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Thick Kids

Clive AttonClive Atton Posts: 37
edited June 2007 in Campaign
During the recent SATS exams my wife acted as a 'reader' at my son's school. Out of 120 pupils, 40 required 'readers' to read the exam questions to them. A friend employed at a school in Surrey laughed when told this and said 'is that all'. How can there be such a high percentage of thickies in a decent suburban school after six years of education. Rather than teaching these gumbies to read the government elicits the help of my wife (and many others) to coerce these kids through the exams just so it can brag about it's astounding record on education. It makes me bloody sick.........

I don't just blame the school, the parents must be to blame as well - cretins!!
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  • spirespire Posts: 4,077
    Stand by for outrage from the PC Brigade. [:D]

    There's no such thing as thick kids: they are dyslexic, disadvantaged. oppressed or from a persecuted minority group![;)]
  • Gary AskwithGary Askwith Posts: 1,835
    Thick parents have quite a lot to do with it [;)][}:)]

    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....

    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....
  • papercorn2000papercorn2000 Posts: 4,517
    Well, I taught some so-called "thick kids" from extrememly disadvantaged areas of Glasgow. Many had trouble reading and withother basic skills. Many were just dim, one had been dropped on his head, some had parents who were possibly too closely related.

    Anyway, there were a few who just hated any form of authority. To their own detriment and disadvantage, they had never listened and had learned hardly a thing.
    When we got these kids, one or two of them flourished. We taught one to play chess and by the end of the week, none of the staff could beat him. By the end of a year, we couldn't, with the resources we had teach him any more about maths.

    What I'm trying to say is that there are some spectacularly dim people out there but others are coming from backgrounds that predispose them against learning school-based subjects. Fault lies mainly with the families and the way they bring up their progeny. However, given the resources, SOME of these kids can be reached and persuaded to make something of their lives.

    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
    God told me to skin you alive.
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  • Mister PaulMister Paul Posts: 719
    Learning like reading needs support at home. The more you spend reading to your children when they are young, and sitting with them while they read once they have started school, the quicker they'll learn.

    I think there is a group of parents who think that they can advocate all responsibility for teaching to the school.

    __________________________________________________________
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  • ArchcpArchcp Posts: 8,987
    Apparently (and I admit this is a second hand anecdote, so may have become a bit exagerated) while our currnet first year were out on fieldwork training a couple of weeks ago, one girl got in a flap because she'd broken the lead on her drawing pencil and didn't know what to do...

    She must have 2 or 3 good 'A' levels to get in here. So probably not thick, so much, as just inept and lacking initiative, but good at passing exams. Like PC says, sometimes it's not what IQ a kid has, but what they've been encouraged to do with it. And even a kid with a relatively low IQ, can (should!) be encouraged to make the best of it. I think the current idea that in order to be a success, we should have loads of kids going to university, is partly to blame - many people simply aren't cut out for academic learning, but are pushed that way, when they would be better to be guided to learn practical skills - if they can see a point to learning, they might be more open to it, than if they just think it's a means to passing some test.

    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
  • lardarse riderlardarse rider Posts: 1,447
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Arch</i>

    Apparently (and I admit this is a second hand anecdote, so may have become a bit exagerated) while our currnet first year were out on fieldwork training a couple of weeks ago, one girl got in a flap because she'd broken the lead on her drawing pencil and didn't know what to do...

    She must have 2 or 3 good 'A' levels to get in here. So probably not thick, so much, as just inept and lacking initiative, but good at passing exams. Like PC says, sometimes it's not what IQ a kid has, but what they've been encouraged to do with it. And even a kid with a relatively low IQ, can (should!) be encouraged to make the best of it. I think the current idea that in order to be a success, we should have loads of kids going to university, is partly to blame - many people simply aren't cut out for academic learning, but are pushed that way, when they would be better to be guided to learn practical skills - if they can see a point to learning, they might be more open to it, than if they just think it's a means to passing some test.

    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    They could then be employed to sharpen the pencils of university students[}:)]

    Please be upstanding for the Mayor of Simpleton

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  • ankev1ankev1 Posts: 3,686
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by papercorn2000</i>

    Well, I taught some so-called "thick kids" from extrememly disadvantaged areas of Glasgow. Many had trouble reading and withother basic skills. Many were just dim, one had been dropped on his head, some had parents who were possibly too closely related.

    Anyway, there were a few who just hated any form of authority. To their own detriment and disadvantage, they had never listened and had learned hardly a thing.
    When we got these kids, one or two of them flourished. We taught one to play chess and by the end of the week, none of the staff could beat him. By the end of a year, we couldn't, with the resources we had teach him any more about maths.

    What I'm trying to say is that there are some spectacularly dim people out there but others are coming from backgrounds that predispose them against learning school-based subjects. Fault lies mainly with the families and the way they bring up their progeny. However, given the resources, SOME of these kids can be reached and persuaded to make something of their lives.

    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    What you're saying there more or less chimes with many of the views on the grammar schools thread. Negligent parents are at least to blame for the "default settings" of their children. But how on earth does society do something about such people and has it in fact got a right to do something?
  • The EndorserThe Endorser Posts: 191
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Clive Atton</i>

    How can there be such a high percentage of thickies in a decent suburban school after six years of education. <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">Easy mate - not only has Tony B.Liars reign of terror (sorry, war on teror!) completely goofed up our education system, his pandering to every do-good justice and human rights group has created a social underclass that are proud of their benefit bludging status, and this ethos is bing bred into a new generation who have been completely unmotivated by either the schools, their parents or peers to actually lean a thing. Tey might not be able to read an exam question, but you can bet they all know ow to 'read' the instructions of their latest video game!

    <i><b>Taking the moral high ground since 1969</b></i>
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  • ArchcpArchcp Posts: 8,987
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by lardarse rider</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Arch</i>

    Apparently (and I admit this is a second hand anecdote, so may have become a bit exagerated) while our currnet first year were out on fieldwork training a couple of weeks ago, one girl got in a flap because she'd broken the lead on her drawing pencil and didn't know what to do...

    She must have 2 or 3 good 'A' levels to get in here. So probably not thick, so much, as just inept and lacking initiative, but good at passing exams. Like PC says, sometimes it's not what IQ a kid has, but what they've been encouraged to do with it. And even a kid with a relatively low IQ, can (should!) be encouraged to make the best of it. I think the current idea that in order to be a success, we should have loads of kids going to university, is partly to blame - many people simply aren't cut out for academic learning, but are pushed that way, when they would be better to be guided to learn practical skills - if they can see a point to learning, they might be more open to it, than if they just think it's a means to passing some test.

    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    They could then be employed to sharpen the pencils of university students[}:)]

    Please be upstanding for the Mayor of Simpleton
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    The thing is, that in a discipline like mine, archaeology, which involves both practical and academic strands, people who aren't academically skilled can be as good, or better at the practical stuff than the graduates. But the way it's going, you can't get a job in a unit doing the practical stuff, unless you're a graduate - or you certainly can't progress far up the career ladder (well, for archaeologists of course, working in trenches, it should be down the ladder...[;)]) So people who could be very valuable are excluded, and their potential contribution is devalued.

    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
  • mr_hippomr_hippo Posts: 1,051
    Where does one start? Literacy seems to have gone down and down over the past few decades but why? We can go back to the late 60s with the ITA (Initial Teaching Alphabet), moving away from the 3Rs to the fads and fashions of teachers and educationalists. "If you correct spelling and grammar then you will inhibit free thought and ideas." Learning spelling and grammar did not inhibit Dickens, Wells, Bronte, Kipling, etc. did it? Many teachers, themselves, have poor grammar skills; I was once asked by a teacher of English at an open evening "Lend me the borrow of your pencil!", twenty years later I am still trying to work that one out. Do not give me the excuse of large class sizes, all of my classes were between 30 & 40. Now, leave your fancy ideas and get back to the 3Rs.
    I and my 5 siblings could all read and write before we started school, as could my three daughters and so can the three grandchildren who have started school. I understand that we live in a faster paced world today but please make time for your kids. How do you have your dinner (or tea)? In front of the TV? Turn the TV off, sit at the table as many times in the week as you can. Talk to them, get them to read to you and you read to them. What if you can't read? Then go to adult literacy classes and learn. Do your kids have TVs, videos and game stations in their bedrooms? No reading then no TV. Some parents seem to have the attitude that 'It's not our job to teach them but the schools.'


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  • Don't many modern schools prohibit the possession of a pencil sharpener in school because it has a blade? This followed an incident several years ago when a girl was slashed across the face by another girl using a pencil sharpener blade.
  • marinyorkmarinyork Posts: 271
    That was two years ago and it was at my local in Sheffield.
  • Eat My DustEat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    Thick everyone. The receptionist at my work has 'a' levels <i>and</i> been to college. She received a master video and handed it to me and said "I think it's from someone called Pink Floyd" she looked very confused!!

    SNAPS
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by mr_hippo</i>

    <b>Many teachers, themselves, have poor grammar skills</b>; I was once asked by a teacher of English at an open evening "Lend me the borrow of your pencil!", twenty years later I am still trying to work that one out. <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Oh, don't get me started. I often receive content from teachers to publish on the Web and the level of grammar and spelling is appalling.

    One particular teacher had absolutely no clue how to write plurals - every single one was toy's, resource's, lesson's. OK that's just one example but overall the standard is poor.

    There are some superb teachers out there but if some can get through college with such poor grammar skills, how on earth are they supposed to teach the kids the correct way to read and write?
  • ankev1ankev1 Posts: 3,686
    How long does the evidence have to continue to mount? It is clear that in terms of teacher training (and education in general) that much of what is getting through these days is woefully substandard. Semi-literate teachers simply did not exist 30 - 40 years ago. When is the system going to wake up and return to the standards and methods which actually produced the results and if it won't, why won't it?
  • gavintcgavintc Posts: 3,009
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ankev1</i>

    How long does the evidence have to continue to mount? It is clear that in terms of teacher training (and education in general) that much of what is getting through these days is woefully substandard. Semi-literate teachers simply did not exist 30 - 40 years ago. When is the system going to wake up and return to the standards and methods which actually produced the results and if it won't, why won't it?
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    The system cannot return to a state of literacy and acceptable standards. The teachers of today are the product of the poor system and de facto we will continue to produce a reducing quality of teachers. I propose that the spiral of decline is now systemic. Thick kids become thick parents who producer thicker kids and teachers are part of this process.
  • MelvilMelvil Posts: 2,219
    I don't think it's about being thick or clever, per se. It's about having the right 'type' of intelligence for the culture we live in.

    A century or two ago, when most pursuits were practical, someone who was good with their hands i.e. a carpenter, a tailor, a decorator, could make a very decent living AND be highly respected by their community. No-one would think they were 'thick.' Now we have moved into an information and service led world, different skills have emerged and those who have good 'practical' or, even, 'emotional' intelligence are rated as less intelligent than someone with good mathematical and 'IQ Test' intelligence.

    Sorry if this is a bit waffly and a bit OTS...

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  • Sh4rkyblokeSh4rkybloke Posts: 209
    Don't get me started on this subject.... oh, too late [:D]

    My 3 and a bit year old goes to Nursery (so far, so good), but the varying uses of grammar are having an effect on how/what she learns.

    The carers/nursery staff are lovely people and excellent at what they do, but a proportion of them are reasonably young (early 20s) and seem to have a fairly, errrm, bad grasp of some parts of grammar (don't wish to sound too harsh, but there's no other way of describing it).

    'We was all going outside together...'
    'We'll learn them things like that when they move into the next room...'
    'Can I lend your Bear Hunt book for this moning, please?...'

    It's an effort to bite my tongue and not to correct them, but am I wrong in correcting my Daughter?

    She knows 'I was...we were' but still gets it wrong, presumably because she hears it incorrectly said at Nursery so often. I just have this fear that she'll start correcting them at some point soon, just as she tries to tell some of the other kids that 'You don't need a dummy, you're a big boy now', and 'Shouldn't suck your thumb'.

    Still, it'll be amusing if she does, and they actually start to get it correct themselves sometimes... I can dream. [;)]

    Nothing in life is foolproof, fools are ingenious

    Nothing in life is foolproof, fools are ingenious
  • I was speaking to a group of 18 year old A level students yesterday and they didn't know that Brazil wasn't in Europe .

    http://www.eastyorkshireclassic.co.uk/n ... index.aspx
  • marinyorkmarinyork Posts: 271
    I thought the thread refered to the 14 year old age group until I remembered there are SATs at 11! When I was at Middle School there were assessments at the beginning of the last term of the last year. The teachers were then frantically teaching about a quarter of children who could barely read at all how to read on an intensive one-to-one basis. I thought since that if only a fraction of that effort had gone on in the previous 8 years they might have had a better base level of reading at Secondary School.
  • simoncpsimoncp Posts: 3,260
    Perhaps the large number of 'readers' is also a reflecton of the education system's desire to employ people with all the extra cash the government is throwing at it. There is a parallel with the NHS - more money, more staff, but same old poor service.
  • Nature and nurture innit.

    e.g. My son (2 years 3 months) sitting on my knee in the car points at the letters embossed on the steering wheel "Daddy, W for worm....like my red bus"....he has a red bus with the alphabet on. He would not have know that if he had not been shown "W for worm". Advanced calculus next week.
  • FnaarFnaar Posts: 1,985
    Standing in playground at school pick up time recently...one kid in the class (8yr olds) who is very disruptive, wets himself and can't read. The mum, all folded arms, muffin-top and failed relationships, huffs and puffs to me..."I mean, he's bleedin' 8 and 'e can't read! Dunno what I send 'im 'ere for!" I mutter "Um, yeh" and stare into the middle distance, trying to catch the eye of that nice middle-class chap who lives up the road. Poor kid....!

    <b><font color="blue"><font face="Comic Sans MS">kinckers kanckers konckers</font id="Comic Sans MS"></font id="blue"></b> [:D]
  • papercorn2000papercorn2000 Posts: 4,517
    Teachers have the kids from 9 until 3 (3.30) the parents have them the rest of the time. It's up to them to play their part. (Including in some cases abstaining from any potentially reproductive activity).

    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
  • Hey, it's not just the UK's problem. I was in Dublin last week, staying at my sister-in-law's house. She teaches special needs children and also examines teachers who wish to move into that area. She was marking some papers over the weekend and amused us by pointing out loads of basic grammer and spelling mistakes (by experienced teachers).

    On the 8th day God made a bicycle, and he saw that it was good. (actually personally he thought it was his best invention yet)
  • willskiwillski Posts: 730
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ankev1</i>

    How long does the evidence have to continue to mount? It is clear that in terms of teacher training (and education in general) that much of what is getting through these days is woefully substandard. Semi-literate teachers simply did not exist 30 - 40 years ago. When is the system going to wake up and return to the standards and methods which actually produced the results and if it won't, why won't it?
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Evidence! yes thats what we need. Here is some evidence from the National Literacy trust;

    http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/About/FAQs.html#less

    Key quote: "Many more children reach the expected level for their age in literacy than in 1997, before the introduction of the National Literacy Strategy. The key indicator, the percentage of pupils reaching level 4 (the level expected for their age) in national tests for English (reading and writing) at age 11, has increased from 63% to 78% in this time. In the mid-1990s just half of children reached the level expected for their age"

    and this;

    http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/Databas ... html#Adult

    Key quote: "In 1979, just over one half of the workforce held some form of formal qualification compared to almost nine out of 10 in 2000. The proportion holding a qualification at Level 3 or above has risen from 23% in 1979 to 45% in 1999"

    Reading further on this very interesting website, it seems that the problem is more that the requirement for literacy is growing faster than literacy rates.

    I couldn't find any of the "mounting evidence" linking any of this to teaching methods, but I look forward to reading it.

    _____________________________________________________________________

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  • simoncpsimoncp Posts: 3,260
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by willski

    Key quote: "In 1979, just over one half of the workforce held some form of formal qualification compared to almost nine out of 10 in 2000.

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    And soon it'll be 10 out of 10, and all at grade A triple star. At current rates of progress by 2050 every state school child will going on to Oxbridge. What a wonderful thing the government's education service is - if you believe the government and its statistics that is.
  • According to the radio last night, there is in this country a "problem" in that we have insufficient numbers of school-age children.

    This is not a problem; it is an opportunity to improve educational standards by reducing class sizes. Why, I wonder, has this not occurred to those responsible for education policy? Are they thick?
  • papercorn2000papercorn2000 Posts: 4,517
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by simoncp</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by willski

    Key quote: "In 1979, just over one half of the workforce held some form of formal qualification compared to almost nine out of 10 in 2000.

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    And soon it'll be 10 out of 10, and all at grade A triple star. At current rates of progress by 2050 every state school child will going on to Oxbridge. What a wonderful thing the government's education service is - if you believe the government and its statistics that is.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Exactly, and how many will be able to tie their own shoelaces?

    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
  • simoncp wrote:
    'Perhaps the large number of 'readers' is also a reflecton of the education system's desire to employ people with all the extra cash the government is throwing at it. There is a parallel with the NHS - more money, more staff, but same old poor service.'

    Sadly, my gives her time as an unpaid volunteer. What I can't understand is how teachers can have more teaching aids and ranks of (paid and unpaid) assistants yet we are churning out vast numbers of illiterate kids. Troublesome kids that should have been given a wack and a few Saturday detentions now have bleeding-heart liberal educationalists fawning over them saying they must have more resources thrown at them in the form of one to one 'carers' etc, all at the expense of the kids who behave themselves and wish to learn.

    My son's school has introduced a government policy of teachers actually correcting spelling mistakes. Previously only spelling errors made in English lessons were corrected - what kind of ****ing moron decided kids could mispell unchallenged for five hours a day but then had to spell correctly for the one hour English lesson.

    By the way, don't get me onto the subject of the Governors at my son's school who regularly take their kids out during term time so they can go to Spain for a cheap holiday..............
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