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Twirrim (9199)

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  Comment: UK academia (Score 1) on 2009.10.27 10:01

by Twirrim on 2009.10.27 10:01 (#70991)
Attached to: Criticizing Academia -- Oops
I left working in education just over 4 years ago now in the UK, and the problem is identical there. Education system works reasonably, but the government has an obsession with statistics. You have to keep proving to the government how well the education system is doing, providing "Value Added" figures for students. I kid you not. It's like taking children and turning them into cogs in a machine. Value Added is some weird calculation whereby you take their exam grades at entrance and then their exam grades on finishing school and do some jiggery pokery to end up with their academic growth expressed in numerical form. Most of the teachers I knew were immensely frustrated that they had to teach such a breadth of a subject rather than depth, and that they couldn't teach any form of critical thinking or concentrate on full understanding. From the ages of 14-21 students in the UK have some form of formal exams every single year, meaning you've effectively got 1 1/2 semesters of teaching each year, then maybe 1 semester of revision and exam prep, then losing 1/2 semester to the exams before ending the academic year with another 1/2 semester that's almost entirely wasted!
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