Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Education, Edukatshun, Edducateshion

My parent’s hail from the chalk and talk era. Everything was drummed into them. They had to copy from the blackboard, in silence, in rows. No ‘trendy’ group work or ‘carousal’ teaching. No interactive smart boards. No National literacy strategy and definitely no plenary.

They can still remember content they were taught when they were 12 – it was drummed into them for fear of the dreaded cane or a blackboard eraser being hurled across the room at them.

Today I spent 2 hours doing an exam to prove just how appalling my maths is.

As a middle manager I have been encouraged to under take a “Not Very Qualified” course. Part of this course is Key Skills. English and ICT I flew through with no problems. I consider my English to be very good and I know my way around the keyboard. Maths is another thing…

I can do adding, subtracting, division & multiplication – you know the stuff that real people do in their real lives. Then there is the other stuff. Pictograms, cos, sign, tan, fractions, ratios, algebra etc. This is stuff that only teachers know and that you only ever experience in school or in maths tests.

Why do we have to do this stuff? No one ever uses it in day to day life yet the course is called ‘key skills’. How can you possibly call this course ‘key skills’ when the last time I had to find angle y on a triangle my voice and other anatomy were at a higher pitch!

Suffice to say I spent the two hours in the exam room sweating a bit and trying to work out what the hell all those buttons do on a scientific calculator – I didn’t answer many questions. So much for my B in GCSE maths!

Still I blame my education. My generation relied heavily on the calculator and got very lazy. No cane – no fear thus no reason to learn.

Anyway I don’t think I’ve passed this test. It was my own fault – I forgot to take my lucky troll!

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