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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:41 pm 
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Interesting articles.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/ed ... -East.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... ge-16.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/201 ... nd-chinese


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:46 pm 
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Contrary evidence doesn't get publicity of course!

Take with a large pinch of salt.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:17 pm 
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Hi

I am someone who has previously poured scorn (and I did so, wrongly) on the English NC. My two DS (Y3 and Y5) have better functional literacy and numeracy in their primary years than I did in my first few senior years (late 70s).

Our schools are certainly amongst the best in the world; please note Far Eastern countries spend what we consider to be unsustainable amounts on out of school tuition. It is this fact that inflates their results. Their students are also rote learners, whereas here, problem-solving and creativity is inculcated.

That being said, I do wonder what happens in our secondary school. Based on the rigorous content taught in secondaries and what has been covered in primary schools, I believe GCSEs should comprise more rigorous questions.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:49 pm 
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but they are comparing present 16 year olds with present 10 year olds, they aren;t teh same cohort


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:15 pm 
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Hello Yoyo123. I do not understand your post. Sorry. They are saying UK 10 year olds comnparably with the rest of the world (rotw). They go on to say that UK 16 year olds do not compare favourably to the rotw.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:27 am 
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Just to put this into perspective. My sister had lived and worked in a far east country for 25 years. Among other things she teaches English and writes educational books. Her experience is that children go to school all day and then to expensive crammars in the evening to learn the stuff they haven't learned properly in school. Her daughter is 11 and gets up at 6am to cram before she leaves for school.

I worked in an educational establishment in London for a couple of years with postgrad students, a lot were from asian countries (because they paid high fees). Some of them really struggled because they were just used to rote learning and could not analyse. They were intelligent but they had never been taught how to do it and the learning style was completely different. I always thought the college just wanted the money - some had quite poor English but most of them passed in the end.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:37 am 
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Optimist wrote:
Hello Yoyo123. I do not understand your post. Sorry. They are saying UK 10 year olds comnparably with the rest of the world (rotw). They go on to say that UK 16 year olds do not compare favourably to the rotw.



sorry what I was trying to say was that the 16 year olds were taught 6 years before this lot, so maybe methods have improved in that time? Should we be looking at it from the perspective that we are now good at maths, rather than we are failing our older children....difficult to put it across in writing!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:47 am 
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Maybe what we should be asking ourselves is why there is now an international obsession with comparisons which take no account of culture, tradition or environment and encourage quick-fix, high-profile 'solutions' to 'problems' which actually don't exist. You really cannot meaningfully compare a region like East Asia, rooted in Confucian values, with somewhere like the UK, rooted in bipartite politics and adversarial policy decisions. Attempts to do so are always going to lead to punchy headlines designed to whip up panic, or conversely celebration, in the public.

Btw the notion that Asian students are able only to cope with rote learning was shown by the last PISA study to be a myth, as they did really well on all the problem solving tasks too. Certainly the Chinese and Korean students I have been studying with, while quiet in class as they have been taught to be, have phenomenally incisive brains.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:56 am 
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The fact that education is valued in other countries makes a difference too I think. I wonder how many Korean parents storm into school yelling "You can't ******tell my ****** child what to do"


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:29 am 
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It's also interesting to look at why we pay so much attention to the Asian successes and rather less to the Nordic ones. A cynic might say that a right-wing government, such as we have in power, will prefer to look east because they can then cite 'traditional values' (albeit someone else's entirely, but it sounds good and appealing to voters) and the need to 'return to the basics' which always gets a round of applause from the middle classes. Citing, for example, Finland, which is just as successful, would lead into the uncomfortable territory of social democracy and valuing teachers, and that doesn't play out nearly so well here. These figures are a gift to Gove and divert attention from some of the conflicting messages in his policies (free schools will drive up standards, vs you don't need to be a qualified teacher to work in one, that kind of thing).

Interestingly, in Germany, the reverse is true and the media circus revolves around looking north and sucking teeth at 'pressurised' Asian countries who are seen to pursue good results at the expense of children's mental and emotional health.


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