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Final Exam V Coursework and Modules

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Showing 1-25 of 33 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Jan 2013 22:31:12 GMT
Roma says:
Hi I am interested in posters' views on the proposal with regard to A levels to revert to final exams. My personal experience of education has convinced me that the modular system and internal assessment are deeply flawed and that a return to controlled externally assessed exams would be a good step. Accepting that there are also problems with final exams, I think that there should be opportunities for the resitting of exams.

Posted on 24 Jan 2013 00:17:03 GMT
gille liath says:
Erm...there are.

I agree with Michael Gove on this one. It's hard to restore the standard of a qualification once you've allowed it to become debased, but the intention is right.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 01:40:04 GMT
Roma says:
I meant resitting within a shorter time scale rather than having to wait for a year. Sorry I didn t make this clear. I m actually more familiar with the Scottish system where if you fail a Higher you cannot resit until the following year. With regard to Standard Grades there is no opportunity to resit as these can only be studied in 3rd and 4th year of secondary school.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 02:13:23 GMT
Spin says:
Roma: As a Dad to three kids, I find the education system very confusing, but I tend to believe the arguments put forward by those with experience of the subject, Teachers and Education authorities, over those of the vote-hungry, cash-strapped, capitalist government.

Posted on 24 Jan 2013 08:08:00 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Jan 2013 08:09:01 GMT
I'm all for final exams - that's what I did at school. Chinned off the coursework cos I cba with it and just sat an exam instead. Coursework and module assessments always struck me as more of a benefit to less intelligent folk, coursework you could re-do about 3 times with the teacher telling you where you were wrong and how to make it better. If you can't write an essay right first time and without 'cheating' with the teacher, then you won't be any cop in the final exam. My teachers told me I was going to fail my courses because of my lack of coursework, came to the final test and I got the best mark and grade ... never done any coursework where the option for test-only was available and I have never failed.

Heard someone say on the TV that it was unfair to expect 16 year olds to select subjects that they will have to study for the next 2 years with no option to change ... guess he doesn't realise that the same happens when you're 14 and pick GCSE subjects that you can't change once chosen.

Ah well .. I don't care too much, school is long over for me and I don't have any kids - let someone else worry about it =D

:editted for early morning typos.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 10:16:39 GMT
Roma says:
Hi Yes, I agree that coursework benefits the less intelligent child, but also the middle class child whose parents can greatly "assist " in the completion of coursework or pay for tutors to do so. The system is wide open to abuse. I think behind it was TB expressed hope of having 50pc of school leavers attend university. Now that fewer can afford it or see that not every course leads to better employment opportunities, they can revert to the previous, more stringent mode of assessment.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 12:26:36 GMT
gille liath says:
You can usually resit at Xmas of the same year.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 12:32:38 GMT
Dan Fante says:
I suppose the point is that you can choose a fairly wide range of subjects to study at 14 for your GCSEs whereas you have to specialise / restrict yourself, with a view to which degree you are may take, when you choose which A-Levels to take when you're 16.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 12:50:07 GMT
Roma says:
I think the Scottish system is probably better where students can sit 5 Highers in 5 th year and then Advanced Highers or A Levels in 6th year. There are two advantages this: specialisation takes place later and if students don t pass Highers they have only lost one year.Also Highers can be resat in 6 year. 3 reasons, really.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 20:00:18 GMT
gille liath says:
Aye, but it's not just about what's good for sixth-formers - quite the reverse. The proposed changes are about restoring the standards of a qualification that has become somewhat debased. The trouble is, it's rather rough on those who'll have to take A-levels under the new rules (which are the same as the old rules I took them under 23 years ago), but on paper will only have the same qualification as those who took them under the easier rules of recent years. But over time, things will adjust.

Posted on 24 Jan 2013 20:35:39 GMT
Spin says:
People are so engrossed in the title of exams, and how they should be graded, they forget the actual education of our youth...

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 20:42:49 GMT
gille liath says:
Maybe, but having two lots of 'finals' rather than one only makes that worse.

Posted on 24 Jan 2013 21:07:48 GMT
Spin says:
"O" level, "A" level, Degree. Simple and understandable.

Posted on 24 Jan 2013 21:42:08 GMT
Spin says:
It is the desire of society to accomodate every child, regardless of ability, that is confusing the system. There are subjects taught in schools which can only be said to be "hobbies" or "personal interests" and that have no actual "educational" value. Personal interests should be pursued after one gains a basic educational standard; schools should not be places where one can "choose" what subjects to be involved in. Such a system results in kids following trends, not education.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 22:31:31 GMT
Roma says:
I would hope that teachers do try to deliver an interesting and enjoyable education for the children in their care. Part of the problem is that many children demand to be entertained and won t accept that some things are important but not necessarily interesting for everyone. In English, for example, pupils are generally happy to read literature but are unwilling to concentrate concentrate on the technical aspects of language. Indeed, in some secondary schools teachers are choosing the media option rather than literature, as their pupils are happier watching films than reading books.

Another development i have noticed is gender inequality has become acceptable is that the curriculum tends to favour boys as they are more likely to disrupt lessons. In, English, for example, protagonists are generally male; in P.E. football and basketball are core while netball and hockey are extra curricular. In general, I think it is becoming more difficult for young people to concentrate in class due to the over stimulation needed by young people due to their usage of computer games etc and also the fact that the teacher droning on is a distraction to the more important activity of texting and social networking sites. Teachers do have a more difficult job, itseems to me.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 22:40:25 GMT
Spin says:
Roma: I am not aware of any statistics concerning gender in education, so I cannot comment. But I presume no equality or human rights laws are being broken by a students personal choice. I am a middle-aged fogie, long past the education system, but I presume girls have the same choices as boys..

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 22:52:31 GMT
Roma says:
I would like that it were so. Look at novels studied in school for exams, chosen, by teachers and you will find that where classes are of mixed gender, writers tend to be male writing about a main character;;with a male protagonist; poetry tends to be about war.When I was at school dancing featured strongly in PE; it rarely features now. Domestic science used to include sewing and knitting;as boys tend to happy to cook but not sew or knit these traditionally female subjects have disappeared. In no way, i am suggesting a conspiracy. Only that in order maintain order the boys tend to have to be appeased more than the girls.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 23:00:12 GMT
Spin says:
Roma: You cannot force boys or girls to do something they do not want to simply to make the statistics more acceptable to those monitering the fantasy of "equality".

Posted on 24 Jan 2013 23:18:11 GMT
Roma says:
It will be interesting to see if reverting to final exams is of more benefit to boys..Stats have shown, in recent years,that girls are performing better than boys in our education system. One reason for this maybe that girls are more likely to redraft coursework ad infinitum.

Re equality some things have improved.. There was a shortage of science teachers w hen i was at school. The boys were taught by a teacher in a science lab, carrying out experiments, while we, the girls watched them on b/w ctv unspervised in another classroom.
While many girls went on to study at uni, not one girl studied science. Thankfully this would not be acceptable today.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 23:19:46 GMT
Spin says:
Roma: So you wish to dictate what career a child should pursue? On what grounds?

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jan 2013 00:08:44 GMT
Roma says:
On the contrary. I m very much in favour of individuals pursuing a career in which they have a genuine interest. I would never dream of dictating to any child what he or she should do in life. Each individual s talents should be nurtured and their aspirations respected.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jan 2013 07:46:44 GMT
Sewing and cooking are separate subjects now - home economics/food technology or whatever it's called now and then textiles.

In English (literature) we chose what book we wanted to study (all girl class) and we ended up with Frankenstein and A Streetcar Named Desire. The poetry wasn't war (it had no people in it) but I can't remember the name of the woman who wrote it.

I guess it comes down to the preference of the teacher and/or class what gets studied.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jan 2013 13:00:16 GMT
When I was a school I did 'hobbies' on a Friday afternoon, including astronomy, sailing and chess. They were very enriching, not least because you could then wind down for the weekend.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jan 2013 13:47:23 GMT
Spin says:
CE; Indeed, extra-curricular activities are valuable but a personal preference should not be offered as a standard educational course until later in life. Many folk enjoy chess but it is not offered as a educational course. But many courses are offered based only thier popularity; more folk enjoy "drama" than chess, so drama is offered as course. (Not in all secondaries, of course, only in those with enough money, time and middle to upper-class values).

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jan 2013 15:17:04 GMT
We weren't provided with much money. Imagine running an astronomy course nowadays with no telescopes? We just relied on books. No one had any money, even rich people didn't have money.
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Discussion in:  politics discussion forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  33
Initial post:  23 Jan 2013
Latest post:  29 Jan 2013

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