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Vocational Education System

Sharon Said:

How would you change UKs education system?

We Answered:

Within the world of education the Finnish system is held up as the Holy Grail and we get report after report about how marvellous it is shoved down our throats over here.

I´ve read quite a lot about it and seen a few documentaries too.
It seems a good system but I´m not sure exactly what is so different about their system to the U.K. one that produces such fandabidozie results. In fact I saw what passed for infant school lessons and it looked like a load of airy fairy crap to me, not particularly "good practice".

I can´t see that their educational philosophy is wildly different to the U.K., nor are they are susbstantially better financed .

Bear in mind that when we see how bloody marvellous Finland´s sysytem is we are relying on the Pisa Report for our information which averages out all of the educational results throughout a country.....and therein is the problem.

The U.K. has a fabulous education system, that really shouldn´t envy any other system that I´ve
seen. But the U.K. has a VERY different social make up to Finland. The U.K. is more multi cultural, and has a greater difference between socio-economic classes...which is a huge factor to consider in any results "league table"

I´m sure that if you compare any "decent" British school to any Finnish school it won´t be found lacking at all.
But the U.K. has such a diverse range of studentsm, that differing educational needs in different geographical areas(and how they are tackled) affect educational results as a national average----WITHOUT lowering standards, they just afect the averages.

Christian Said:

Would our education system be better if we accepted the fact that some kids don't wish to...?

We Answered:

This is part of the argument in Charles Murray’s latest book Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Brining America’s Schools Back to Reality. In it he discusses the benefits of identifying kids early who would most benefit from a vocational education and allowing them to pursue that track as opposed to the classical liberal arts education. There is something to be said for this as long as we stipulate that some of the basics are covered. The problem with avoiding the 3 R’s entirely is that they are fundamental to even a good vocational school education. As Thomas Friedman (author of The World is Flat) points out, math will continue to be important in a world more and more driven by information technology. Vocational occupations will not necessarily remain completely untouched by these developments. We should also remember that we educate kids not simply for them to get jobs but for them to be productive citizens which entails some minimal knowledge of history, economics, and some critical thinking skills (what we might also call basic life skills).

Still, Murray makes a powerful argument. His four truths are:
1. Ability varies (not all children are equally capable of traditional educational skills).
2. Half of the children are below average (this is the simple result of statistics; average by definition means that there will be 50% above and 50% below; we need to remember this since much of education policy founders by forgetting it).
3. Too many people are going to college (this touches directly on the point of your question; we need to be identifying the people who would most benefit from college and send them, while making other opportunities available for those who will not most benefit from college).
4. America’s future depends on how we educate the academically gifted (we cannot ignore the fact that we are doing a great disservice to the above average students by dumbing down the content to accommodate the below average student).

For some students the lack of desire to go to school may not be the result of the fact that they are not truly suited to do well. They may not be challenged enough and they are simply acting out as a result of boredom. They may resent having to attend schools where the bulk of teacher time is spent trying to discipline students as opposed to teaching. They may resent having poorly trained teachers who know little about their subject. They may not be receiving the encouragement from their parents to value education. But, for those who would truly benefit from pursuing a vocation as opposed to a liberal arts degree, we should certainly make the opportunity available.

Yvonne Said:

Can someone explain how the U.K.'s compulsory public education system works?

We Answered:

Impossible to give a full answer in just a few paragraphs. But having lived in both countries and seen a child spend a couple of years in each system, basically the UK state school system seems much more flexible than that in the USA. Children are always put with their age-group - there is no staying back a year. Instead, children work in ability groups from the age of about 6. So a bright child may be doing work in a group at a level a couple of years ahead (on average) while a child who struggles will work, often with a volunteer or classroom assistant, and other struggling children, at a lower level to consolidate their learning. Nobody has to wait for others to catch up, and nobody is held back.

There are many failings of the UK system - not sure what you mean by 'compulsory', since school isn't compulsory in the UK; more and more parents are choosing to educate their children at home, due to the problems of bullying, incessant testing, unsympathetic teachers, and more. But still the basis of classroom learning, at least in theory, is that each child has his or her own targets to reach, and works at his or her own level according to ability, aptitude, and any special needs.

At the age of fourteen, students study the core subjects, and whatever electives they wish to continue - some doing perhaps 11 or 12 subjects in all, some doing only the five core (maths, English, science, a foreign language, and some technology), some doing even less. At sixteen, they specialise still more, or can leave school and go to vocational training of some kind.

Valerie Said:

What is the education system of USA?

We Answered:

Why on earth would you require this information as you never attended an American Education Establishment. The answer for you is N/A. Not applicable.

Your other option for the On line Electronic Diversity Visa is to fill the form naming the Schools you DID attend and the qualifications you DID obtain.

In the High School Box put which School you attended noting The School, The Town, The District and The Country you were in at that time.

Universities are only to be filled in if YOU attended one in your own Country or in any other Country.

Discuss It!

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DavidCroome said:

Did you realy mean it when you said " Half of the children are below average" Surely you mean "half are below the median" see

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Most school asks parents to provide books for their children. Well, while this is what it should be, my biggest question is what of those parents who cannot afford the books? Can’t the schools set aside a kitty that will cater for these kind of children.

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