCSE and would do anything to drop if it wasn't too late. The hypothetical examples are endless, given that, is there something wrong with out education system? Personally, I think yes.

The modern education system has a 'one size fits all' approach, we shove students into a building, categorise them into groups based on academic ability, and expect all of them to honour and repeat the same, monotone regimen for 13 years, from primary school to sixth form, with little to no regard for their well-being or happiness. We need to understand that everyone is different, I'm not saying make a separate education system for every pupil, I'm jut saying maybe our 500 year old education system is the reason why attendance is so low, why grades are so low, today. What is the point in working students for an entire year only for them to lose motivation by the end and just completely give up on their exams?

I don't have a solution for this, I only wanted to state my opinion, which is the belief that I should allow myself to enjoy a subject and learning without being subject to standardised testing, which does nothing but prove the power of my memory and essay-writing skills, rather than my knowledge and enthusiasm of the subject. What's your opinion?
Its perspective, i really enjoyed school but view it largely as a waste of time up until 6 form with very little academic benefits, but lots of social ones. That being said i probably wouldn't have many of the friends i have to this day without school.
I think we need more 'streams' split kids up on academic ability earlier. As for top students at gcse are not pushed and have a pretty easy ride to top grades, middle ability kids grades are determined by how much they can push themselves and how good there teachers are, low intellectual abilities either have to struggle to get C's or take foundation course which teach them nothing but enable them to go study at college.
More pragmatic approaches should be considered with more streams for different students. I also think math is too easy and higher level content should be taught at younger ages while 'kids brains are sponges'.
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DarthRoar
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Lot's of people didn't love learning in primary school, but that aside the reason why learning becomes less 'enjoyable' is because it gets more difficult, and there becomes more of it. If not, you'd leave school with no skills whatsoever.

Not sure what makes you think attendance and grades are somehow 'low' today. They're not. It's all well and good to say "things bad me no likey" but it's nonsense without an alternative.
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lokidokie
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(Original post by Daniel Tamosev)
You may or may not have noticed that we loved learning in primary school, but as we near our GCSE's or A Levels, you may or not have noticed that this is no longer the case.

My personal and prime example is my interest in literature. Only a year ago I loved reading and analysing poems, novels, plays among other things, but now I can't stand it. English Literature has sucked the joy out of a subject that I once enjoyed and many others have as well. This is, of course, true for other subjects for all students. You may have loved science in primary school where you used to go onto the playground and look at the different species of birds, or investigating whether or not air has weight, but now you regret choosing triple science at GCSE and would do anything to drop if it wasn't too late. The hypothetical examples are endless, given that, is there something wrong with out education system? Personally, I think yes.

The modern education system has a 'one size fits all' approach, we shove students into a building, categorise them into groups based on academic ability, and expect all of them to honour and repeat the same, monotone regimen for 13 years, from primary school to sixth form, with little to no regard for their well-being or happiness. We need to understand that everyone is different, I'm not saying make a separate education system for every pupil, I'm jut saying maybe our 500 year old education system is the reason why attendance is so low, why grades are so low, today. What is the point in working students for an entire year only for them to lose motivation by the end and just completely give up on their exams?

I don't have a solution for this, I only wanted to state my opinion, which is the belief that I should allow myself to enjoy a subject and learning without being subject to standardised testing, which does nothing but prove the power of my memory and essay-writing skills, rather than my knowledge and enthusiasm of the subject. What's your opinion?
People can complain all about the educational system but there really is no alternative as of yet. If there was an alternative that allowed for students to achieve better grades and better attendance (despite it being good already) it would have been implemented years ago.

And of course you liked primary education more than secondary, because it was easier and you didn't actually do any work that really mattered. GCSE's and A-Levels are the stepping stones to your future- of course they are going to cause more stress and perhaps make you dislike a subject you previously enjoyed. You need to know information and be tested on it for the purpose of your future. If we weren't then people would just take subjects that would give them a good pay despite not being good at it.

I agree that the amount of stress that is applied to students is extreme- and as a student myself I feel totally unequipped to make my future life decisions now. I don't think the educational system has to change- I believe those who help it function, such as teachers, should be better paid and trained to deal with students who need support and guidance.
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Daniel Tamosev
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(Original post by mnot)
Its perspective, i really enjoyed school but view it largely as a waste of time up until 6 form with very little academic benefits, but lots of social ones. That being said i probably wouldn't have many of the friends i have to this day without school.
I think we need more 'streams' split kids up on academic ability earlier. As for top students at gcse are not pushed and have a pretty easy ride to top grades, middle ability kids grades are determined by how much they can push themselves and how good there teachers are, low intellectual abilities either have to struggle to get C's or take foundation course which teach them nothing but enable them to go study at college.
More pragmatic approaches should be considered with more streams for different students. I also think math is too easy and higher level content should be taught at younger ages while 'kids brains are sponges'.
I agree with the latter, harder subjects should be taught earlier, as this would reduce the effects of a sudden change from year 9 to GCSE. We teach topics that are too easy at secondary school, and the dramatic and drastic change is what causes such a disillusionment of students. Of course, we need to think of those that have learning difficulties such as ADHD, we need to accommodate their needs and they should not be held back from higher content because the school does not feel that they are ready to learn such topics, it should be their choice as to what tier they want to study. As well as 'normal' educational subjects, such as maths, science etc., we need to start teaching real life skills, such as managing money, but also home economics such as cooking or changing a car tyre. We absolutely need to start teaching languages from a young age as well, from primary school, it would hugely benefit the student if they learn another language.
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Arran90
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My mother was the opposite. She enjoyed her O Level subjects in KS4 but found primary school to be tedious and boring with a narrow curriculum. Back in the 1970s primary schools generally didn't teach science apart from a bit of nature study; history and geography was more limited and less interesting than after 1990ish; there were no computers; lots of time was spent (wasted?) on activities of dubious educational value; in KS2 there was no end of writing, more writing, getting your handwriting criticised, and pen pushing mattered to teachers far more than intelligence did. She couldn't possibly understand how any kids could really enjoy primary school back then.
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Daniel Tamosev
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By 'attendance', I meant as in the amount of students attending or not attending school whether if it is by choice or whether the school has decided to expel them. The latter is what I was trying to emphasise, expulsion rates have increased, most of the time for good reason, but I believe that we should not give up on those who were expelled and simply ignore the fact that they are no longer in full-time education, some schools send those who were expelled to another school or pupil referral, but this is not effective anymore.

My point about the education system was mainly argued against testing. The subjects alone are interesting, and testing is important, but we have recently been moving towards a system that tests based on memory rather than academic skill, which is a mistake and is not even effective. It can be argued that the tests challenge students and encourage them to try harder, and I agree with that in some way, but there is a problem when most of the things you have learned in 6 years have been forgotten as soon as soon as you finish your GCSE's.
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TheTroll73
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(Original post by Daniel Tamosev)
You may or may not have noticed that we loved learning in primary school, but as we near our GCSE's or A Levels, you may or not have noticed that this is no longer the case.

My personal and prime example is my interest in literature. Only a year ago I loved reading and analysing poems, novels, plays among other things, but now I can't stand it. English Literature has sucked the joy out of a subject that I once enjoyed and many others have as well. This is, of course, true for other subjects for all students. You may have loved science in primary school where you used to go onto the playground and look at the different species of birds, or investigating whether or not air has weight, but now you regret choosing triple science at GCSE and would do anything to drop if it wasn't too late. The hypothetical examples are endless, given that, is there something wrong with out education system? Personally, I think yes.

The modern education system has a 'one size fits all' approach, we shove students into a building, categorise them into groups based on academic ability, and expect all of them to honour and repeat the same, monotone regimen for 13 years, from primary school to sixth form, with little to no regard for their well-being or happiness. We need to understand that everyone is different, I'm not saying make a separate education system for every pupil, I'm jut saying maybe our 500 year old education system is the reason why attendance is so low, why grades are so low, today. What is the point in working students for an entire year only for them to lose motivation by the end and just completely give up on their exams?

I don't have a solution for this, I only wanted to state my opinion, which is the belief that I should allow myself to enjoy a subject and learning without being subject to standardised testing, which does nothing but prove the power of my memory and essay-writing skills, rather than my knowledge and enthusiasm of the subject. What's your opinion?
woah someone who actually agrees with me

now that's not something I see everyday
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Daniel Tamosev
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(Original post by lokidokie)
People can complain all about the educational system but there really is no alternative as of yet. If there was an alternative that allowed for students to achieve better grades and better attendance (despite it being good already) it would have been implemented years ago.

And of course you liked primary education more than secondary, because it was easier and you didn't actually do any work that really mattered. GCSE's and A-Levels are the stepping stones to your future- of course they are going to cause more stress and perhaps make you dislike a subject you previously enjoyed. You need to know information and be tested on it for the purpose of your future. If we weren't then people would just take subjects that would give them a good pay despite not being good at it.

I agree that the amount of stress that is applied to students is extreme- and as a student myself I feel totally unequipped to make my future life decisions now. I don't think the educational system has to change- I believe those who help it function, such as teachers, should be better paid and trained to deal with students who need support and guidance.
I absolutely agree, there is no alternative. But I think we can also agree that an alternative must be found. Our education system is outdated, and it is suitable to some students, and it is not as effective as it was in the 20th century and it does not prepare us for real-life. But with your point about primary school, that is part of the problem isn't it? Most of the things we learn in primary school are useless. I'm not saying lets teach primary school children how to manage their finances, but we need to bridge the gap between primary school and secondary school more effectively to ensure that the fallout of such a drastic change is limited. Secondary and primary education systems are completely different from each other, and for good reason, but the support system must be equally as good to support those who struggle with school and to limit stress. Essentially, we need to prepare students at secondary school for the pressures of exams, or simply stop testing based on memory
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Daniel Tamosev
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(Original post by Arran90)
My mother was the opposite. She enjoyed her O Level subjects in KS4 but found primary school to be tedious and boring with a narrow curriculum. Back in the 1970s primary schools generally didn't teach science apart from a bit of nature study; history and geography was more limited and less interesting than after 1990ish; there were no computers; lots of time was spent (wasted?) on activities of dubious educational value; in KS2 there was no end of writing, more writing, getting your handwriting criticised, and pen pushing mattered to teachers far more than intelligence did. She couldn't possibly understand how any kids could really enjoy primary school back then.
The same applies to primary schools today. Topics of little educational value are taught most of the time and is mostly a waste of 6 years. It is to make learning more enjoyable, but that doesn't work if you're not learning anything in the first place. Primary school children need to be taught more useful information as well as being prepared for secondary school
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lokidokie
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I agree. The way students are tested needs to change. The gap between primary and secondary can be drastic and I personally think teaching science should be compulsory- as it wasn't for most people in my year when they were in primary. It does need to change and I think the way to a better system is through paying teachers more reasonable salaries for the massive amounts of work they do and providing more support to students. Unfortunately, it's not that simple.
(Original post by Daniel Tamosev)
I absolutely agree, there is no alternative. But I think we can also agree that an alternative must be found. Our education system is outdated, and it is suitable to some students, and it is not as effective as it was in the 20th century and it does not prepare us for real-life. But with your point about primary school, that is part of the problem isn't it? Most of the things we learn in primary school are useless. I'm not saying lets teach primary school children how to manage their finances, but we need to bridge the gap between primary school and secondary school more effectively to ensure that the fallout of such a drastic change is limited. Secondary and primary education systems are completely different from each other, and for good reason, but the support system must be equally as good to support those who struggle with school and to limit stress. Essentially, we need to prepare students at secondary school for the pressures of exams, or simply stop testing based on memory
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MinaBee
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To be fair, we do have it a lot easier compared to some countries (look at South Korea and Japan for example).

I really don't see things changing. We are too invested in league tables and getting the best grades possible so that the school looks good that everything else has been thrown out the window. Teachers can't even teach anymore without being hounded by paperwork and data analysis.

A lot needs to change but it's going to take a long time to sort it out.
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stoyfan
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(Original post by Daniel Tamosev)
The same applies to primary schools today. Topics of little educational value are taught most of the time and is mostly a waste of 6 years. It is to make learning more enjoyable, but that doesn't work if you're not learning anything in the first place. Primary school children need to be taught more useful information as well as being prepared for secondary school
Schools have to teach you lots of topics as, although some of the topics 'may be of little edducational value' for you, those topics might be a lot more useful to other people. This is because people have differing plans for what they want to become in the future. E.g, for your average joe, algebra may be quite useless, but for some who want to persue a career in STEM, algebra will be very useful to them.

You may wonder, why couldn't schools just make lessons more personalised. Well, its because we simply do not have the time and resources. Teaching different many different versions of the same subject (e.g Maths with algebra, maths without algebra, maths with a lot more statistics, etc...) requires lots of teachers and quite a considerable amount of time would have to be wasted making lesson plans.

Not to mention, that unis would rather want the curiculum to be standardised as they want to would want all students taking their courses, to enough content prior to being enrolled.
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Arran90
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(Original post by Daniel Tamosev)
I agree with the latter, harder subjects should be taught earlier, as this would reduce the effects of a sudden change from year 9 to GCSE.
I previously stated, primary schools generally didn't teach science apart from a bit of nature study back in the 1970s. My mother found that the science I was studying in Y7 at secondary school was more advanced than the science she was studying in Y7 at secondary school, because at the time it was assumed that Y7 students had not studied any science at primary school, despite science O Levels back then being academically more rigorous and having more content than the combined science GCSE of my time.

Even the mathematics I was studying in Y7 was more advanced than the mathematics my mother was studying in Y7 because I had covered some algebra, statistics, and geometry in primary school whereas my mother had only studied arithmetic.

We absolutely need to start teaching languages from a young age as well, from primary school, it would hugely benefit the student if they learn another language.
I disagree with this one until the government has implemented a clear strategy for MFL and has determined exactly which languages need to be taught for the requirements of society and industry in the future. I am opposed to bi-lingualism for the sake of it or for academic purposes with little regard to the utility of learning another language for the individual.

There are also a large, and increasing number, of children who are bi-lingual or have English as a second language. Teachers say that more time and effort needs to be devoted to these children to become fluent in English, but at the same time schools fail to tap into the language that the children already know or allow them to take it for GCSE instead of the usual European languages.

I have mentioned many times that it would probably be a better strategy to have the immigrant and ethnic minority children become the nation's future linguists and 90% of white indigenous British children be English monoglots.
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Arran90
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(Original post by Daniel Tamosev)
I absolutely agree, there is no alternative. But I think we can also agree that an alternative must be found. Our education system is outdated, and it is suitable to some students, and it is not as effective as it was in the 20th century and it does not prepare us for real-life.
Should the home education community be consulted? Home education in Britain is fraught with controversy, and probably badly misunderstood by a large proportion of the public and employers, but is it possible that society and the school education system might learn something useful from it?

I'm not saying lets teach primary school children how to manage their finances, but we need to bridge the gap between primary school and secondary school more effectively to ensure that the fallout of such a drastic change is limited. Secondary and primary education systems are completely different from each other, and for good reason, but the support system must be equally as good to support those who struggle with school and to limit stress.
Was it a bad decision for the government to (largely) abolish middle schools and move to a system of primary schools and secondary schools? I have encountered parents who much prefer the system of first schools, middle schools, and high schools as the leap between them is far less than the leap between primary school and secondary school - that also occurs at the worst time socially and emotionally for children.
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Arran90
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(Original post by Daniel Tamosev)
The same applies to primary schools today. Topics of little educational value are taught most of the time and is mostly a waste of 6 years. It is to make learning more enjoyable, but that doesn't work if you're not learning anything in the first place. Primary school children need to be taught more useful information as well as being prepared for secondary school
Can you elaborate on this one? Which topics of little educational value are being taught? What useful information should primary schools be teaching?
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BlueIndigoViolet
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Primary school subjects were boring as hell, repetitive and dull, though agree that they children should be allowed to be children...
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Sinnoh
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6th form has been the best years of my education so far. Primary school was boring s**t. Because I was interested in the sciences, I really did want to know why alkali metals reacted violently with water. Or why things fall over when you tip them enough. Or how evolution worked. Or how the body regulated it's temperature. Much better than seeing if plants grow better in sunlight. Everyone in primary school knew that already.
Additionally you can't argue that nothing has changed in 500 years - unless all you learn at your school is Latin.
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eilish1903
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(Original post by Daniel Tamosev)
By 'attendance', I meant as in the amount of students attending or not attending school whether if it is by choice or whether the school has decided to expel them. The latter is what I was trying to emphasise, expulsion rates have increased, most of the time for good reason, but I believe that we should not give up on those who were expelled and simply ignore the fact that they are no longer in full-time education, some schools send those who were expelled to another school or pupil referral, but this is not effective anymore.

My point about the education system was mainly argued against testing. The subjects alone are interesting, and testing is important, but we have recently been moving towards a system that tests based on memory rather than academic skill, which is a mistake and is not even effective. It can be argued that the tests challenge students and encourage them to try harder, and I agree with that in some way, but there is a problem when most of the things you have learned in 6 years have been forgotten as soon as soon as you finish your GCSE's.
part of the reason expulsion rates are increasing though is because tbe government is.cutting SEN funding and some schools aren't able to.cover the costs themselves so they resort to kicking out SEN students, often because their issues are misunderstood and staff think its a behavioural issue, not a learning issue.

i think the only thing we.can really do about the current system is try to ensure teachers have as much training as possible when it comes to SEN and in all honesty, the curriculum is what it is. It's the teachers responsibility to make the lessons as engaging and interesting as they can...
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Daniel Tamosev
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(Original post by Arran90)
Can you elaborate on this one? Which topics of little educational value are being taught? What useful information should primary schools be teaching?
Primary schools should be teaching pupils more about secondary school, or at least attempt to narrow the gap between primary and secondary school in some way. In terms of what they are teaching today, it is mainly maths and English, which is useful but it is basically the same topics being repeated again and again over 6 years, such as punctuation or descriptive language, and as you said, teach neater handwriting even though it is already legible, but other than that not much else, at least from what I can remember from primary school, maybe a few science experiments although this was rare, and of course PE which is necessary.
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