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Times Higher Education rankings 2012 Poland's top universities at end!


a.k.
9 Oct 2012 #61
doesn't teach thinking out side the box

I consider that particular argument as a cliche. Everyone keeps repeat it but no one knows what exactly it means. It's good if a school demands wide knowledge. People often forgets that to create revolutionary ideas one needs a solid foundation in knowledge.
pgtx 30 | 3,156
9 Oct 2012 #62
I don't think that memorizing textbooks is a form of thinking out side of the box. There was no other option, and you were ignored when trying to state your way of thinking. That's what I remember from my Polish school days.
Barney 15 | 1,476
9 Oct 2012 #63
Many kids are too smart to be in the class with other avarage kids.

I don’t think many, there are some truly gifted children but they are in a minority and perhaps a case can be made for them to have special lessons just like those at the other end of the range.

Its not a question of going as fast as the slowest child, there is an idea known as differentiation where by a teacher can talor a single lesson for many abilities I've seen it in action and it works.

There is also the fact that some kids are better at different topics a good Science student may struggle in Languages for example.

What if a kid is not intrested in learning?

This is difficult and just like the really gifted kids they are in the minority.
Often the kids not interested in learning have difficult backgrounds with little parental support and do present a challenge to the teacher. I believe that very very few kids are uninterested in learning.

As I said it’s a very polarising area.
pam
9 Oct 2012 #64
In fact it's impossible to teach efficiently such class.

I agree.
It doesn't matter how good a teacher you are if you have pupils intent on disrupting the class.
I have witnessed bright pupils acting up,probably through boredom, and lower ability pupils, who are struggling to understand lessons.
I have lost count of teachers telling me their lessons have been a total waste of time.
Unfortunately, in some schools, teaching amounts to little more than crowd control.
a.k.
9 Oct 2012 #65
I don't think that memorizing textbooks is a form of thinking out side of the box. There was no other option, and you were ignored when trying to state your way of thinking.

For instans if you have a biology lesson, topic: cell's organellas, what other option do you assume?
Ok, history or literature, there is a place for your own digressions and interpretations. If a teacher doesn't allow it then it means the teacher is pitiful. But other subjects? You are not Albert Einstein (at least when you are at high school) to object the theory of relativity.

There is some trap in the thinking many people presents now: they like slogans "let's teach kids really important stuff', "why teach kids 1001 capitals of the world?", "my kid is a humanists, he doesn't need math"... I'm afraid if we follow this path there will be nothing left in schools curriculum, only solving crosswords on lessons. :)
Barney 15 | 1,476
9 Oct 2012 #66
I don't think that memorizing textbooks is a form of thinking out side of the box. There was no other option, and you were ignored when trying to state your way of thinking. That's what I remember from my Polish school days.

Same here with my school days, learning by rote or memorising is bad practice except for spelling and parts of maths.
pgtx 30 | 3,156
9 Oct 2012 #67
As a matter of fact, biology is fantastic and somebody with passion would talk for hours about cell's organellas. Many doesn't know that because it's not in a textbook, and somehow rightfully so at that level.

But do not shot down a kid who wants to speak up.

I agree with you a.k. about the slogans and I call it narrow-mindness.
Barney 15 | 1,476
9 Oct 2012 #68
Unfortunately, in some schools, teaching amounts to little more than crowd control.

I've heard this said often as well as teachers saying they are just glorified baby sitters.

Pam are you a science technician in a school I assume so? You will have seen teachers unable to conduct practicals because they can’t control a class. The same pupils will behave impeccably in History classes for example. The difference in behaviour is down to the teacher's ability to control a class. It’s also usually more rowdy in practical classes where kids are allowed slightly more freedom.
a.k.
9 Oct 2012 #69
spelling and parts of maths.

so what school should teach? Please provide an example of an imaginary lesson of any subject you wish.
The problem is in pupils themselves. Many kids thinks it's easy to learn a definition by heart then recite it than to understand it. I don't think any teacher would oppose if a pupil recited Newton's 1st dynamic rule with his own words if only it's done correctly.
Barney 15 | 1,476
9 Oct 2012 #70
I don't think any teacher would oppose if a pupil recited Newton's 1st dynamic rule with his own words if only it's done correctly.

I agree with this point I thought that was what I had said:)

Please provide an example of an imaginary lesson of any subject you wish.

Its difficult to give a lesson plan right now they are all the same tell them what they are going to learn, teach then recap.

OK say specific heat capacity tell them about it and what they need to measure do a demonstration instruct them to get the stuff out let them set up the experiment ask lots of questions get them to put the stuff away or to the side recap the lesson
pam
9 Oct 2012 #71
I am a science technician, and i have also worked as a learning support assistant in the past.
Yes, there's more scope for disruption in class practicals, but when i was an Lsa, i worked in Maths classes also.
There really wasn't too much difference in class behaviour tbh. Often this was due to the usual suspects (every school has them ). They would repeatedly play up for most lessons.

From a teacher's perspective, by the time their behaviour has been sorted out, half the lesson has been wasted, and everyone has lost interest.

Frankly,i did feel like a babysitter doing that job, and i'm sure the post was created simply to take pressure off teachers.
I'm not sure what the answer is, but Imo, mixed ability teaching doesn't work too well.
a.k.
9 Oct 2012 #72
learning support assistant

What does lsa do?

OK say specific heat capacity tell them about it and what they need to measure do a demonstration instruct them to get the stuff out let them set up the experiment ask lots of questions get them to put the stuff away or to the side recap the lesson

Sounds a lot. In Poland a teacher has only 45 minutes for a lesson, from what 10 passes before the class pull itself together. Mostly the problem is time and kids unprepared to lesson, hence they won't ask any questions but would like to leave the classroom as soon as possible.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
9 Oct 2012 #73
Many kids thinks it's easy to learn a definition by heart then recite it than to understand it.

And bad teachers only test the memorisation of the definition rather than testing them properly.

I've prepared a rather big test for tomorrow, and the kids that have merely memorised the text from the textbook are going to leave with a nice massive "fail" :)
pam
9 Oct 2012 #74
What does lsa do?

An LSA provides support in the classroom to those pupils who, for whatever reason, need additional help.
Often these pupils are low ability, with poor reading/writing skills.
They also support pupils with e.g behavioral disorders such as ADHD ( Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ).
Usually, although not always, an LSA is assigned specific pupils to work with, setting tasks for improvement in work and/or behaviour.
The reality of the job? You are trying to prevent disruption in the classroom, taking the pressure off teachers.
Barney 15 | 1,476
9 Oct 2012 #75
Sounds a lot.

Its not really there is a lot of money thrown at education here than in Poland, each science department has at least one technician who is responsible for preparing the equipment and so on they often perform tasks that are the responsibility of the teachers like ensuring risk assessment is done.

Lesson length comes down to school management, its good practice and usual for all science lessons to be at least one hour for 11-16 year olds so that experiments can be done. Post 16 have a lot longer in the labs.

The biggest problem with class room discipline is hesitation, not a second should be wasted the kids should know exactly what is expected of them the second they enter the classroom. It’s the teacher’s job to ensure this happens.

You are trying to prevent disruption in the classroom, taking the pressure off teachers.

Sorry Pam but that is not the job in practice it happens but you must always remember that someone else is getting paid for that not the lsa (we call them class room assistants).

Most discipline problems in schools are a direct result of ineffective teaching and overall management of the school. The problem is that teachers manage schools something they are not trained to do and usually dont have the skills to do plus it’s almost impossible to sack a teacher. .There are too many ineffective teachers and its a credit to many pupils that they thrive despite the teaching standards.

Where I live we have kids divided by ability at age 11 in practice the so called better schools take anyone to fill seats. The proportion of pupils they take has risen as the population has shrunk, kids are not changing and grammar schools standards are not falling thus proving that mixed ability works. Division by ability is just a marketing exercise and means nothing.

Take a scale of 1 to 10, elevating child A from 1 to 6 is deemed less valuable than elevating child B from 8 to 9.. I would say the opposite, you have added more value to the educational attainment of child A. This is known as "value added education".
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
9 Oct 2012 #76
plus it's almost impossible to sack a teacher.

You think it's bad in the UK - well - it's even worse in Poland. It's almost unheard of for teachers to be sacked for incompetence here - and once they reach a certain level in their career, they have more or less immunity from being sacked anyway for performance-related reasons.

There are too many ineffective teachers and its a credit to many pupils that they thrive despite the teaching standards.

Speaking from a UK perspective - I think there needs to be a much more effective system of weeding out bad teachers. It's not enough to rely on results as an indicator - I had a truly awful science teacher once, yet chose to **** him off even more by getting 90%+ on the exam rather than failing. So - on paper - he did his job. But in reality, he was awful and should never have been teaching kids. The fact that his nickname was "paedo" says it all - he was in a relationship with an 18/19 year old ex pupil at the time.
Barney 15 | 1,476
10 Oct 2012 #77
You think it's bad in the UK

It doesn't matter which country you are in the closed shop that is teaching is a disgrace.
pam
10 Oct 2012 #78
[quote=Barney]Sorry Pam but that is not the job in practice it happens but you must always remember that someone else is getting paid for that not the lsa (we call them class room assistants).

It's not meant to be the job in practice, but that's how i felt when i was doing that job.
Barney 15 | 1,476
10 Oct 2012 #79
It's not meant to be the job in practice, but that's how i felt when i was doing that job.

I'm sure it felt like that. In Ireland it's the same you end up doing more than you are paid for but you have to protect yourself, if something goes pear shaped and a teacher is suspended they are on full pay, non teaching staff are not paid while suspended.

As a Science Technician I'm sure you have been asked to mind a class while the teacher does their other job which they are paid extra for. You are not paid for supervision why should you stop doing your job to do theirs?
pam
10 Oct 2012 #80
As a Science Technician I'm sure you have been asked to mind a class while the teacher does their other job which they are paid extra for. You are not paid for supervision why should you stop doing your job to do theirs?

There are lots of things i've done that i don't get paid for. It's just the way it is, and i can't see it changing.

I've even set cover work for supply teachers, something i'm not qualified to do, but if no-one else is around to help, am i supposed to leave a teacher with an unfamiliar class and no work?

Joe public would be horrified at what goes on in schools sometimes.
a.k.
10 Oct 2012 #81
The reality of the job? You are trying to prevent disruption in the classroom, taking the pressure off teachers.

So there are two adults in the class, right?
How many pupils an average class have?
Is there fixed curriculum for all kids or they choose what subjects they want to learn?

Its not really there is a lot of money thrown at education here than in Poland

But the things you have written clearly suggest the opposite.
Staff of Polish school consists of:

- school principle (one of the teachers, usually doesn't teach aymore)
- vice-principle (one of the teachers, usually still have some lessons)
- a secretary (yes, only one)
- teachers
- a school "psychologist" (actually it's usually not a psychologist but I can't find any better word for that position; it's someone who deals with kids' non-educational problems)

- cleaners/janitors

A Polish teacher has to deal with about 30 pupils on lesson and has no support. He also does all the paper work (statistics, assetments etc.)

each science department has at least one technician who is responsible for preparing the equipment

When I was at school usually the equipment was about 50 years old. Experiments were done by teachers not pupils, and it's not that all chemistry lessons were ilustarted with them.

Poland is worlds apart
pam
11 Oct 2012 #82
There aren't always 2 adults in a class, that depends on the pupils in the class, and if they need additional support, but mostly (in my school anyway), yes there are.

Classes here generally have 30 pupils, the same as Poland.
The curriculum is fixed, but there's a little bit of leeway in the last 2 years of secondary school when pupils study for their leaving exams. A pupil may e.g study Food Technology instead of Textiles. Those pupils who demonstrated an ability for a language, are offered a second language in most schools, so these pupils will take e.g exams in both French and German.
Barney 15 | 1,476
11 Oct 2012 #83
Pam the teacher has to set out the lessons when absent the Head of department is responsible for setting work if the teacher is absent unexpectedly. If this doesn't happen then there is a failure in the schools management system, someone has not done their job, this is common and discipline problems often stem from a lack of management. In practice non teaching staff step in because the teaching staff have not given full consideration to the pupils that means they are not doing their job and pupils suffer.

Staffing is roughly the same here though there is a lot more non teaching staff.

In Ireland class sizes are a lot smaller the average class is about 20 pupils (it was 35-40 with no support staff when I was at school).

The equipment was always old and pupils always did simple experiments. Post 16 classes are smaller in my class about 6 doing Physics and Chemistry a few more doing Maths maybe 12. Experiments were whole class things one experiment which the whole class did together with the teacher for eg measuring the mass of an electron or bubble chambers and alpha, gamma etc radiation from sources etc.

I found these classes extremely interesting and the key to understanding science rather than just theory and equations, important as they are. Of course its expensive Irish Universities take it a step further with an awful lot of money spent on the faculty. The teaching labs and equipment are splendid really good (paid for mostly by industry) helping the undergraduates to flourish.
pam
11 Oct 2012 #84
Pam the teacher has to set out the lessons when absent the Head of department is responsible for setting work if the teacher is absent unexpectedly.

I am well aware of this.
Teachers who are sick are meant to e-mail their cover for the lessons. It should be down to the Head of Department to make sure the supply teacher knows what he/she will be doing.

In practice it doesn't always happen, and i have had to look at previous lessons to set work .
This doesn't happen as often as it used to, but yes, my school definitely suffers from management problems!
Barney 15 | 1,476
11 Oct 2012 #85
I am well aware of this

I don’t mean to speak badly of any non teaching person in a school, I did your job for 18 months when I returned from abroad before getting the job I have now. I still have a CLEAPSS book and recipe cards in case I need to make 2M sodium thiosulphate at home:)

I know what its like to be confronted with an incompetent in charge of children who is being paid more than you, a person who dislikes children. It’s really frustrating someone who wouldn’t lift a pencil unless they were given a point

I have also taught and seen excellent teachers reduced to wrecks by incompetent management.
Ford_Motors
11 Oct 2012 #86
I was wondering the same. 14 of the top 20 American!!?? wtf, clear favoritism.

I'm not sure why you're surprised. America has always been known for having the best higher education. Anyone who disagrees is just a butthurt person not born in this great nation.
XxxYyy
28 May 2013 #87
Hello! I would like to add few words about Polish education, i'm on the exchange in Finland and I would like to share my observation:

1. Our school education is really good, we have really broad general knowladge
2. Our university education is a disaster! We are learning a lot, but our knowladge is completely useless. I came here during my 4th year of uni and I had no idea how to neither write an scientific essay nor about working as an lawyer, but instead I know ny heart whole civil code:D
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
28 May 2013 #88
1. Our school education is really good, we have really broad general knowladge

Jack of all trades, Master of none.
welshguyinpola 23 | 463
28 May 2013 #89
I find it hilarious in Poland that if you don't have enough points in your Matura to get a university place, you can pay and suddenly you are able enough. It happened to my sister-in-law who paid to enter the University of Warsaw
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
28 May 2013 #90
Doesn't work like that nowadays - university entry is all based on publicly accessible points schemes.

There used to be rampant abuse in the days of university entry exams under the Stara Matura, but not now.


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