Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Achieving Full Potential Within The Entire Education System - Part 2


A post from Tedious Tantrums

A few weeks ago I identified the following aims, which could be considered as potential starting points, for improvements to the education system as it stands at the moment.
  1. EVERY pupil/student should achieve their full potential;
  2. EVERY student teacher should achieve their full potential;
  3. There is NO PLACE for politicisation within education;
  4. There is No PLACE for religion in any area of education;
  5. REDUCE the size and influence of local education department to the lowest possible level required to support schools.
  6. EVERY pupil should be treated as an individual and not be subject to a dress code.
  7. Successful methodologies and best practice should be adopted in order to provide the BEST learning experience possible for pupils/students.
I finished off by posing the question – “how many pupils could a teacher genuinely teach to ensure each pupil received the individual attention necessary to satisfy aim number one?”

Having given it some thought, discussed it on-line and discussed it with a teacher I’ve come to the conclusion that the ratio of teacher to pupil would be around 6:1, that’s six pupils/students to one teacher not the other way around. 10:1 is too many 5/6 probably just about right. So I’ll immediately update the aims list as follows –
  1. EVERY pupil/student should achieve their full potential;
  2. EVERY student teacher should achieve their full potential;
  3. There is NO PLACE for politicisation within education;
  4. There is No PLACE for religion in any area of education;
  5. REDUCE the size and influence of local education department to the lowest possible level required to support schools.
  6. EVERY pupil should be treated as an individual and not be subject to a dress code.
  7. Successful methodologies and best practice should be adopted in order to provide the BEST learning experience possible for pupils/students.
  8. The student/pupil teacher ratio should be around 6:1.
The first thought is cost. If the current system is straining to pay for 20:1 then 6:1 would be budget busting, bank account bursting and overdraft drowningly expensive. Ah but you may have forgotten about the removal of as much of the local council Education Departmentas possible and then some. The savings from reducing the number of employees, administration and regulation should adequately pay for the 6:1 ratio.

This ratio would open up teaching as a real career with more layers which teachers could work through to enhance their salary and their standing as the years pass by. However, the advancement of teachers would be based on achievement and experience. There would be far more room for teachers to experiment, build resources, share those resources but advancement would only be measured on single criteria – that all students/pupils have achieved. No other criteria would be used. Back to the list.
  1. EVERY pupil/student should achieve their full potential;
  2. EVERY student teacher should achieve their full potential;
  3. There is NO PLACE for politicisation within education;
  4. There is No PLACE for religion in any area of education;
  5. REDUCE the size and influence of local education department to the lowest possible level required to support schools.
  6. EVERY pupil should be treated as an individual and not be subject to a dress code.
  7. Successful methodologies and best practice should be adopted in order to provide the BEST learning experience possible for pupils/students.
  8. The student/pupil teacher ratio should be around 6:1.
  9. Teacher advancement would be measured solely on successful pupils/students achievement.
And how would achievement be measured? That’ll be next week's instalment then.

10 comments:

JRB said...

TT - Is this world of yours Utopia, Shangri-la or Brigadoon?

For I doubt if it is, or ever will be, the ‘real’ world.

tedioustantrums said...

Surely we have to believe that anything is possible and that we can achieve it if we really want it.

Landing a man on the moon was someones impossible dream. An SNP government in Scotland with a real majority was someones dream. The EU was someones dream or nightmare.

If we don't dream of things how can we ever achieve them?

Reality is what we settle for.

Thanks JRB. I always enjoy your comments. You always make me think harder about the topic.

JimS said...

6:1 is a ridiculous ratio, you might just as well make home schooling mandatory.

At my primary school the ratio was 42:1, there were no teaching assistants either and the only non-teaching staff were the headmaster, his secretary and the janitor. We did OK.

What is wrong with a simple dress code? It gives the school coheseion and cuts out a significant amount of teasing/bullying. Again if you want to do your own 'thing' go for home schooling.

Let us call a moratorium on interference, cut the politics, let the teachers teach.

JRB said...

“Reality is what we settle for.”

But what is reality?

Surely we must balance our dreams with practicality in order to achieve a realistic outcome. Otherwise, we are guilty of head-in-the-clouds wishful thinking.

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful reality if there was one GP for every six patients – then we wouldn’t have to wait ten days for a 5min appointment?

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful reality if there was one nurse for every six hospital in-patients – then we wouldn’t have to worry if the nurses had enough time to give the appropriate care?

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful reality if there was one policeman for every six members of the public – then we would never have to worry about crime?

I could go on.

… they may all be impossible dreams – but are they realistic – I may really want them, but how do I achieve them?

tedioustantrums said...

JimS,
But both parents tend to work nowadays so home schooling isn't an option for the vast majority of people.

My experience of school was similar to yours in terms of numbers. 42:1 highlights the problem. The top performers in the class are encouraged. The bottom sector of the class demand attention and get and largest middle part get by "despite" everything else.

Lots of schools all over the world perform every bit as well and sometimes better with no uniforms or dress codes. There is nothing to stop people sending their child to school in a uniform it just shouldn't be compulsory.

The aims are for the very points you make. Let the teachers teach without interference but based on the children getting the best possible educational experience. A more personal experience for them which ensures they get the attention they all need.

I don't want to do my own thing and I certainly don't want to home educate. I don't have children of school age to begin with.

I would like Scotland to have the best education in the world. I'm making positive suggestions which are up for debate on how that could be achieved.

thanks for your comment.

tedioustantrums said...

Well JRB, I'd haven't been discussing policing or health although both are ripe for reform.

What's realistic?

Alexander Graham Bell tells some of his mates about a device he wants to build which will allow him to talk to someone miles away. His friends fall about laughing. "Get real" they say.

He made it real. The rest is history. Ditto John Logie Baird. People create their own realities. Some people create realities which affect us all and help make our lives a bit better.

subrosa said...

Maybe in other parts of the world children don't wear a uniform to school, but one is needed here for the reasons I stated previously.

By not having a mandatory dress code you divide the haves and havenots or cared and not cared, in one fell swoop.

BrianSJ said...

Has this contributor heard of the internet?

Sheila said...

Firstly, the SNP are going to continue to implement Unesco's plans; dress things up in a slightly different, punter friendly, pretty garb perhaps and continue the party political, class-size-pledge squabble - yes - but not a lot more.

As we're ahead of most of the rest of the world in this respect we may even be persuaded that we have decided on the next developments ourselves - just as most folks were conned by Cathy Jamieson's Big Debate which preceded the introduction of the pre-decided Curriculum for Excellence.

Education (and its integration with ALL other services) is Global and we are trail blazers:

http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/Images/WhyGlobalCitizenship_tcm4-633130.pdf

Secondly, a wee history lesson is needed.

John Taylor Gatto won several teaching awards so why not start here:

http://www.altruists.org/static/files/The%20Scientific%20Management%20of%20Children%20%28John%20Taylor%20Gatto%29.mp3

Listen. Learn. And then research for yourselves please.

Apologies for links that many of you will have seen before...

And sorry for being so cynical but I honestly think that unless we all start looking at where the policies we think our politicians have dreamt up actually originate from then we've had it :(

BrianSJ said...

http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/01/23/udacity-and-the-future-of-online-universities/

same can apply for much of secondary education with a bit of effort.

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