Education in the UK (Part 1)

This post has been a long time coming. I’ve wrote so much about how the education system is a failure before in my blog I’m sure. Something I’ll have to search through I think! This time I wanna go into depth.

Real change is needed in our education system. I’m not just talking about university fees which I’ve spoke about before and the Open University tried to make clear in a letter the sent me below 🙂

Open University explains tuition Fees!
Open University explains tuition Fees!

Eric Schmidt criticised the UK education system back in August and I agree with him (and the pirate party appeared to as well). He said the UK had a strong, proud past of scientist and technological pioneers. As someone who left the school system in 2005, I will try and list what I believe is missing to create future pioneers in this country without being boring 😛

A simple IT lesson today isn’t good enough. The children know more and if they don’t in many cases they adapt faster to technology then the person teaching them. Teaching a child or teen how to work with Microsoft Excel or fill entries in Microsoft Access will (mostly) set them up for a lifetime of work. In addition to this even in workplaces other software systems are being used and embraced. A wider range of IT knowledge needs to be added on the curriculum. I can’t speak for the current curriculum though, but I would hope it’s been updated from my recollections. I think in terms of teaching IT in UK schools there should be two separate subject matters one being the traditional information technology and the other being computer science.

Many other subjects particularly at secondary level are stagnant statics. I mean the curriculum doesn’t change year after year. How can the best be provided and given when it isn’t current or broad enough? This is especially true of subjects like history. The history of the Atlantic slave trade or WW2 are both very important components in their own right these are drawn out and analysed far too deeply. International history should also be on the curriculum.

Lets take a look at the very broad (IB course) approved by the UN. It doesn’t just focus on academics. It teaches life skills. It teaches for real life rather then just programming people for work or jobs in a system. Life skills need to be taught that are broad. Enabling students to think about creativity. Not just another robot, so to speak.

A random secondary school 🙂

Teachers in UK schools are often focused on meeting targets and achieving grades. To which most are very misleading and confusing. The problem is the curriculum in schools it just doesn’t allow students to achieve the best. Often students are put in groups in English, Maths and Science. Where they generally perform to the level of the group they are in. Allowing mixed ability students to work together would work best allowing student matching. The aim being that the weaker student can learn with how the strong student does. If lessons are tailored correctly.

We really need to improve our schools. If we don’t, we will need to rely on foreign countries to supply us with brains. We already have problems producing a workforce!

It’s like most of our country at the moment we really need to self sustain more and improve what we have.

I personally feel that I’ve learnt more in the six years out of school, then I ever learnt at school! That cannot be the way no longer. Students need to come out of school ready for the world. I’ve got more to say in part 2 on this series. I actually meant to post this a few months back but didn’t finish it! 🙂

They still don’t understand the cause of the riots…

Kit Malthouse - Deputy Mayor of London

Instead of addressing the cause of the August riots. The deputy mayor is still focusing on what he calls “the large majority of criminals” who took part in the unrest. Can nobody see that unrest just doesn’t happen? It’s a issue with society.

The fact it took our own prime minister three nights to cut his holiday short in Tuscany and return home, just shows what a mess everything was.

People have felt marginalized. Whether through race (ignore what the media feeds you people do get treated differently in this country!), poverty, bailing out bankers, university fees, price increases (due to the global crisis), unemployment or a whole host of issues.

It’s too easy to sit back and say what a bunch of thugs and vermin these people were and not get to the root cause of the situation. I don’t condone this behavior but this is what happens when there is a mismatch in society.

The investigations into what happened do seem to be continuing here.

However, they garner little media exposure. We just hear crap about everyone who took part being hardened criminals to put the population down in their rightful place. The media can influence so many things and bend the truth. Reporters don’t know much of Tottenham and yet much of the reporting was inaccurate at the time. Media can just evoke problems with the masses at sensitive times.

During the riots, We had one reporter(BBC) saying there is a Jewish community in Tottenham. The Jewish community he is referring to is in Stamford Hill a mile and a half up the road. Meaning they had come down (for some unknown reason) when the unrest took place. Inaccurate reporting such as this lead people to believe only a people of one race, or religion is causing the trouble in a particular area. The media really is a lethal thing 🙁

Pah…. I’ve got so much to say on this issue it’d bring my blog database down and render it unusable 😛

PPE: Just the beginning

Preparing to study book received from the OU

I’m beginning my PPE degree at the Open University with my first module an introduction to the social sciences soon. I’ve begun to slowly unlock resources on site and an estimated date of despatch for my printed materials is in December. I’ve also bought a book (Social Sciences: the big issues) and begun reading that to get used to the content I will come across.

I’ve received some preparation materials already. A book called “preparing for study” from the open university and a audio cd contained within. I’ve listened to the cd and glanced at the material. I’m going to digest it more thoroughly soon as it contains very useful study tips. Some I’ve never run across. What was more impressive was that the book seemed written especially for DD101, my course!

So the tips are tailored to my course it would seem.

I’ve read the first chapter of the social sciences book by Kath Woodward which was just introducing me to what the social sciences are all about really, and explains what the rest of the chapters in the book will be discussing.

I’m about to start the first real chapter about identity. I will report back in more detail when I read this chapter and my open university book 🙂