Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html en-gb 30 Fri 11 Jul 2014 19:15:47 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html Starling http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=99#comment536 Phonics confused the heck out of my son, probably because English isn't a phonetic language.So the school failed to teach him to read and write and we did it instead. It took us 6 months to teach him what the school failed to teach him in 3 years. Tue 16 Nov 2010 08:49:41 GMT+1 Black_And_Proud http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=99#comment535 Read to them. Tue 16 Nov 2010 08:01:55 GMT+1 RitaKleppmann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=99#comment534 It all starts with the parents. If the parents appreciate the value of reading they will buy/ borrow books and read them. They will read them to their children and help their children when they themselves are learning.It´s pure joy reading a book to the children that you yourself enjoy, snuggled up together under a blanket on the sofa. Tue 16 Nov 2010 07:51:39 GMT+1 mairit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=99#comment533 In my days, you did not dare to not keep up with the rest of the class. The old "spelling book" method was repetitive but you learned because you wanted to move to the next page or at least I did. The fact that there were no xboxes and wii's meant that you came home, you did your homework with or without the help of a parent and that was way. You had no choice but to learn otherwise you were in deep m***e on all sides. TV in my house was childrens hour, full stop. Bed early and rise early. These days there is a severe lack of discipline be it in the schools and homes and I do not mean that you should whip the little darlings but give their lives some shape and/or form to which they can adhere. Tue 16 Nov 2010 02:13:59 GMT+1 juliet50 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=99#comment532 One of the good schemes that my daughters' secondary school did was a reading mentoring scheme where students from a few years above would sit with younger students who had difficulty with reading and read with them three or four times a week. My elder daughter volunteered for this scheme and was paired with an eleven year old boy who was barely literate and struggling to keep up in all subjects. After six weeks she said the difference was incredible and he was reading everything and anything. It also encouraged volunteering amongst the older children which they found very rewarding. Mon 15 Nov 2010 23:41:25 GMT+1 kevthebrit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=98#comment531 Have them read every comment made on this topic and the to write about it!Since the 'scoring' was taken away from HYS it has become pretty boring because there is no fun in reading the comments any more. Mon 15 Nov 2010 23:27:35 GMT+1 Sid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=98#comment530 If their literacy is so poor, how are managing to get A* grades…Pretty obvious to me, teach the parents and kids to read and write properly, including pronunciations, and while you are doing that ensure teachers can write correct English and that includes grammatically. The number of times I have returned school letters back to the head with spelling mistakes and incorrect grammar highlighted, and they call themselves educated.Go back to basics, now where have I heard that before! Mon 15 Nov 2010 23:25:27 GMT+1 Artemesia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=98#comment529 526. At 9:51pm on 15 Nov 2010, Artemisia wrote:....I'm agreement with much of what you say, except this bit.."...There is much harkening back to the halcyon days when examination boards and teachers adopted no-nonsense approaches; no mention of the fact that those children who sat the last GCE O'levels, before GCSEs were introduced, have also turned out to be a generation of drug-users eclipsing all classes before them. So could this be linked to the draconian cracking of the pedagogical whip? The lack of freedom to be one's-self? I look at old school photos - subdued, cowed faces floating on a sea of grey uniforms. We were high-achievers every one, and I am certain that following our classically industrialist grammar-school educations we increased the GDP exponentially; but I also know that the nose-to-the-grindstone approach to learning elicited little joie de vivre or enrichment in the formation of the self during those years, even as it provided economic opportunity...."You don't actually specify dates and I can't remember when GCSEs came in, I did GCEs and left School in the mid-fiftiesI can't say for certain but I think the generation of drug-users, the 'Hippies' burst upon the scene a little later and whether they were challenging their schooling in particular or society in general I'm not sure but certainly things have never been the same since!No reason why they should remain the same as every generation 'rebels' in one way or anotherI actually enjoyed my Grammar School education (our uniform was Maroon, not Grey!), yes it was very much nose to the grindstone and I suppose we did increase GDP substantially, we must have since later, in the 60s Macmillan told us we'd never had it so good, which was true, for an increasing number of people anywayYou may think otherwise but to my mind we did benefit from the disciplinary ethos, the strictness about uniform, not only the uniform itself but the manner in which it was worn, smartness being de rigeur, also in manners, in general behaviour and especially in intellectual discipline and rigourI often wonder whether there is a connection between the insistance on intellectual discipline\rigour and discipline in the general behavioural sense, today 'sloppy' in everything seems to be the order of the day but I suppose that could be seen as 'freedom of self-expression' Mon 15 Nov 2010 23:08:45 GMT+1 Jacqui Flisher http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=98#comment528 When are we going to learn that until we stop using a 'one size fits all' system when teaching children to read, then we will continue to have young people leaving school that cannot adequately read, write or spell.For a child (or adult) whose thinking/learning style does not include being able to think with the sound of words, then phonics is never, ever going to work for them. How do I know? From personal experience. I have worked with hundreds of children and adults who can now spell, read and write at the required level, but I do not do it using phonics, if that is not the way they learn.One of my favourite quotes is from Ignacio Estrada: 'If a child cannot learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.' Mon 15 Nov 2010 23:06:18 GMT+1 Freedomknight http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=98#comment527 At the end of the war there was no paper and we learned to form letters with chalk on a slate. Everyday we practised the Alphabet by rote, very useful later when looking up words in the dictionary. We learned to say a b c. and A B C and to say c-a-t and d-o-g and began to read books in the infants. By the time we moved to the Juniors there was no one in my class that did not have their star for being able to read. Things seem to have gone downhill ever since then. Mon 15 Nov 2010 22:10:18 GMT+1 yohan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=97#comment526 teri yaki... yes I am, I teach a large number of children every day. I wonder why you doubt and disparage anything which is 'romantic' or that could be read as an 'optimistic' view of children and their learning- outside that prescribed by government. If you look at the situation in many homes, mine including, children make, and always have made, good progress without homework. My generation had absolutely no homework in primary school, that only began in the secondary (grammar school). I remember a project of choice in the final years of primary - the police one year, birds another and a creative fredom to write and write stories without limit. The links to usefulness are tenuous, the stress isn't, that is clear. Tired children, long days, working or otherwise tired parents, a generalised tv culture, a lack of alternative ways to interact- a cultural transmission of family interaction that has been gradually pared away to a minimum. I find it sinister and unecessary that schools force parents to sign whole -school agreements on matters of eg homework, attendance and uniform for which there is no concensus of benefit. There is however an erosion of confidence in alternatives. We seem to have lost the British tolerance of eccentricity, originality, and difference. Instead a rigid dogma on all the points I mentioned before and not least on teaching methods, acceptable lesson formats and target setting We aren't the far east and wouldn't in general want to be I think, although if the streets are safer, the young people happier and the society less divided then maybe we should consider it. Waldorf education allows a view of children which at least offers a different way to view the growing and developing child. It works for many children and suits many parents so it can't be dismissed in the way you seek to. It is a system which doesn't label children early on as failures which systems which emphasise ever-early literacy seem to do. It seems that much homework set in the UK in primary school replaces the natural, spontaneity and rhythm of home interaction with one that is forced, anxious- excessively looking to gain in some remote future. All I want to say is that government prescriptions are now so commonplace that schools unconsciously medicate children for conditions that are as often as not tabloid rashes. I just don't think we should be taken in by ever greater dependence on formulas established by a supposed wiser set. Yours is a strident and much publicised view but I would say there are quieter more British voices that would not echo you at all, nor do they approve of the government banging such a big drum all the time to bring the nation marhcing into line. Mon 15 Nov 2010 21:59:09 GMT+1 Artemisia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=97#comment525 I have mixed feelings on this issue - particularly on the point about whether a child should be able to read by the age of six. In Germany and Sweden children start their school education much later than here, and yet they equal or outstrip our levels of academic attainment in terms of adult numeracy and literacy. This is not because they deploy a more effective version of Jolly Phonics. It is quite simply because their children have been allowed to be children. They have enjoyed freedom during their early childhood, and have been enabled to form close bonds with their mothers. Most educators will accept that a mother's vocabulary is the first source of word acquisition for young children. These children who stay with their mothers til six or seven, have fewer emotional problems in later life, are less likely to suffer depression, fewer suicides etc. I think we have adopted the position that we should at all costs exploit that clear window of opportunity when the mind of a young child is like a sponge (between the ages of two and five) to engrave dry facts and impress upon them the urgency of learning, in the process creating an artificial stress around the concept of academic achievement. Children excel at what they enjoy - they learn through play and interaction with their favourite people.There is much harkening back to the halcyon days when examination boards and teachers adopted no-nonsense approaches; no mention of the fact that those children who sat the last GCE O'levels, before GCSEs were introduced, have also turned out to be a generation of drug-users eclipsing all classes before them. So could this be linked to the draconian cracking of the pedagogical whip? The lack of freedom to be one's-self? I look at old school photos - subdued, cowed faces floating on a sea of grey uniforms. We were high-achievers every one, and I am certain that following our classically industrialist grammar-school educations we increased the GDP exponentially; but I also know that the nose-to-the-grindstone approach to learning elicited little joie de vivre or enrichment in the formation of the self during those years, even as it provided economic opportunity.My three-year-old recently underwent a one-day assessment for inclusion in our chosen school. I was genuinely surprised that there was an expectation that anyone of this age (37 months') could endure a whole day's monitoring by teachers who variously assessed her ability to count to one-hundred, draw a house and face, and to read simple texts. She was duly offered a place at the school, but I would prefer that she should be nurtured and valued as a person, rather than pushed and vaunted as a future SATS star.One thing is for sure, if we wish to ameliorate the future literacy of our children, the way to achieve that will not be through cutbacks. Mon 15 Nov 2010 21:51:52 GMT+1 ian cheese http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=97#comment524 520. At 8:31pm on 15 Nov 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:re-British Children...like drinking alcohol, taking/selling drugs, causing crime and having under age sex.--------Come Kuradi, you know in your heart of hearts that this is an unfair characterisation & can apply only to a tiny miniority, in big towns & cities. Mon 15 Nov 2010 21:51:49 GMT+1 Clear Incite http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=97#comment523 467. At 1:56pm on 15 Nov 2010, Sarah wrote: You possibly haven't considered that your daughters problems may be you. I would challenge you on the worst teacher in the UK with one of my sons. My daughter had very similar problems to yours, but instead of challenging the school we allowed them get on with it and the result a literate daughter in two languages. PS this does not mean we ignored here education just did interferer with Teachers and yes we asked very pertinent questions and had answers.Education of children is difficult you only know if you made the correct choice when it is very probably to late to correct your mistakes. Mon 15 Nov 2010 21:03:23 GMT+1 billy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=97#comment522 "519. At 8:29pm on 15 Nov 2010, bazilla wrote:I don't know why people make such a big deal about literacy. Numeracy is much more important.We seem to be giving people the power to opt out of numerate subjects later in life.This is a crime..."-------------------------------I agree that numeracy and science are very important, but without literacy how do we convey our thoughts and ideas. How do we read scientific and mathematic papers. How do mathematicians and scientist get there discoveries, knowledge out. How many people does someone articulate as David Attenborough reach?Literacy in the foundation stone that future mathematicians, scientists and engineers need. Mon 15 Nov 2010 20:56:55 GMT+1 billy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=97#comment521 I'm not involved in education so I cannot comment on teaching methods today v passed methods.But I do think the most important thing is that a child has to want to learn.In my travels I have found that in poor countries children seem to value education greatly, there is little problem with class control or discipline.With my own children, my daughter had no problems as she loved reading and writing, my son on the other was very poor at reading and writing. It was when he realised that the information he was interested in (dinosaurs, volcanoes etc. and later history) was in books that his reading picked up.Now he has a masters degree in science.But how to stimulate a childs desire for learning? I don't know. Mon 15 Nov 2010 20:49:27 GMT+1 Terry-Yaki http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=96#comment520 "517. At 8:13pm on 15 Nov 2010, Robert Warstein wrote:re. 514. As I said I've met the positive aspects of both late starts and Waldorf, and I've also met anthroposophists, if I've spelled it right, and never met any hostile or evasive responses from them, so I'm not sure where you're coming from. I had the impression their psychology was a lot more sophisticated than you indicate, the categories you mention are hippocrates' temperaments, quite useful, in knowing how to deal with children and not at all the exclusive to Steiner. I know they're not creationists. PISA, the international testing, especially recommended their science curriculum. I'm not trying to push Waldorf, only the people I know /know of who recommend it are often very well researched and knowledgeable, (I'm not implying you aren't, that wouldn't be nice) and have no axe to grind. As are Waldorf teachers I know. It's funny you say they take advantage of publicity, I felt they were hopeless there, eg. several anti-Waldorf sites, mostly nonsense, up for years before they set up any replies- I'd say they hide their light under a bushel, obviously you'd disagree. They have some unusual ideas, but don't strike me as a cult. But you'll want to portray me or anyone who sticks up for Waldorf, even once, as a sinister member of a secret society intent on the destruction of our values, , probably worse than Al quaeda or the IRA, which is why I feel motivated at this point to defend them! I'd repeat that there's a lot of evidence for later starts, again PISA recommended them based on their experience. There are lots of surveys that show children who start later end up doing better, all measured against control groups to remove other factors. You still remind me of Rupert Murdoch, which you can take as a compliment if you like!"Well, it's one up from just the News of the World, so I'll take what I can get...I never said anthroposophists were a terrorist organisation, but they are a cult, and their "sophistication" is at best sophistry. I am surprised they didn't strike you as a cult, I went in open-minded but was surprised at what grown adults would believe - ironic on a thread about education. You are correct, they are not Biblical Creationists, although they do not believe in Darwinian evolution. http://www.anthroposophy.org.uk/book/chapter4.html (This is a site created by anthroposophists, FYI). If people are genuinely aware of what anthroposophists believe and are still prepared for their taxes to fund their schools, then that's fine. But I would expect a full public study to be done, e.g. by a Parliamentary Committee, to make people more aware of the disconnect between anthroposophy and the current state of knowledge. In some respects it is no worse than any other religious teaching in schools, except they are less open about it. It would make an interesting subject of a Panorama episode. Mon 15 Nov 2010 20:37:43 GMT+1 U14366475 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=96#comment519 "512. At 7:30pm on 15 Nov 2010, ian cheese wrote:British children are very high spirited, rebellious & unruly in the best of senses: they are not too happy with a discliplined regime or be told what to do. They love to be independent & to explore the limits of permissibility."In other words they like drinking alcohol, taking/selling drugs, causing crime and having under age sex. Mon 15 Nov 2010 20:31:51 GMT+1 bazilla http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=96#comment518 I don't know why people make such a big deal about literacy. Numeracy is much more important.We seem to be giving people the power to opt out of numerate subjects later in life.This is a crime.We are bordering on a society that can talk and write everything that we should be doing to overcome our failing environment, but very few people that can actually do it.Every kid should be taught maths, physics, chemistry and computer programming until they do their a levels. Then again people who opt to do sciences should be paid and if you do engineering at uni you should get a £10 K grant and a job with a starting salary of £30K. We should really stop making such a big fuss about being able to write a load of rubbish about nothing or reading stories to make a career out of it. So basically most of us should be able to read and write but be able to do second order differentials and quantum mechanics. Now that is a brave new world. Mon 15 Nov 2010 20:29:11 GMT+1 billy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=96#comment517 "303. At 11:01pm on 14 Nov 2010, leathersofa wrote:"297. At 10:22pm on 14 Nov 2010, billy wrote:My grandparents were from poor inner city areas, two left school at twelve the others at about fourteen.I was lucky to have a university education. They were all literate; actually they had better grammer and spelling than me.They could debate and discuss many topics, better than me!So what changed in education in 60 years?"-------What changed in 60 years? Opportunities for bright children like the ones your grandparents obviously were, that's what. Had they been at school 30 years later, they'd have been encouraged to stay on for more education. Or are you suggesting that because they were poor, they must have been stupid and it was the brilliant education they got that made them literate? Hardly.And BTW it's 'grammAr'. "==================================I was an open question, I don't know, did they want education more than people today? Of course they weren't stupid, I had debates with them, they were smarter than I am and had more world experience. And they would have spelt 'grammar' correctly and pointed out that it should be '...they had better grammar and spelling than I...' or better still '...their grammar and spelling was better than mine...'My only excuse is my degree is in science not english or literature, though my grandparents would not accept that excuse. Mon 15 Nov 2010 20:24:46 GMT+1 Robert Warstein http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=96#comment516 This post has been Removed Mon 15 Nov 2010 20:13:13 GMT+1 chattroh boy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=95#comment515 The problem with Oftsed is that it is run by people who don't know how to teach or have failed in their teaching career. Teaching reading is not simple and one model fits all does not work. Teachers use a variety of methods to teach children to read. They teach them to use a variety of strategies to read words, one such strategy includes phonics, but children need to know a number of strategies as phonics does not always help. Mon 15 Nov 2010 20:03:32 GMT+1 Terry-Yaki http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=95#comment514 My apologies re: 514, the fourth category is actually "phlegmatic", not "bilious". Mon 15 Nov 2010 19:46:31 GMT+1 Terry-Yaki http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=95#comment513 "510. At 7:02pm on 15 Nov 2010, Robert Warstein wrote:re. Teri Yaki, having worked on the continent I'd say I've observed some of the benefits of later starts and there is a lot of scientific evidence that supports that. I've also encountered Waldorf, especially in Germany where they are state funded, and don't feel either your post or the site you linked gives them a fair hearing, to put it mildly. The international testing agency spoke highly of Waldorf and I believe they know quite a bit of its background. The whole wording of your post reminded me of the 'News of the World', although you might think that's a good thing! Later starting age doesn't mean you don't allow children to read before this if they want to but it takes away the pressure I feel is an unhealthy aspect of the British system, at least for young children."News of the World, eh? You meanie, you! You're right, the link isn't (and doesn't claim to be) unbiased, as with the "debate" between Creationism and evolutionary science it is difficult and probably morally wrong to treat both sides as equally valid. Believe it or not, I have also worked with anthroposophists; I am amazed at some of the things they are prepared to believe, and am alarmed at the prospect that they be allowed to impart them to the nations' children. Whenever I challenged them on anything, their responses were always evasive and/or hostile, usually along the lines of "you wouldn't understand, you haven't been an anthroposophist long enough". Is it responsible to allow our children to be placed in the care of people who believe that the souls of children are not fully "incarnated" yet, that for a child to play with a doll with a face would be harmful to their spiritual development, that all children can be divided into four categories - melancholic, sanguine, choleric, and bilious? If an applicant to be a teacher had expressed such views, their chances of employment would be slim, but if a whole school does, then they should naturally be entitled to state funding. Sorry, doesn't make sense. The argument that "children can learn to read if they want to" is a little naive - young children don't really want to learn anything, again speaking from my own experience I found it very frustrating and difficult to learn to read, as I obviously had no ability to measure short-term effort against long-term reward - not unusual at 5, or so I'm led to believe! Mon 15 Nov 2010 19:37:25 GMT+1 catsski http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=95#comment512 Reading and writing has to start at home. Bedtime stories , talking about the stories, looking at the pictures as story cues. It is so important that this continues upto secondary age with parents listening to their child reading daily, even when th child is fairly fluent it is necessary to hear your child to check the correct pronuciation and meaning of a word. Shared reading is great fun, using different accents etc. Parents must take responsibilty and not expect the school to do it, as the days of each child reading daily to the teacher has gone. If reading time is a battle with your own child, organise (or swop children) with a friend or neighbour to listen to them. Mon 15 Nov 2010 19:32:38 GMT+1 ian cheese http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=95#comment511 British children are very high spirited, rebellious & unruly in the best of senses: they are not too happy with a discliplined regime or be told what to do. They love to be independent & to explore the limits of permissibility. This can often be detrimental to their schooling where the application of mind to studies require the suppression of certain freedoms; unless they can discover freedom & satisfaction in their studies. Mon 15 Nov 2010 19:30:51 GMT+1 Terry-Yaki http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=94#comment510 "504. At 6:20pm on 15 Nov 2010, yohan wrote:to 365 teri-yakigood the comment stirred you up. it was meant to. I am a teacher, getting excellent results from children without giving them homework. I am also a parent. I do not want my own, or any other, child under seven in primary school finding that after a long day they have to sit down to do onerous tasks which have little correlation with the supposed benefit. Read my post again carefully. It is not about parents going in to complain because their child was corrected, it about is parents who care enough to take a real interest and are thinking just what their children are doing spending hours a night copying work they have done before or repeating things they already know, or making a model - more usually their parent-. There is only a tenuous distance between blind conformity to what you are told and thinking a little bit about why and what of that which you are told to do. This step is education. It is not to go n shouting but to at least ask the what and why of the supposed benefits. Some parents are happy to not to have to interact with their child and knowing tv is a no no, look for homework to do the same. It is not for school to organise children's or parent's time out of school."First off, if you are in fact a teacher, which I highly doubt, that was an appalling piece of writing. Links might be tenuous, but distances never are. Also, it makes your sentences a little easier to understand if you try to get the words in the right order and make sure all the letters that need to go in a word actually go in. Second, I find it hard to accept homework is so useless when practically every serious education system that I've heard of makes use of it to some degree. That's not to say it's impossible, just very, very unlikely. You also complain that children already spend a "long day" at school before doing homework - in countries which take education seriously, i.e. in east Asia, it is not uncommon for primary-school age children to go to additional evening classes after a full school day (called "Juku" in Japan and "Hagwon" in Korea), BEFORE doing homework, and still have a fulfilling family life; last I checked, there are the same number of hours in the day over there as over here, so you can't say "there isn't time". I believe this problem is symptomatic of a much deeper problem in our society; the romanticisation of a lack of structure and direction as "freedom". Mon 15 Nov 2010 19:20:15 GMT+1 Robert Warstein http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=94#comment509 This post has been Removed Mon 15 Nov 2010 19:02:35 GMT+1 Jonn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=94#comment508 Re#467 by sarahYour evidence that the school's approach was poor seems to be based on the experience of only 1 pupil - your daughter. You talk of different level sets - your daughter being in the lowest. This would imply that the children in the higher sets were in fact benefitting from the methods used by the school. You have no evidence, it seems, that changing the teaching approach for everyone else in the school to the one which seems best suited to your daughter would actually produce better results (except for your daughter).Unfortunately schools have to teach other people's children as well. It seems a pity that the good support work you did in Year 1 dried up subsequently as that seems to have been of benefit, by your own account.BTW - have you ever considered the use of paragraphs to break up long sections of text ? Mon 15 Nov 2010 18:48:52 GMT+1 Marion Monahan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=94#comment507 I do think smaller primary school classes would help. Any student of linguistics will tell you that speech came before writing so it is important that children are encouraged to express themselves clearly and correctly before they learn to write. I remember my first teacher in primary school, on my first day, asking me a question which i did not know the answer to. I had used the central Scottish Lallans as my language till then so I answered,"Ah dinnae ken" She glared at me and said "In this classroom, you DO NOT KNOW". I realised immediately that my old language was for home and the playground but soon learnt to speak, read and write English and great satisfaction that has given me. Mon 15 Nov 2010 18:47:16 GMT+1 Terry-Yaki http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=94#comment506 I agree with some posters that literacy and numeracy should be at least partly taught BEFORE the child gets to school age. However, this isn't a very realistic solution, is it? We have to live in the real world, where a dismal proportion of parents don't know or don't care about their child's educational development, or are so ignorant themselves as to think their children should just be allowed to run wild.As for not teaching children to read until 7, this is ridiculous and inhumane - why would you deprive a child of the joys of the written word prior to this age? Some of my earliest memories are of having my head in a book (reading it, and admittedly before that wearing it as a hat :P) and I would be a completely different person if you had had your way -spiritually poorer, if an atheist can use that phrase.Further to this, I have noticed a number of anthroposophists plugging their particularly unsavoury brand of educational snake oil. I would advice readers not to be misled by this; Waldorf schools and anthroposophy generally make good use of marketing (as seen in their wikipedia pages), but they are basically a cult formed around the scientifically ludicrous writings of a self-styled "clairvoyant" in the 1920s named Rudolf Steiner. For some information on waldorf/steiner education, follow the link (moderators, please leave it in) http://www.dcscience.net/?p=3528 It's worth a laugh, but as for them having any serious answers...dream on. Mon 15 Nov 2010 18:44:40 GMT+1 Peter Bridgemont http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=94#comment505 This post has been Removed Mon 15 Nov 2010 18:44:32 GMT+1 Clear Incite http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=93#comment504 501. At 5:51pm on 15 Nov 2010, Nina Szombately wrote:I feel sure Britain ought to be looking at some continental countries- UK has the poorest social mobility in EU, and about the worst, if not the worst violence and literacy problems. This must have something to do with the education, even if there are other factors. eg. too much TV and computer exposure. Bad parenting is a problem, but a good education can compensate partly. Most other countries- not UK- subsidise out of school activities that particularly help these children. Starting school later is a big help, when the children are ready, have had lots of pre reading skills. Britain forces reading already in pre school, despite having the earliest school starting age. The latest-start countries are top academically, although they're behind for the first few years. I also like the Waldorf curriculum, so do many experts- I notice many University staff, teacher-trainers etc. send their children to Waldorf schools here (middle Europe). They, and Montissori etc. need to be state funded in UK are they mostly are elsewhere. Generally the government has to provide funding but less political manipulating, another thing that could change in UK with good effect. There are many excellent teachers in UK but their hands are tied. Political policies seem to weigh heavily in British education. This disadvantages children in favour of teaching to tests and irrelevant OFSTED targets that only look good on paper. People could value education and teachers more. UK's ISIS published a polite but scathing report on the UK national curriculum, inspectorate etc. That has to change if better education (and discipline) can happen. Too many vested interests, not enough people in charge who know and care. Give British teachers more space, freedom and authority and there will be a society-wide improvement. ===================================================================== Why do we want to copy the rest of Europe for, we are right their wrong. You only have to look at the poor state of countries such as France and Germany to see how bad things could be. Mon 15 Nov 2010 18:25:23 GMT+1 yohan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=93#comment503 to 365 teri-yakigood the comment stirred you up. it was meant to. I am a teacher, getting excellent results from children without giving them homework. I am also a parent. I do not want my own, or any other, child under seven in primary school finding that after a long day they have to sit down to do onerous tasks which have little correlation with the supposed benefit. Read my post again carefully. It is not about parents going in to complain because their child was corrected, it about is parents who care enough to take a real interest and are thinking just what their children are doing spending hours a night copying work they have done before or repeating things they already know, or making a model - more usually their parent-. There is only a tenuous distance between blind conformity to what you are told and thinking a little bit about why and what of that which you are told to do. This step is education. It is not to go n shouting but to at least ask the what and why of the supposed benefits. Some parents are happy to not to have to interact with their child and knowing tv is a no no, look for homework to do the same. It is not for school to organise children's or parent's time out of school. Mon 15 Nov 2010 18:20:38 GMT+1 MrsEllacott http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=93#comment502 #177 - this is what my children do. They have homework, and they practise writing the letter they have just learnt the sound for. They also have writing journals where they practise their writing. As the year progresses, most kids show a huge improvement in the writing. My kids are taught to read and write the same way I was 20years ago. Mon 15 Nov 2010 18:19:37 GMT+1 Paul J Weighell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=93#comment501 "What is the best way to teach child literacy?"There is no such thing as "child literacy". It’s an appalling piece of BBC grammar.There are children and there is literacy. I assume the BBC meant to ask how one improves the literacy of children?Try more reading, more writing and more testing with punishment for slang, bad spelling and poor grammar.Eventually it could help HYS question editors? Mon 15 Nov 2010 18:16:46 GMT+1 Nina Szombately http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=93#comment500 This post has been Removed Mon 15 Nov 2010 17:51:46 GMT+1 SpacedOne http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=92#comment499 My suggestion would be to not restrict the genres of books available to children. Until the age of 9 I avoided reading because the only books available to me to read either in my local library or my school library were of genres I didn't care the slightest about, things like The Famous Five or Roald Dahl. I'm certain I would have grown up a totally different person if it were not for spying The Lord Of The Rings in my local library's grown-up books section. It opened my eyes to stories that were exciting, serious, light-hearted and tragic... a world away from the protective dullness of most children's book.Within a couple of years I was reading hundreds of grown-up novels a year and my reading age was off the charts.Let children read the genres that interest them. They can diversify at a later age when they are ready for something different. Getting them interested in reading in the first place is more important. Mon 15 Nov 2010 17:51:04 GMT+1 ian cheese http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=92#comment498 498. At 5:29pm on 15 Nov 2010, Alice wrote:books---------The Americans boast of trying to do away with books so we will just end up reading from a screen. Mon 15 Nov 2010 17:48:44 GMT+1 Alice http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=92#comment497 My dad read to me nightly from when I was about two until I was six and reading my own books. I was reading independantly when I was four - my mother kept a kind of diary and when I was four-and-a-half I asked her what a 'serious commitment' was. Today I have an honours degree in English and consider my grasp of the language very good. I suppose one must start before school age to welcome a child to the world of literacy; much depends on the parents. In schools, perhaps reading structures and storytime needs bringing back, because I think many might be a little baffled if phonics is taught without the stories to show how they are used. Mon 15 Nov 2010 17:29:05 GMT+1 ian cheese http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=92#comment496 492. At 4:32pm on 15 Nov 2010, Raymond Hopkins wrote:At 2:55pm on 15 Nov 2010, Anthoncon wrote:479 should read "Teach the parents to speak properly (not proper) to begin with" Still not good though as it ends with a proposition.__________________________________________________________________________________________This is the pedantic nonsense up with which Sir Winston Churchill would never have put.----------Aye, tortured grammar & pedantry without the idiom of natural speech is the death of language. Mon 15 Nov 2010 17:24:29 GMT+1 Artemesia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=92#comment495 492. At 4:32pm on 15 Nov 2010, Raymond Hopkins wrote:"At 2:55pm on 15 Nov 2010, Anthoncon wrote:479 should read "Teach the parents to speak properly (not proper) to begin with" Still not good though as it ends with a proposition"__________________________________________________________________________________________"This is the pedantic nonsense up with which Sir Winston Churchill would never have put."..........................................Leaving aside the grammar of the ending, I think Anthoncon typed too quickly and made a typo?He pressed the 'o' instead of the 'e' Mon 15 Nov 2010 17:21:11 GMT+1 windblown http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=91#comment494 It all begins in the home. A house full of books and with limited TV viewing time will nurture highly literate children. Teachers are fighting a culture rapidly going in the opposite direction. Illiteracy will continue to increase whilst it is given such a low priority at home. Mon 15 Nov 2010 17:15:09 GMT+1 ian cheese http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=91#comment493 476. At 2:36pm on 15 Nov 2010, Sue Denim wrote:463. At 1:34pm on 15 Nov 2010, thelevellers wrote:re-Getting rid of schools-----------It can be argued that stable parents & a stable home environment is all we require to launch a child successfully. In many cases, a bright child will succeed despite &, in spite of, the teachers! Mon 15 Nov 2010 16:50:50 GMT+1 leathersofa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=91#comment492 OK, I get it. Nobody wants a debate. They just want to air their prejudices. Fine. Mon 15 Nov 2010 16:45:08 GMT+1 Raymond Hopkins http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=91#comment491 At 2:55pm on 15 Nov 2010, Anthoncon wrote:479 should read "Teach the parents to speak properly (not proper) to begin with" Still not good though as it ends with a proposition.__________________________________________________________________________________________This is the pedantic nonsense up with which Sir Winston Churchill would never have put. Mon 15 Nov 2010 16:32:02 GMT+1 in_the_uk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=91#comment490 490. At 3:29pm on 15 Nov 2010, Artemesia wrote:Yes, I take your pointI'm not saying that Phonetics is the only method nor even the best, it's just the way I was taught but does it really matter if I was just told about those things and remembered?I don't think I had to 'remember' for long, after a while one just reads, 'peculiarities' and allBy whatever mehod, how did everyone contributing to this Topic learn all the 'peculiarities', they obviously haveOf course, there are many with 'learning difficulties' of one sort or another and they have to be specially catered for but there does seem to be rather a lot of 'ordinary' youngsters who have difficulty reading, writing and speaking fluently to a greater or lesser extent and by writng I include communicating on public message boardsIt's just an interesting Topic to think about and to read what others have to say--------------------I watched an interesting program on the BBC last week (think fri?) titled 'dont call me stupid'. I have yet to see a school teach anything in such a way but a quarter of each classroom could benefit from such learning.I am also considering some of those cool specs she got too. Mon 15 Nov 2010 15:41:15 GMT+1 Artemesia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=91#comment489 447. At 12:54pm on 15 Nov 2010, Khuli wrote:"437. At 12:15pm on 15 Nov 2010, Artemesia wrote:I've no idea how I was taught the various meanings and uses of 'ou', 'ough', 'ow', the difference between 'fir' and 'fur', 'taut' and taught', 'would' and 'wood' and numerous other peculiarites but learn them I did, certainly by 11 years if not before, which is strange because I was taught phonetically"----------------"You were probably just told that's how they sound - no need for further explanation. Then you just remember it"Phonetics aren't going to help with rough, cough, through, plough & although..............................................Yes, I take your pointI'm not saying that Phonetics is the only method nor even the best, it's just the way I was taught but does it really matter if I was just told about those things and remembered?I don't think I had to 'remember' for long, after a while one just reads, 'peculiarities' and allBy whatever mehod, how did everyone contributing to this Topic learn all the 'peculiarities', they obviously haveOf course, there are many with 'learning difficulties' of one sort or another and they have to be specially catered for but there does seem to be rather a lot of 'ordinary' youngsters who have difficulty reading, writing and speaking fluently to a greater or lesser extent and by writng I include communicating on public message boardsIt's just an interesting Topic to think about and to read what others have to say Mon 15 Nov 2010 15:29:59 GMT+1 Sue Denim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=90#comment488 488. At 3:10pm on 15 Nov 2010, deadpansean wrote:"It would seem that a lot of primary school kids have no problem playing arcade games and using console's. So why not issue ALL kids in the second year with a kindle pre loaded with books of a suitable type and containing all their future text book requirements to the end of high school!!"Add to that the fact that classic books are free on the Kindle and you may have the start of a good idea. Mon 15 Nov 2010 15:27:18 GMT+1 deadpansean http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=90#comment487 It would seem that a lot of primary school kids have no problem playing arcade games and using console's. So why not issue ALL kids in the second year with a kindle pre loaded with books of a suitable type and containing all their future text book requirements to the end of high school!!Plus they get to keep the reader for life as a prize for successfully learning to read!! Further reading can be available upon payment. I think this would save millions of pounds in book storage alone.I would assume Amazon would fall over themselves to provide the readers at a negligable cost to the state betting on future book sales..Pupils with poor eyesite would not have a problem as the text can be set any size..Imagine a whole generation of kids with a library to read that is no bigger than a normal paperback. Mon 15 Nov 2010 15:10:05 GMT+1 Rays a Larf http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=90#comment486 485. At 2:54pm on 15 Nov 2010, steve wroteSee post 472 Correct on Lady Barbra Steve I was thinking of a television program where she was advocating comprehensives which got my goat.... Mon 15 Nov 2010 15:05:55 GMT+1 Anthoncon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=90#comment485 479 should read "Teach the parents to speak properly (not proper) to begin with" Still not good though as it ends with a proposition.It is increasingly common for adjectives to be used where adverbs should be used. But at least the infinitive has not been split.Of course this post implies good grammar - a lost talent. Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:55:47 GMT+1 steve http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=90#comment484 Sorry Steve, Barbra Castle introduced Comprehensives and as Sue Demin says "We already have a system like that. It's called the Comprehensive schooling system and look at the results coming from that! Instead of getting people to aspire to be the best they can be, they're being held back to meet the socialist ideal of 'all people are the same' by making everyone stay at the level of the poorest performern says" and I have first hand experience of my child being held back for a whole year because she was too far in front of the rest of the class and what did the teachers do about it, absolutely nothing because it was not the done thing.-----------Well you're sort of right and wrong at the same time.Mrs Castle was Education Minister in the Wilson Government in the 1960's but the vast majority of comprehensives were actually introduced between 1970-74 under Heath .Most comprehensives continued the practice of streaming,they still do.If your child was so academically gifted as to be a year ahead of their peers they would have been unlikely to be moved year whatever the system as their are other considerations other than academic success.There is of course no issue now or in the past with an outstanding student taking exams earlier than their peers.It is difficult to generalise from an individual case however I was actually at a school ,previously an excellent grammar school in the first year of comprehensive intake.We achieved the best O Level and A level and University entrance rates the school had seen for 25 Years. With some 80% of the Sixth form going to University ,virtually unheard of from a state school of any description at the time when the University levels were less than One Fifth of the current numbers and still very rare.-----Sorry addendum now I come to think of it Mrs Castle was never education minister She was Minister of Transport Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:54:26 GMT+1 Seqenenre http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=89#comment483 Hardly a surprise many of them can't read or write, as many of them can't speak English either.Give them a mobile phone, dey cn al spel on dat ok Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:51:33 GMT+1 ian cheese http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=89#comment482 478. At 2:39pm on 15 Nov 2010, D Johnson wrote:All education starts at home.The trouble is parents want a quiet life and just plonk their offspring in front of the telly or a computer.My 3 children could all read and write before they started attending school. My eldest could read the newspaper at five.Just lazy parents I`m afraid.-------Well done, I can't believe you are an Oik. Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:45:03 GMT+1 steve http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=89#comment481 Only loony Liberals would be trying to get all children to read and write. It is a fact that a small percentage of people cannot read and write - just like I cannot ride bike.------------Please don't try to combine the Two "One Way" signs could have unfortunate consequences! Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:44:14 GMT+1 ian cheese http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=89#comment480 471. At 2:22pm on 15 Nov 2010, Darling Mikey wrote:470. At 2:17pm on 15 Nov 2010, won_hung_lo wrote:After careful consideration I have concluded the best way to teach child literacy, is to go back 40/50 years, to a time when families and schools were fit for purpose and liberals lefties hid beneath stones!--------I believe there is also Television to be blamed i.e. too much of it & Computerspeak today. Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:44:03 GMT+1 steve http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=89#comment479 Sorry Steve, Barbra Castle introduced Comprehensives and as Sue Demin says "We already have a system like that. It's called the Comprehensive schooling system and look at the results coming from that! Instead of getting people to aspire to be the best they can be, they're being held back to meet the socialist ideal of 'all people are the same' by making everyone stay at the level of the poorest performern says" and I have first hand experience of my child being held back for a whole year because she was too far in front of the rest of the class and what did the teachers do about it, absolutely nothing because it was not the done thing.-----------Well you're sort of right and wrong at the same time.Mrs Castle was Education Minister in the Wilson Government in the 1960's but the vast majority of comprehensives were actually introduced between 1970-74 under Heath .Most comprehensives continued the practice of streaming,they still do.If your child was so academically gifted as to be a year ahead of their peers they would have been unlikely to be moved year whatever the system as their are other considerations other than academic success.There is of course no issue now or in the past with an outstanding student taking exams earlier than their peers.It is difficult to generalise from an individual case however I was actually at a school ,previously an excellent grammar school in the first year of comprehensive intake.We achieved the best O Level and A level and University entrance rates the school had seen for 25 Years. With some 80% of the Sixth form going to University ,virtually unheard of from a state school of any description at the time when the University levels were less than One Fifth of the current numbers and still very rare. Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:42:44 GMT+1 ian cheese http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=89#comment478 Teach the parents to speak proper to begin with! Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:41:29 GMT+1 D Johnson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=88#comment477 All education starts at home.The trouble is parents want a quiet life and just plonk their offspring in front of the telly or a computer.My 3 children could all read and write before they started attending school. My eldest could read the newspaper at five.Just lazy parents I`m afraid. Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:39:00 GMT+1 in_the_uk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=88#comment476 475. At 2:32pm on 15 Nov 2010, AJS wrote:Make illiteracy a capital offence.Simples!---------------------------------So you would lose some of the brightest and most intelligent people in the country because of illiteracy. Some of these people (a high number actually) ave above average intelligence and problems reading and writing. I am one of them. I could get into mensa yet my reading and writing is below average. Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:37:58 GMT+1 Sue Denim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=88#comment475 463. At 1:34pm on 15 Nov 2010, thelevellers wrote:""372. At 09:34am on 15 Nov 2010, Sue Denim wrote:368. At 09:22am on 15 Nov 2010, thelevellers wrote:"We can start by getting rid of all the private schools.This would give all kids an equal start in life. Another benefit of this is that we could get the best teachers in the schools where they are most needed."As another poster already stated, how will the education system cope with another 600,000 pupils without any extra funding? (Private school parents have already paid/are paying toward the system too you know)"Quite simple.Use the private schools as state schools, if the location is not suitable then sell the proterty and build a school in a better location.The fees can be redirected to the local education authority to cover the cost of the additional places that will be required."Do you work for new labour? Private schools (as the name suggests) are privately owned. You'd need to buy the existing buldings or build new ones. Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:36:15 GMT+1 AJS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=88#comment474 Make illiteracy a capital offence.Simples! Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:32:28 GMT+1 Khuli http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=88#comment473 "463. At 1:34pm on 15 Nov 2010, thelevellers wrote:"372. At 09:34am on 15 Nov 2010, Sue Denim wrote:368. At 09:22am on 15 Nov 2010, thelevellers wrote:"We can start by getting rid of all the private schools.This would give all kids an equal start in life. Another benefit of this is that we could get the best teachers in the schools where they are most needed."------------------As another poster already stated, how will the education system cope with another 600,000 pupils without any extra funding? (Private school parents have already paid/are paying toward the system too you know)"--------------------------Quite simple.Use the private schools as state schools, if the location is not suitable then sell the proterty and build a school in a better location.The fees can be redirected to the local education authority to cover the cost of the additional places that will be required.----------------------Except there won't be any fees, will there? Once you scrap the private schools, the state is going to have to pay for all the additional pupils. Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:28:22 GMT+1 leathersofa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=87#comment472 469 - OK, I take your point and am sorry for having made personal assumptions. But even so, what proportion of children in the UK are inner-city children who live in that sort of culture, and are there no children or families who don't subscribe to that culture even in those areas? I can see that if one is used to being in an inner city, even if it isn't London, it's very easy to think that that is what it's like everywhere. But that culture is foreign to the vast majority of people in Britain. I live in a city, and it has its bad areas, sure. But that's not where most people in my city live. And you only have to go back to Dickens to see that there have always been pockets where criminality was the norm and that people who didn't live there were scared of those places and the people who lived in them. What I am trying to say is that it's so easy to assume that the horror stories in some newspapers are the norm. And, if you will forgive my saying so, I'm assuming (again!) that the 'special ed' you worked in was more in the emotional and behavioural disorder area than the learning-disability area - something I know rather a lot about as I have an adult son with severe learning disability - and I know that many people who work in those areas get burnt-out. My own perception of people generally and children in particular is that the mix is much as it has always been. To bring in another literary reference, To Sir With Love wasn't fiction - it was based on the memoirs of a real teacher who worked in London in the early 60s, and it gives a pretty depressing picture of an inner-city school then, 50 years ago. That wasn't the only bad school there was. There have always been people to whom education wasn't important or else actual anathema; it's not a new phenomenon. But there are, I think, more parents now than ever there were who are deeply interested in their children's education and upbringing in general, and the minority of bad parents must not be allowed to squeeze out the majority of good ones in the public perception. Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:27:23 GMT+1 KarenZ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=87#comment471 Only loony Liberals would be trying to get all children to read and write. It is a fact that a small percentage of people cannot read and write - just like I cannot ride bike. Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:24:49 GMT+1 Darling Mikey http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=87#comment470 470. At 2:17pm on 15 Nov 2010, won_hung_lo wrote:After careful consideration I have concluded the best way to teach child literacy, is to go back 40/50 years, to a time when families and schools were fit for purpose and liberals lefties hid beneath stones!YOU GOT MY VOTE! Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:22:49 GMT+1 won_hung_lo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=87#comment469 After careful consideration I have concluded the best way to teach child literacy, is to go back 40/50 years, to a time when families and schools were fit for purpose and liberals lefties hid beneath stones! Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:17:42 GMT+1 Darling Mikey http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=87#comment468 464. At 1:40pm on 15 Nov 2010, leathersofa wrote: So you don't know anything about modern children or schools at first-hand".......As it happens, I wasted 8 years of my life working in special ed and youth services until coming to the conclusion that the only effect was my hair loss and stress levels increasing.Kids in the inner cities are not interested, they would much rather be gangster drug dealers. And nothing is going to change that. Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:06:47 GMT+1 Rays a Larf http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=86#comment467 432. At 11:45am on 15 Nov 2010, Total Mass Retain wrote:That's strange as Barbara Castle was never Secretary of State for Education. More grammar schools converted to Comprehensive Schools under Margaret Thatcher than under any education secretary before or since."Correct Sir, I was thinking of a program where Lady Barbra advocated comprehensives which got up my goat"Which is a preferable system: one in which 10% are selected by an arbitrary test at age 11 who are given special treatment but which leaves 90% failing to achieve their potential or one in which all can aspire to achieve their potential? We can argue whether comprehensives do, in fact, live up to that expectation but a system which institutionalises failure in the large majority, via arbitrary selection, must surely be wrong. Secondary Moderns certainly failed in getting "people to aspire to be the best they can be": they largely set a ceiling above which it was very hard to get above for the many who had been incorrectly selected for such schools at age 11__________________________________________________________________Very true for Secondary Moderns, the main principle for having the bar set at eleven was that the main industries around at the time needed man power and who needed educated people to do manual work. One had a second chance at 12 to move onwards and upwards, but one must not forget eleven year olds were not just for grammar school, technology schools also took those who had engineering attributes. Today those with good talent are held back by the lowest ability which really is a crime. In the same breath we do not have the industries to help those with the lower ability, (which means everyone of them) so the system has failed us for the last 30 odd years. The majority of Students who come for an interveiw for Unis these days are totally inept for the tasks in front of them and even though they should be turned down, bums on seats takes over. Looking at the overal question we certainly need to establish a system whereby all children do have the 3 'r's' before they leave primary school, not senior school . Mon 15 Nov 2010 14:01:55 GMT+1 Sarah http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=86#comment466 My daughter was failed by the system at her current state primary school. Her primary school seems to favour the "mix and match " approach to teaching literacy which appears to have many teacher advocates but clearly seems to fail a large number of children. (If this mix and match method favoured by so many schools is successful, then why are so many children failing to learn to read and write?). My daughter's school taught reading with a mixture of methods such as phonics (but not rigorous systemic phonics), whole word recognition and various other ineffective methods! They combined these methods with low expectations of 1/3rd of the class, and in year 1 diverted most of these children, who appeared to have been labelled as thick,( although nobody said that word)into very ineffective, dumbing-down, so-called "catch-up" groups with inexperienced teaching assistants, who tended to patronise them. If anything, my daughter's progress went backwards in these groups and her confidence sank to rock bottom. She made some progress during year 1 mainly thanks to my efforts at home. In year 2, my daughter then had the great misfortune to have the teacher, who appears to be the worst teacher in the school, with extremely low expectations, and no positive feedback for children in the lower third of the class for literacy. The ineffective so-called "catch up" group dumbing down classes continued. My daughter's confidence in her ability to read and write went down to further depths of despair. She was actually quite good at Maths but her teacher hadn't noticed as she appeared to have been labelled one of the thick ones. I was at my wits end! I'd had numerous chats with her teachers and headteacher regarding my concerns about her very slow progress and lack of confidence in literacy, but it was to no avail. I was then forced by circumstance to enrol my daughter on a private group reading course which used some form of synthetic phonics and this course was a lifesaver for her: she started to make much faster progress, and her confidence grew. By the end of year 2 , she had managed to scrape a level 2c (the lowest level 2)for writing in her year 2 Sats and level 2b for reading. If she hadn't had this extra private group literacy help, she would have got level 1 for both, which is below what is expected at the end of year 2 (level 2). In year 3 my daughter had a good teacher, who was much more focused on teaching literacy skills than any of her previous teachers. However, my daughter was still siphoned off into 2 so-called catch up teaching assistant groups, 1 of which was helpful, and the other was completely unhelpful and was dumbing her down again- I asked her teacher if she could be taken out of that group and to stay in the classroom with the rest of the class, where I thought she would learn more- her teacher surprisingly agreed. My daughter made progress in year 3. She also did Kumon English for 3 months- it seemed quite helpful, but she got fed up with it after 3 months and refused to continue with it. My daughter's now in year 4 and it appears to have been noticed at last that she's very good at Maths, but her Maths had previously been held back by her poor literacy skills. Her reading and writing are improving but she still has difficulties with both. I feel angry and upset about what happened to her in her first 3 years at school (reception, year 1 and year 2, especially in reception and year 2). She could have had a much better start to her literacy education if her school had used rigorous synthetic phonics, and high expectations. I believe that she would have learnt to read and write much more quickly if her school had used rigorous synthetic phonics. Her confidence would have been much higher and she would have been able to access all of the curriculum. Earlier this term, I suggested to the headteacher that the school should use synthetic phonics, but she said it didn't work, which I knew wasn't true, and anyway the school had never tried rigorous synthetic phonics, and had only ever dipped into it (so it had never been tried rigorously) with its ongoing ineffective mix and match approach. In year 4, one of her 2 teachers only marks the work of the top table, and that is done in the classroom. There is a major problem in the school with an inconsistent and generally poor marking situation. Most of the teachers have an excessive reliance on peer marking by other children and self marking, which does not appear to spur the children on to achieve more if used excessively. (The issue of good practice in marking for teachers is another issue I would like Ofsted to advise schools about). The children at the top of the class for literacy generally have much more input from the point of view of written feedback from the teachers. In year 2, the children at the top of the class for literacy were getting a lot of positive written comments and constructive feedback, but my daughter and her fellow pupils in the lower third of the class for literacy got no written feedback atall- my daughter was capable of reading feedback. I'm relieved that Christine Gilbert of Ofsted is at last telling schools that synthetic phonics work if used rigorously, and if combined with high expectations. My daughter has missed out on this, but I hope that others don't . If I hadn't been able to afford the private group tuition in year 2, my daughter's literacy skills would have been much worse than they are now. I can see why the state system has been failing so many children in their literacy skills, as my daughter was potentially one of them, but was rescued by the private group tuition in synthetic phonics. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:56:11 GMT+1 anotherfakename http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=86#comment465 As the parent of a dyslexic boy I can state one thing for certain....Telling his parents he is ADHD and needs Ritalin is NOT the way to help.In fact, as a teacher insisting on this 'diagnosis' when the medical profession disagree with you hampers their chance of getting help.Ignoring his parents who point out that ADHD and learning the piano and violin is not really likely.If teachers were to think a little more when confronted with behavioural problems and not blame the child, parents and everyone else they might - possibly - notice that the child is bored out of his bracket because he can't read what you've written. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:49:12 GMT+1 LancashireLass http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=86#comment464 These 11 year olds with the inability to read and write - must come on in leaps and bounds to pass all those GCSE's a few years later.DISCUSS Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:43:34 GMT+1 leathersofa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=86#comment463 456 "Sadly the clock can not be turned back. Pride needs to return to people. Hunger for learning needs to be instilled but how? Thankfully that is not my problem. The only kids we have are 8 cats!"So you don't know anything about modern children or schools at first-hand. There are kids who aren't interested in learning, sure, and there are parents who don't much care about their kids. But there always were. It's like the business of child murders by strangers - the numbers haven't actually risen at all, it's just that newspapers are now more sensational and more material-hungry. Go to a good school, which there are a huge number of, and talk to the teachers and parents. The picture is not as presented by the Telegraph and Mail, but that doesn't make headlines, does it? People are as they always were. Some are cleverer than others, some are harder-working than others, and some, admittedely, are total deadbeats. But not many. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:40:58 GMT+1 thelevellers http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=86#comment462 "372. At 09:34am on 15 Nov 2010, Sue Denim wrote:368. At 09:22am on 15 Nov 2010, thelevellers wrote:"We can start by getting rid of all the private schools.This would give all kids an equal start in life. Another benefit of this is that we could get the best teachers in the schools where they are most needed."As another poster already stated, how will the education system cope with another 600,000 pupils without any extra funding? (Private school parents have already paid/are paying toward the system too you know)"Quite simple.Use the private schools as state schools, if the location is not suitable then sell the proterty and build a school in a better location.The fees can be redirected to the local education authority to cover the cost of the additional places that will be required. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:34:34 GMT+1 Jonn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=85#comment461 Re : posting 420 by pzeroAh yes. Teaching. So little stress, so much money, such endless carefree holidays. As described you'd have to be a complete and utter fool not to take such a job.What subject is it you teach ? Or are you still taking that super sized pile of money to retrain ? Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:34:26 GMT+1 Anthoncon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=85#comment460 Teach their parents to read and write. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:33:05 GMT+1 leathersofa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=85#comment459 455 - I am not advocating total illiteracy, far from it. What I am trying to do is to invite people to do something rather radical and examine why it is that so many of us take it for granted that a high level of literacy - that is a HIGH level of literacy, mind you - is absolutely and 100% necessary for success of any kind in life, and whether, if it is, that that will continue to be the case. My contention is that a high level of literacy, the kind where books are a huge pleasure and one can write fluently, sensibly and well, is a great pleasure to have. In some jobs it is indeed a necessity. But not in all of them, and in the future, when new technology develops further, not necessarily even in the majority. I am saying that skills that were needed in the past may not be so vital in the future - eg an accountancy clerk no longer sits at a high desk and does what Bob Cratchit did in the way of handwriting long columns, nor would anyone be impressed nowadays if someone had those skills - BUT, vitally, that the old skills probably will be replaced by others, not that people will become deskilled. My own feeling about all this is that I am in my 50s, but I do not intend to take up the traditional role of the moaning granny for whom everything is on a downward path because it isn't exactly as it was in her young day. The older generation have been filling that role since the dawn of history and I find it pretty boring and depressing to see that so many people here cannot, apparently, see anything exciting in the future because they can't cope with change. I intend to continue reading, and so will many others. But just because that is my idea of fun does not mean it HAS to be everyone's. Computer games, for instance, leave me cold in general. My 20+ children love them because they've grown up with them, and that's great. Haydn was considered dangerously avant-garde in his day because he didn't write like Bach; 30 years later Beethoven was considered dangerously modern because he didn't write like Haydn. It's always been like that and I don't intend to turn into the stereotypical whinging old person sucking their teeth and complaining about change. The world of the future belongs to today's young people, who have skills my generation doesn't. That's great. Get on with it, kids. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:32:53 GMT+1 RubbishGirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=85#comment458 On a related note. Any teachers/exam bord peeps out there who can confirm that you don't lose marks for incorrect spelling & grammar in exams anymore? If this is true it's one of the problems at the heart of what is wrong with education. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:26:08 GMT+1 Jonn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=85#comment457 This is a somewhat pointless question - unless the person responding ahs actually taught many people to read by diferent methods then the responses will merely be based on "I was taught this way and it worked so it must be best".By definition all those who failed to learn to read and write by the same method will not be taking part in this HYS debate.In reality the only method that has any chance of working is practice. Teachers can teach the skills any number of ways but they can't give the individual attention each pupil requires every day. This means parents putting in the effort to inculcate a reading environment for their pre-school children, then reading to their children every day for the next 10 years at least, joining a library, buying additional books, listening to their child read every day for the first 2 or 3 years at primary school, fully partaking in attempts to teach how words are spelt and supervising their children's homework activities.Or they can say "do your reading - I'll be watching the TV" and blame the education system. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:25:07 GMT+1 in_the_uk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=84#comment456 447. At 12:54pm on 15 Nov 2010, Khuli wrote:"437. At 12:15pm on 15 Nov 2010, Artemesia wrote:I've no idea how I was taught the various meanings and uses of 'ou', 'ough', 'ow', the difference between 'fir' and 'fur', 'taut' and taught', 'would' and 'wood' and numerous other peculiarites but learn them I did, certainly by 11 years if not before, which is strange because I was taught phonetically"----------------You were probably just told that's how they sound - no need for further explanation. Then you just remember it.Phonetics aren't going to help with rough, cough, through, plough & although.....------------------------It will only help a portion of children anyway. There is a large number of children with learning difficulties which are often ignored or the child is told they are bad. The number of prisoners who have such problems and turned to crime because they were told they were bad is pretty large.The worst part is the generic teaching which assumes we should all learn the same rubbish and fails to focus on our strong skills. People could be far more advanced if their natural skills were exploited to their fullest. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:15:45 GMT+1 Darling Mikey http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=84#comment455 Parents are the key, and with that is the problem. In most cases in the city areas the parents are little more than children themselves. Most unable to string two sensible words together themselves. Other than “YES” I would imagine, (think about it).You see them everyday, a little fashion accessory bundled up in a pram, little more than a statement to say that they have had sex! The baby is an inconvenience, much more important is the ipod, the text on the phone or what has or has not been said on social networking about them. To the lads, the production of a child says that the girl of conquest was careless and nothing to do with them, just a bit of street cred!The parents have no hope so what chance baby?I see this time and time again every day and it breaks my heart.From as far back as I can remember, as children my brother and I came first. When we were out, things were pointed to and explained, do you know what that is? This is for…. Etc. inside we were spoken to, reading was an everyday event. We were not just sat in front of the TV for hours on end, TV was a treat.Don’t get me wrong there are still a few out there that care, most have not got a clue, and until this is addresses the best teachers in the world will be no good.I attended school firstly in Belgium and then at then in England after the age of 11. Even as I child arriving in England I noticed one BIG difference, Discipline. The classes were a place of disorder, the kids running free and no personal interest in learning, fitting in was much more important apparently, learning was not cool. Later it became that no body was allowed to fail in case it upset them????Sadly the clock can not be turned back. Pride needs to return to people. Hunger for learning needs to be instilled but how? Thankfully that is not my problem. The only kids we have are 8 cats! Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:13:42 GMT+1 just_common_sense http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=84#comment454 (448) Ability to read is surely pretty critical if you are given instructions about something that may involve a risk of death or serious injury - or instructions on an important task at work (unless you have a phenomenal memory!)As regards numeracy, it is a pity that the top managers of the Banks (and the Financial regulatory authorities) do not seem to have had a better grasp of the size of the risks they were running before the crisis! Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:12:41 GMT+1 RubbishGirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=84#comment453 I've arrived a little late here, so it's probably already all been said, but for me you have to start way younger than school age. Children should be read to from the start & then they will want to learn about what the parent is saying & how all those squiggles on the page make up a story. Keep what you read to them varied, not just fiction (I used to love going through nature books & atlases & hearing the descriptions when I was little) As soon as they are able, get them reading! I learnt phonics & it worked great for me but I can see how a dyslexic student may have real trouble. It's not a case of one size fits all & teachers &, particularly, parents need to put far more work into the kids that don't seem interested. Regular reading assignments from primary school onwards are essential (anyone else remember the saga of Roger red hat, Jennifer yellow hat & Billy blue hat? Apparently Roger lost it all in the banking crisis & Jennifer's a stripper ;) ) All children should be encouraged to read aloud in class & given regular spelling tests.Eventually, through trial & error, children will find the books & style that appeal to them & they will keep reading. On a side note I find it really sad that so many kids don't enjoy reading. I'd happily give up every other form of entertainment (yes, even HYS!) if I could keep books. The excitement I get when a new book comes out by Stephen King or any of my other favourites dwarfs that bought on by a new film,album or even the new Warcraft expansion & I feel genuinely sorry for those that don't get that excited "can't put it down" feeling. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:12:09 GMT+1 FarnesBarnes http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=84#comment452 428. At 11:28am on 15 Nov 2010, pzero wrote:424. At 11:18am on 15 Nov 2010, Mr Cholmondley-Warner wrote:420. At 11:07am on 15 Nov 2010, pzero wrote:I thought the answer to this was obvious:- Have teachers who want to teach rather than the current crop of wasters who see it as nothing more than a cushy job!For years the recruitment slogans to become a teacher were basically:Got a degree?Cant hack the real world?Want lots of holidays?Dont want to work very hard?Then become a teacher! We will even give you money to retrain!------------------------------------------------------------------And your in-depth knowledge of the teaching profession was gained where exactly ? Judging by that set of vacuous recycled cliches, I'll guess it was from Armstrong and Miller sketches.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Actually it comes from attending a parents evening last week and being totally disgusted by the attitude of some of the staff.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>So on the basis of one parents evening you think you know the competency of all teachers across the profession. Are you sure you are being fair to come up with this judgement simply because you are unhappy with your child's education and what you perceive as the poor quality of education they receive? I would love to see you try and teach a class for just one hour so that you could experience what it was like. You are an "arm chair" head master. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:08:53 GMT+1 just_common_sense http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=83#comment451 To answer my own question (441), it isn't hard to see why a school that refuses to use phonics at all should not be rated 'outstanding'! Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:05:05 GMT+1 Clear Incite http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=83#comment450 401. At 10:37am on 15 Nov 2010, presario wrote:My wife taught our two children to read well before they started primary school. She used "flash cards" that she made up herself i.e. cards with small words, such as cat and dog, spelt out in large letters.Without wishing to take anything away from my wife's efforts I believe anyone can do this. All that is needed is time and dedication. Your time is the greatest gift you can give to any child.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I'm sorry to say but I find this extremely simplistic, I had two very nurturing parents who valued literacy. I wasn't classed as being able to read till I was at least 10yrs old possible older, whether this was due to laziness, awkwardness or dyslexia for which I have a tendency (a 1960's diagnoses) I couldn't tell you. My daughter showed the same determination not to read as myself, my son was reading well, before he went to school and was reading in two languages very quickly in school, same parents different result? My daughter and Myself are now avid book readers, my son isn't. Also my Mother for years used to volunteer to help poor readers at their local school, her opinion every child is different. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:01:52 GMT+1 bigsammyb http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=83#comment449 "What is the best way to teach child literacy?"I'm not qualified to answer that question and neither are 99% of the people posting on this HYS.However every single person will still give you an opinion and they will be adament it is correct and should be heard. Mon 15 Nov 2010 13:01:47 GMT+1 Brian Brown http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=83#comment448 Literacy ,like most life skills and chances , stems from parents knowledge. If a parent is poorly educated and has a low opinion of schooling, then that will be passed onto the child, either ex, or intrinsically. Streaming in schools reflects this. There are bright children in the lower streams and less bright children in the upper streams, because their parents drive them. Good teachers recognise this problem and try to address the balance, but there are only so many hours in a day and a care less parent is a mountain to climb. Mon 15 Nov 2010 12:59:57 GMT+1 leathersofa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=83#comment447 Foolfighter 444 - I'm sure you are absoloutely right when it comes to numeracy. But this discussion is not about numeracy and I was talking about literacy specifically, ie reading and writing and their place in the world of the future. I am not saying that children need to be less clever than they once were, just that in some areas of life the focus has shifted and that the (hand)written word will probably not be as important in the future as it is now. I absolutely agree that numeracy is probably now more important for most people than it ever was and that competency in that area will continue to be paramount in more and more jobs. Mon 15 Nov 2010 12:59:40 GMT+1 Khuli http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=83#comment446 "437. At 12:15pm on 15 Nov 2010, Artemesia wrote:I've no idea how I was taught the various meanings and uses of 'ou', 'ough', 'ow', the difference between 'fir' and 'fur', 'taut' and taught', 'would' and 'wood' and numerous other peculiarites but learn them I did, certainly by 11 years if not before, which is strange because I was taught phonetically"----------------You were probably just told that's how they sound - no need for further explanation. Then you just remember it.Phonetics aren't going to help with rough, cough, through, plough & although..... Mon 15 Nov 2010 12:54:58 GMT+1 LardiusMaximus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=82#comment445 "Disapline"you've got to either laugh or cry in a HYS on the subject of child literacy. Mon 15 Nov 2010 12:54:28 GMT+1 braxious http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=82#comment444 before any child can leave school they must be able to read and write this is a basic skill that even the cave men learnt.time to go back to basics,when the children go to school from day 1 they are taught a = apple b = boy c = cat and so on.then give them the correct books I.E jannet and Jon - i grew up and learnt to read that way- when i left junior school every one could read and write.the main thing is time to stop the mulitude of differnt languages spoken in the schools - the 1 and only should be ENGLISH - that way every one will get the same. I know there is the happy clappy lets all letthe child learn at their own pace but that is why we are in the state we are now in.yes some kids will get it quicker and some wont and there will be the poor sods who are dyslexic (like me) but they do get it.the next argument is HOW DO WE PAY well the only way is TAXES UP. i guess that when push comes to shove we get what we pay for. Mon 15 Nov 2010 12:52:56 GMT+1 Foolfighter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=82#comment443 419. At 11:07am on 15 Nov 2010, leathersofa wrote:You know, I've read through a lot of the posts on this topic, and I posted myself on it yesterday, mainly saying that a lot of people are viewing the past through rose-tinted spectacles.But perhaps we are all looking at this the wrong way. I wonder what the average age of contributors here is - I would wager it isn't under 30 or even 40. The fact is that what anyone over about 50 thinks does not matter in terms of the future. In another ten or twenty years today's 50+ people will be retired and no longer employers. The employers will be those who are being excoriated here as semi-illiterates. And you know what? They simply will not care, in most cases and certainly where the job on offer doesn't require a lot of reasding and writing, whether people can spell or not. They WILL care very much about whether those people are up to speed with new technology; and most of them, going by today's teenagers, will be.Barring some major catastrophe, the future is not pens and paper. It's computers. And with voice recognition on the horizon, people soon won't even have to type.....................................................................That's still not enough and you are deluding yourself. A competency in numeracy will still be necessary. To use a horribly over simplified example if we have ten crates of oranges each containing 50 oranges you need to be able to recognise that 632 is not the correct total number of oranges - just because the computer says so. The ability to recognise when something is wrong is just as important as the abilty to do it correctly. Many of my first year undergraduate in their remedial maths class need calculators to multiply by 10, and if you think getting an answer of 632 instead of 500 should obviously be recognised as wrong then in an exercise in practical calculation that I run I have students who produce answers that are up to 100,000 times to big or too small and still fail to see they are wrong. Technological competency has its place but it doesn't prevent the GIGO (garbage-in-garbage-out) law from operating on computers so basic mental numerical skills are still necessary. Mon 15 Nov 2010 12:48:07 GMT+1 AuntieLeft http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=82#comment442 At 11:28am on 15 Nov 2010, pzero wrote:424. At 11:18am on 15 Nov 2010, Mr Cholmondley-Warner wrote:420. At 11:07am on 15 Nov 2010, pzero wrote:I thought the answer to this was obvious:- Have teachers who want to teach rather than the current crop of wasters who see it as nothing more than a cushy job!For years the recruitment slogans to become a teacher were basically:Got a degree?Cant hack the real world?Want lots of holidays?Dont want to work very hard?Then become a teacher! We will even give you money to retrain!------------------------------------------------------------------And your in-depth knowledge of the teaching profession was gained where exactly ? Judging by that set of vacuous recycled cliches, I'll guess it was from Armstrong and Miller sketches.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Actually it comes from attending a parents evening last week and being totally disgusted by the attitude of some of the staff.My duaghters are currently being taught (badly in my opinion) by a failed accountant and a failed nurse! There is no attemmpt to motivate brighter kids to work harder or learn more becuase this doesnt meet the criteria. As such the brighter kids suffer as they soon become bored with being held back to allow the teachers to achieve the same poor standard with all the kids! We were even criticised for allowing our younger daughter to access to her older sisters school work!_______________________________________________________________________I can concur with your comments. One of my children went to a state school and I was appalled at the low level and attitude of some teachers. They seemed to take the whole thing as a joke and had very low understanding of what is required for OUR children to face the real world. That is probably why we in industry have to retrain many who come from school even in the basics (ie reading, writing, maths). My other child went to private education and the whole ethos is completely different, it actual feels like an education establishment, not a social club. There, the teachers appear very professional and have an understanding that there is a real world out there (not some loony left fantasy). If the state schools could get over its dogmatic indifference to the private sector, it could learn a lot (but as much chance of that as having an incompetent teacher sacked!) Mon 15 Nov 2010 12:36:39 GMT+1 givemestrength http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=82#comment441 There are a lot of comments on here that children should be able to read and write by the time the start primary school. I have a different view.Over the years I've worked with in pan-European companies and have dealt with employees from all over Europe. I find that generally the Swedes have a much better grasp on the English language (i.e. a foreign language) than most English people. However, unless it's changed, I remember seeing a documentary which stated that their children were allowed to be children and didn't even start school of any sort until they were seven.Can I suggest that those who are entrusted with defining the education of our children at least pop over there and find out what they're doing. It may purely be that there is much more parental involvement rather than anything they're doing at school and it may not work here. But it's got to be worth a look at least. Mon 15 Nov 2010 12:36:21 GMT+1 just_common_sense http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=81#comment440 In answer to 437, a link to the Ofsdted report can be found at: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofsted-home/Publications-and-research/Browse-all-by/Documents-by-type/Thematic-reports/Reading-by-six-how-the-best-schools-do-itThe study does not seem to be a scientific study of the effectiveness of different teaching methods. The 12 'outstanding' schools looked at seem to have used a range of techniques, including phonics, but reading between the lines, other factors may have been at least as important in their apparent success.Excuse me being sceptical about this report which appears to support current government thinking, but I also wonder whether use of phonics was one of the factors which led to the schools being rated 'outstanding'? Mon 15 Nov 2010 12:34:07 GMT+1 just_common_sense http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=81#comment439 Why is it important that children learn to read (and write) well? Success (and happiness) in business and life in general is made much easier by being able to communicate effectively (and accurately). In some cases it may be a matter of life and death.Basic reading ability is just a first step towards this, and phonics (in some form) is needed to make the link between printed characters in words in the English language. However, it is clearly not the whole story! I wonder whether we are going to see similar pronouncements on grammar (the link between words, sentences and meaning), which would seem to be just as important.Similar things could also be said about numeracy. I worry that we are well into a process of cuts without understanding the implications of the numbers! Mon 15 Nov 2010 12:22:41 GMT+1 Foolfighter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=81#comment438 ## 78. At 10:52am on 14 Nov 2010, Calaba wrote:23. At 08:04am on 14 Nov 2010, solomondogs wrote:Here we go again, I expect we'll have a barrage of comments stating that our kids are all little Einsteins and that the inspectors have it wrong again. However the simple facts are plain to see, we've had Universities complaining for years that it's not thier job to teach students to read and write, their alarm bells have been ringing for years, and it further begs the question why are there students on degree courses who don't have basic numeracy and literacy? It has nothing to do with what degree you're taking, these are absolute basics that we shouldn't leave primary school without and yet here these kids are at university.=========================Yes and no. The subjects where remedial maths needs to be taught at uni are most often Physics and Engineering. This is partly because A level maths nowadays is such a poor standard that it doesn't always guarantee the student will be able to do the calculus involved, and partly because the universities often need to accept students without A level maths onto these courses, just to fill the class. (so they need to run extra maths classes to get students up to speed)........................................As someone who teaches first year remedial maths/stats to science students at university I agree. The situation is generally hopeless. I have students who have (apparently) done science based A-levels but don't know how many centimetres there are in a metre, or how many metres there are in a kilometre, or don't know what the prefixes milli-, centi-, kilo- and mega- mean. What chance do they stand making up solutions in a laboratory or mapping with a theodolite in the field? The best excuse I've had is "That's maths, and maths is difficult, and therefore I shouldn't be expected to remember it".There are two fundamental problems.1. Teachers in schools, particularly in primary schools are themselves terrible at maths - a recent Scottish survey found only around 5% of primary school teachers could pass the tests they set their own pupils! And in recognition of this the subject of maths is often introduced to the pupils with a "this is hard but we are going to have to do it" which puts a lot of people off right at the start.2. The modular nature of a lot of secondary school work and exams means there is a tendancy to adopt a "learn-pass-forget" mode for bundles of knowledge. When they reach university they have to be taught that they need to retain information from one year to the next and many have difficulty with this. For example I teach how to calculate an average (mean) and some of our first years cannot do this. I know they did this in their last year in primary school and I know they did this for their GCSE maths so why can't they calculate a simple average, why does this knowledge go? Even worse, when they reach their second year where they have more complex maths the vast majority of them have again forgoten how to calculate an average - so it has to be gone over again for the third time of repeating it!!The idea that I have to (re)teach post A-level students remedial maths from their primary school level is an appalling indictment of the current education system. Mon 15 Nov 2010 12:18:13 GMT+1 YoungAdolf http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/haveyoursay/2010/11/what_is_the_best_way_to_teach.html?page=81#comment437 Go back asap to old fashioned teaching methodology - before anything was called methodology - rote learning, sitting in rows, do as the teacher says, if you or your parents don't like school discipline then leave, you do not have the right to stop others learning. Japan and Singapore both spend less per child on education per pupil than the UK for infinitely better results. No talking in class unless spoken to. prizes for winners nothing for the rest. No excuse for absenteeism ( bar real illness). Fines for parents who do not cooperate. A good basic education - achieved by most children 100 years ago in the UK - is too important to leave in the hands of loony theorists and do gooders. Mon 15 Nov 2010 12:16:53 GMT+1