Thoughts of next year

2018 June 9 Saturday 17:27

With the years 10 & 13 students away on revision, of course time is now available to think about next year. It would be nice to see some of the year 11 students return, but if students have been advised to study combined instead of (preferred) single science, Are they being hampered? Some schools have an eye on performance measures and not necessarily students' aspirations (see this blog post), but what to do if students are entered onto courses to make a school appear "good"?

Similarly, current year 10 students seem oblivious to the impact of their attitudes (or lack thereof) today, upon results tomorrow. Some just do not want to learn (at least chemistry). An article has been published about the very subject. Comment to follow, after trying to download and read the ... article! :(

Addicted to games

2018 June 18 Monday 23:11

So, after presumably much debate amongst experts, it has been declared by World Health Organisation that the condition of (video) gaming disorder exists and now formally recognised internationally. What's interesting is the time factor qualification of 12 months; is this applicable equally to both children and adults? One would imagine that the effect would be greater amongst children.

In a school where gaming may not be "banned" under the ideology of freedom—responsibility, it may not be practical to wait a year (remember, half of a GC(S)E course) for the condition to be declared. However it could be useful to scare parents into taking a more proactive stance to control access to games. Too often, students have been seen sleeping in class or study areas, admitting to consuming excessive time using various electronic devices for communication and/or entertainment. Expect the gaming industry, just like the tobacco, alcohol, gambling, ((c)rap) music and processed foods (high sugar, fat, etc.) industries before, to deny any problem exists and resist any efforts at government regulation.

P.S. webmention: double or single science(s)

Reply to: Peer reviewed education

An earlier question to ask, what is the purpose of combined science? Maybe it should be discontinued and students provided the choice of single sciences (including computer science!) or geography which is the original multidisclinary subject that features combined science. Is normative-reference assessment bad as implied? It is a reflection of young peoples’ futures ahead: there are only going to be a certain amount of jobs available at a given time and employers will ultimately make a judgement based around normative-reference. The private sector cannot tell ten candidates that they will all be employed because they all met the criteria of the job advertisement. Perhaps education should adopt criterion-reference assessment up to KS3, then normative-reference assessment at GC(S)E (level 2/3) qualifications and beyond. As for school performance measures, they should be secondary to students’ aspirations and Ms Spielman is correct to state this.

P.S. webmention: progressive narrative on behaviour

Reply to: Scenes from the battleground

> The essential glue that holds all this together is a knowledge-based curriculum–one that enables even the least-clever children to make good progress
Agreed. One aspect of behaviour encountered frequently, is the (minority) of a class that _want_ to learn and may even demand that the teacher abandon those un-interested in learning. The teacher wants to teach content, some (both high and low abilities) want to learn that content, but are prevented.
Any ideas how to surpass this conflict, ultimately with the concept "every child matters"? (Preferably without exclusion and in accordance with "restorative justice")

P.S. webmention: chartered college of non-teachers

Reply to: Scenes from the battleground

As a novice, seems that the concept of a professional entity to represent all teachers, is unrealistic. Other professions such as medical doctors, engineering disciplines (civil, mechanical, chemical) are much smaller and perhaps the sheer numbers of teachers makes effective representation difficult. Teachers should consider the professional engineering societies and create similar subject specific entities.