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 Post subject: What's Wrong With School Anyway?
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:00 pm 
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A well written article by a home educating parent of three children highlighting the intrinsic problems with school.


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 Post subject: Re: What's Wrong With School Anyway?
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:09 pm 
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A very poignant article.

Schools nowadays are increasingly having to pick up the pieces of failed parenting. This puts strain on the teachers and diverts their attention away from teaching. Those who suffer the most are children with SEN because teacher's time and resources are diverted away from them to neglected children who are seen as a higher priority case. One of my son's primary schools decided to mix children with certain types of SEN in with the children from "deprived backgrounds" in order that they are given more attention. The end results were a disaster for my son as he got bullied and teased by some highly streetwise yobs and thugs. The teachers couldn't take a hint and were angry when I suggested at parents evening that my son should be placed with children of high intellectual ability rather than those of low ability or those that are neglected.

I also agree about all the testing done on children. The obsession with exam results and league tables means that schools are functioning to make children pass exams rather than teaching them things that really matter or are of use later in life.

Most teachers don't like dealing with clever children. Extra help and support is available for children who are slow learners or are behind the level required of the National Curriculum for their age, but hardly anything is offered for children with a level of knowledge above that of the National Curriculum for their age. The prevailing attitude towards high ability children is that as long as they meet the National Curriculum targets required for their year then everything is fine. In practice, many high ability children become bored and frustrated at the tedium and lack of intellectual challenge of being held back by the straitjacket of the National Curriculum. Accelerated learning is difficult to implement under the current system.

I asked the head teacher if my son could be moved into a higher year group for certain subjects that he had a high ability in so that he could learn new material rather than sit there bored covering stuff he already knew. The head teacher refused and came up with different excuses every time ranging from timetabling problems; to my son's behaviour; to his poor handwriting. I asked his teacher if he could do work from books used by a higher year group and the answer was no because it would make class teaching complicated, especially group work. The issue was discussed with officials from the LA but they weren't very helpful either.

Services offered by gifted and talented are very limited and often restricted to sports and music meaning they are little use when it comes to high ability in subjects such as maths or ICT, or anything outside of the National Curriculum.


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 Post subject: Re: What's Wrong With School Anyway?
Post Number:#3  PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:41 pm 
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AS Home Ed wrote:
Services offered by gifted and talented are very limited and often restricted to sports and music meaning they are little use when it comes to high ability in subjects such as maths or ICT, or anything outside of the National Curriculum.


My son experienced this horrible situation, and in my opinion, it is something that few parents are aware of. His school's facilities for G&T couldn't accommodate his expertise resulting from his hobbies such as electronics and computer programming. The end result is that many of his talents went by unrecognised or undervalued by the school system. Every now and then we would bring up the topic of if only my son were good at sports and music then his talents would be valued. Such is the bias of the state school system.

Some children with AS are very talented musicians but my son never mastered a musical instrument. His primary school was very unwilling to teach him how to play "proper" instruments because places were limited and went to the children who worked hard and behaved well. Nobody in the family can play any instruments so he didn't have a chance of learning at home.


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 Post subject: Re: What's Wrong With School Anyway?
Post Number:#4  PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:34 pm 
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Location: South of Hampshire
I absolutely agree with this. Most schools are very unmeritocratic and they reward some skills and talents better than others. Sporting and musical achievement tend to be most highly rewarded and talented sportsmen and musicians get plenty of recognition and respect.

When I was at primary school I was an expert at computer programming and electronics. They were not school subjects, or seen as appropriate activities for a 10 year old, so the teachers and my EP took the stance that I had extreme obsessions as opposed to talent or high intellect. This badly damaged my self esteem and made me very depressed. To make matters worse, I was also bad at certain things including handwriting, bike riding, football, and relating well to other kids of my age which I was expected to be good at by default. There seemed to be some system in place at my school where kids who were good at sports or had beautiful handwriting were given preferential treatment over everyone else.


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 Post subject: Re: What's Wrong With School Anyway?
Post Number:#5  PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:56 pm 
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There's an article on the BBC website titled What's wrong with our schools.

Sadly (like most of the critical stuff about schools in the mainstream media) it suggests that solutions to problems in schools and wider society can be solved by even more institutionalised education.

What children from downtrodden backgrounds need is more inspiration - and this is something that's difficult to supply through the state school system that separates them from wider society and the world of employment, and destroys their right to self determination and to study subjects they want to study.


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