We are told by teacher and blogger, Andrew Old, in his article published by the Fabian Society that pupil behavior, teaching methods and management are the three things that matter to teachers.
Dr Alf says he can identify with these three things and in that I concur.
Beyond that, I have to say that these are not the only things that matter to the future of the country, the future of the students themselves or the state education system.
Let us consider where we actually are and what the current education system and current crop of teachers are producing versus what is being produced in the Far East and by competitors closer to home, such as the Finns.
1) We are 44th in the world when it comes to State education and 29th in the world when it comes to literacy and numeracy
2) Pupils lack strong male role models because too many teachers are woman who are unable to effect meaningful control thus leading to the bad behavior problem identified by the Fabian Society
3) Too many teachers are satisfied with poor pupil performance and practice trendy teaching methods such as “differentiation”.
They also believe as do many heads, in “wow factor”, that “everyone must win prizes” and the idea that learning has to be “fun”.
In short, they are not preparing students about the realities of life and are failing to provide them with an enabling personal philosophy,the ability to think,the ability to deal with rejection or life-skills/ability to cope with pressure, solve problems, put things into proportion and still perform.
Learning has to include the inculcation of personal discipline, time management, personal organisation, the basis of right and wrong grounded in Judeo-Christian ethics and personal competitiveness.
Having “fun” has nothing to do with this and our major industrial competitors in China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, most of Western Europe all understand this yet our state school system turns out blockheads who in 1 in 5 cases cannot read,cannot write and cannot communicate.
4) South Korean and Chinese schoolchildren learn for 12 hours a day and are learning languages.
We seem to manage about 6 or 7 and are for the most part monoglot
5) Too many of our graduates are not job ready and fail to earn degrees in numerate disciplines–Where are our future engineers, scientists, inventors and exporters going to come from???
6) Too many teachers are not up to the job irrespective of what teaching methods they use,yet they remain almost un-sackable
7) Too many parents are complacent and do not care about their children,s education because they have not grasped the seriousness of the situation that UK PLC is in and how it will/is affecting their offspring’s life chances
Far from meddling too much in education, Ministers need to meddle much more, but this time with wholesale root and branch reform including
, 12 hour schooldays, the replacement of under-performing heads and teachers with Army Officers converted to teaching by a US style troops to teachers programme and Pimsleur style language skills training.