Problem 9

I have voiced my opinions on the British education many a time but it’s safe to say I don’t have the most positive view of it.

I feel there is too much pressure placed on teachers and the demands and goals they have to meet day in and day out are unrealistic, not feasible and quite frankly overwhelming. How can we expect our children to thrive at school when their teachers are exhausted and stressed beyond belief?

There are many different forms of education out there that place children at the heart of their learning as well as environments that encourage children to learn through different means such as forest school etc.

I am also aware that there are some amazing schools with great teachers out there but things need to change. The levels of mental health issues in children and young people are increasing year on year and I am confident that school pressures have a LOT to do with this (as well as other factors).

All about statistics

https://www.facebook.com/BBCQuestionTime/videos/1917523538261362/

It’s a shame that it’s all about statistics but it’s sad that this is the direction the British education system is heading.

The pressure placed on children is ever increasing and the age of the children is decreasing. Children as young as 4 are tested and examined and experience stress. It is shocking that this is the way the British education system is heading especially when mental health cases are on the rise due to pressures placed on these children in terms of deadlines, grades and targets.

Girl power

I really interesting read about how gender stereotypes are becoming less rigid.

The article states how when asked to draw a scientist 1 in 3 21st century children draw a female scientist compared with 0 children before the year 1996. More females are also undertaking science degrees which is a real step in the right direction!

It’s really nice to hear some positive news in regards to gender stereotypes.y undergraduate dissertation was on this topic hence my interest in this area.

Link below:

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2018%2F03%2F20%2Fhealth%2Ffemale-scientists-kids-drawings-trnd%2Findex.html&h=ATMY1Dg4hF1AUvnl4cyd6Hw6Nbf_H7ZS-6e2je0dowXKTIzw7sOX3pwPzVaGSbwMrO-8fFJ_vGAm4tB29EquSyMxg_EpuV58en8hoOJ2fDpw09yRFQm5yw&s=1

Fuel your brain

Reading. Reading is so important in so many ways for child development. It not only aids in language development but also in cognitive development and in so many other areas too. Pick up a book and read it to your child. You really are feeding their brains!

The globe

Education or happiness?

I have just finished watching these two documentaries by the BBC. They follow the lives of three Welsh teenagers who go and live with a South Korean family for three days and follow their South Korean counterparts at their day at school.

I have to admit the South Korean education system shocked me. The amount of time these children/teenagers spend studying is mind – blowing. Yes, they do receive some of the best grades in the world and are undoubtedly highly academically intelligent but it is no surprise considering how much effort they put in to be the best they can possibly be.

Pupils sit in the same seat in the same classroom for around 10 hours a day. The style of teaching differs from that here in the UK as students are simply told how to do something, they memorise it and that’s that. There are no questions asked, no discussions in the classroom but rather silence and concentration. There is a real emphasis on getting good grades and going to the top university so much so that students often spend around 5 to 6 hours after school at private evening institutions for further academic tutoring or conduct their own self study. Students often wait to go into the library as it is so busy and children as young as 10 can be seen studying till around 10 in the evening.

Emphasis is placed on being the best rather than on being happy. Although academically South Korea do very well, they rank very low on the “are you happy?” scale. In the documentary a university student was asked about his high school experience. He stated how he had lost a few friends due to suicide due to the high levels of stress their families had put them under. South Korea has some of the highest suicide rates in the world, which seems like no surprise after hearing of their tiresome, long, strenuous days.

They have no time for social activities, no opportunities to be creative, no time to play or listen to music or to attend concerts and enjoy the arts because they study so much. There is often not much time for sleep either, with the headmaster claiming 6 hours was more than sufficient. I personally feel that if my brain was drilled of information for 16 hours a day i would like a little more than 6 hours sleep before cramming in more information the next day.

However, is it really all bad? culturally South Korea is very different to the UK and America. All families see the up most importance in education and do all they can to provide the best educations for their children. This may mean moving across the country in order to attend the best schools or working long hours to earn the money to send their child to the private tutor sessions after school. It is a social norm for families to not see each other due to long working hours yet, in the western world family time is viewed as almost more important than education.

Although some choose to pay to send their child the independent, private institutions in the UK and America. Most send their children to state schools. Yet, in South Korea it is uncommon for a child to not attend some form of private education. It s evident that South Korean parents want what is best for their children and they go to great extends for their children to achieve this.

Something I admired from the documentary was the respect teachers had in South Korea. There was a statue of a man who had said that the king and teachers are equal, something you would never hear in the western world. Instead teachers are paid low wages, are disrespected by students, often frowned upon by society and yet are under enormous amounts of pressure and work hard! It is a real honour to become a teacher in South Korea due to the high status and job security yet ambitions to become teachers in the UK are not quite to the same level.

It seems as though the South Korean education system does have its flaws yet times are changing. They are encouraging students to be more creative from a younger age and have introduced sport into schools. Following by the western example of allowing children to be more free. But, the South Koreans seem to have ambition that puts the rest of the world to shame. Perhaps this is something we need to drill into our children a little more.

The documentary can be found below:

 

A step in the right direction

Once again Finland have made a step in the right direction in terms of the way they educate their children.

They have announced that they are scrapping traditional school subjects and instead focusing on one topic and bringing subjects into the topic. Children will no longer sit row by row in desks but rather will have discussions together in groups.

I have always praised the Scandinavian/Nordic education system and I feel this new move takes it from strength to strength.

Well done Finland!

Have a read of the article below:

https://brightside.me/wonder-curiosities/finland-will-become-the-first-country-in-the-world-to-get-rid-of-all-school-subjects-259910/