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 🙂
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.
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! 🙂