The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / Study  % width posts: 849

Various education and school issues in Poland. Opinions, stories, controversies.


OP pawian 222 | 24,343
25 Jan 2024 #811
the curriculum is so tight that teachers of key subjects have to assign homework for students

Let`s see some of ultimate requirements in the last grade for the primary school leaving exam - students have to master those issues throughout all grades when they are 15.

Present Simple,
Present Continuous,
Present Perfect,
Past Simple,
Past Continuous,
Past Perfect
Future Simple
Going to.

Reported Speech
Indirect questions
Passive Voice
Conditionals 0,1,2
Modal verbs
Phrasal verbs
Verbs + prepositions
Prepositions of........
etc etc etc
OP pawian 222 | 24,343
25 Jan 2024 #812
Let`s see some of ultimate requirements in the last grade for the primary school leaving exam - students have to master those issues throughout all grades when they are 15.

And I can assure you - it is not possible to successfully prepare an average talented student for the exam without assigning regular homework.
jon357 74 | 21,980
26 Jan 2024 #813
primary school

To age 11? Surely you mean secondary school.

That list is a long one, definitely into B2 level.
Atch 22 | 4,117
26 Jan 2024 #814
Pawian, the problem is not the abolishing of homework, the problem is piecemeal educational reform being carried out by governments on a whim. The 'no homework' policy works - just look at Finland - but only as part of a whole system. The curriculum, the methodology of teaching, the measuring of students' progress and attainment, everything needs to change - and it needs to start at pre-school level, just as it does in Finland.

Anyway, you're a creative person so you can meet the challenge. Look at it as an opportunity for something new in your teaching life.
mafketis 37 | 10,846
26 Jan 2024 #815
piecemeal educational reform being carried out by governments on a whim

Yes. This.

'no homework' policy works - just look at Finland - but only as part of a whole system

Exactly! Finland has a very different cultural profile and there's no reason to expect that random bits taken from a very different culture will work when applied to Polish realities.

From my point of view the Polish system is too teacher-centered and too product-oriented (meaning things like performance on exams are given too much importance).

But you can't just wave a wand and change that. Some reasonable limits on homework and dialing down the importance of exams (which do not necessarily measure actual mastery of material in many/most subjects) are nice starting points.

Start with ending the practice of getting separate grades on coursework and exams* and incorporate exam grades into the overall grade.

*as happens at universities, not sure if that's the case in high schools
jon357 74 | 21,980
26 Jan 2024 #816
there's no reason to expect that random bits taken from a very different culture will work when applied to Polish realities.

Yes. What works in one place doesn't necessarily work in another. That applies at the micro level too since kids learn at different levels.

There are also sadly different outcomes between the types of community, affluent suburbs v rough estates, urban v rural etc. a national curriculum should never be a one size fits all approach.

The curriculum, the methodology of teaching, the measuring of students' progress and attainment, everything needs to change

Yes again.

The PISA rankings have changed their metrics quite radically for the next lot of stats and include critical thinking as well as a few other big changes.. Many in Poland will be unhappy when the next lot are out since they are expected to fall a few places.
Lenka 5 | 3,442
26 Jan 2024 #817
as happens at universities

It doesn't or didn't when I was there. You would get separate grades.

I actually like both grades separately as it can even things out if there is any teacher/ student issues
Paulina 16 | 4,355
26 Jan 2024 #818
Meanwhile, Japanese kids spend on average 2 hours doing homework on a weekday and 3 hours on Sunday.

Japan isn't a good example to follow in this respect, imho.

And I can assure you - it is not possible to successfully prepare an average talented student for the exam without assigning regular homework.

It seems to me that Nowacka doesn't have an idea about what she's doing (considering the reality of Polish education and how hastily this is going to be implemented). Did she even consult this with anyone? o_O Because it doesn't look like it. I think it's possible that it's some kind of "political sausage".

The 'no homework' policy works - just look at Finland - but only as part of a whole system.

And even in Finland it's not like there's no homework at all... There's less than in Poland, but still - teachers assign homework. It's up to them though - if they assign it or not - they decide if it's needed:

vfis.tdtu.edu.vn/news/2023-03/homework-should-or-should-not

Here's a long and good article about this whole "no homework" mess in Poland:

oko.press/likwidacja-prac-domowych-bo-tak-chce-maciek-z-wloclawka-tusk-i-nowacka-wchodza-na-mine
jon357 74 | 21,980
26 Jan 2024 #819
I actually like both grades separately

There's a case for that however since different people respond to assessment in different ways (and after all, both exams and coursework are far from 'real') it's important that the final grade for the subject is an aggregate of the two.

Some students are useless at exams and great at coursework, others are the opposite.
Lenka 5 | 3,442
26 Jan 2024 #820
Some students are useless at exams and great at coursework, others are the opposite.

And if you have both grades you can make your average so what's the problem?
Paulina 16 | 4,355
26 Jan 2024 #821
vfis.tdtu.edu.vn/news/2023-03/homework-should-or-should-not

Wow, I'm totally loving this Finnish attitude:

"At school we never can teach all the needed facts for the students, it is much more important to teach them to be curious about life and learn constantly based on experiences and new requirements faced in life (...)

Nowadays we can check up facts from the internet whenever it is needed but it is much more important to learn to think and conduct your life and be a balanced person with good relationships to your friends and relatives. Besides, growing teenagers need more rest and sleep than grown-ups because they are growing, therefore there is a real need for a break from school for them even in physical terms."
mafketis 37 | 10,846
26 Jan 2024 #822
It doesn't or didn't when I was there. You would get separate grades.

I wrote badly. I meant that universities give separate class and exam grades and I don't know if high schools do or not.

In either case, I don't like that. It makes the exams too high stakes and encourages cramming and cheating...

to be curious about life

student centered philosophy that sounds nice and for it to work students have to want autonomy and independence (which is far from the case always, esp in Poland)

if you have both grades you can make your average

it was only recently (comparitively speaking) that grades for class were counted at all (rather than just 'zal.') Testing has a place but it's teacher centered (all the motivation is negative and encourages too much error-avoidance which is death to real learning).
jon357 74 | 21,980
26 Jan 2024 #823
And if you have both grades you can make your average

That's my point.

Since assessment (other than in very practical subjects) is inherently artificial, the range of methods should be as broad as possibly in order to accurately reflect attainment in the subject.

students, it is much more important to teach them to be curious

Yes. This is incorporated in the next iteration of PISA rankings which are expected to have some countries fall dramatically and others to rise in the rankings.
Lenka 5 | 3,442
26 Jan 2024 #824
That's my point

Really? I thought your point was that is should be done earlier and given as one grade. Mine is that you can have both and if you want average you can do it yourself.

This is incorporated in the next iteration of PISA

Do you have any idea how they will measure that.

It makes the exams too high stakes and encourages cramming and cheating...

Yes but it is also gives some a chance. I am like that. I usually had lower grades and better exam results.

I generally think that homework, stricter school etc may be a bit better results at preparing for real world.
Paulina 16 | 4,355
26 Jan 2024 #825
student centered philosophy that sounds nice and for it to work students have to want autonomy and independence (which is far from the case always, esp in Poland)

What I like about this Finnish attitude is: instead of learning things by heart all the time (memorising based education) students should be taught to think, analyse, search for info. I'm writing this, because that's not how it was like when I was at school - primary, secondary, high-school - it didn't matter, it was all the same. Memorising, memorising, memorising. The rule of three Zs: Zakuj, Zdaj, Zapomnij (Memorise, Pass, Forget). We weren't being taught to think or analyse anything much*. Thinking for yourself wasn't even being encouraged in any way and sometimes - even punished. I remember when one time my classmate at high-school interpreted a poem at Polish classes in a different way than it was interpreted in the textbook. The teacher put her down and ridiculed her in front of the whole class to such an extent that she made her cry and the girl ran out of the classroom and hid herself in the toilet. God, I hated that teacher.

*The only exception I can recall was at high-school when different classes from our school would go to cinema to watch some more ambitious film with a short "info/lecture" being given by a local film critic before watching it. After that our homework was to write a review of that film for Polish classes. That was cool and interesting.
jon357 74 | 21,980
26 Jan 2024 #826
Really? I thought your point was that is should be done earlier and given as one grade

No. The opposite in some ways; any final grade must be calculated in a way that reflects the different strengths of the learner and the inherent limitations of formal assessment.

Do you have any idea how they will measure that

As far as I know it's being done now for 2024. I'm not sure what the metrics are however they are doubtless carefully thought through. Usually they look at curricula and assessment..
mafketis 37 | 10,846
26 Jan 2024 #827
The rule of three Zs: Zakuj, Zdaj, Zapomnij (Memorise, Pass, Forget).

To be fair, there are subjects that do require some rote memorization (times tables being a very simple example) but it gets extended in Poland far too much which means that too many take the three Z approach for things that should be remembered.

Also, using short term memory a _lot_ in exercises is very effective in long term learning. But cramming a bunch of stuff for a test is the opposite of learning.

I hated that teacher.

Not a teacher. Someone who got the job under false pretenses....

teach them to be curious about life and learn constantly b

Process orientation... it works best with self-starters or those who can be turned into self-starters (not everyone by any means....)
Paulina 16 | 4,355
26 Jan 2024 #828
To be fair, there are subjects that do require some rote memorization (times tables being a very simple example)

Sure, I don't mean that memorising stuff should be abolished completely. But there should be something besides that and there should be some reasonable balance.

Lets take physics, chemistry and biology classes, for example. I don't know if it's a norm, but I remember watching American films in which kids at school were doing cool stuff at those classes, experiments or even cutting dead frogs, doing projects, working in pairs or groups, etc. Not that I would like to cut a frog lol, but we weren't basically doing anything at those classes. Maybe it was due to poor school funding - I don't know. But how do you encourage kids to be scientists after such painfully boring, unpractical classes? Maybe it changed since my times - I hope so...

But cramming a bunch of stuff for a test is the opposite of learning.

And it takes a lot of time that could be used in a different way.

Process orientation... it works best with self-starters or those who can be turned into self-starters (not everyone by any means....)

Sorry, maf, but I don't know all this educational terminology... All I know is - making kids curious about the world and how it works and encouraging them to learn about it can't possibly be bad...
OP pawian 222 | 24,343
17 Feb 2024 #829
Did you ever give anyone a bottle of mouthwash and a deodorant stick?

yes, I did! Decades ago while in high school we organised class Santa Claus on 6 Dec and gave each other presents. We had drawn our giftees before and everybody was supposed to keep it secret but usually it was impossible - girls immediately shared the secret with their best friends. :):):)

In case of my deodorant present, I had drawn my ex girlfriend and decided to make it really rich for her coz I felt I had mistreated her a little so the gift box was full of precious stuff. :):):)

This tradition is still alive in Polish schools, especially at primary level, while in high schools a bit less. Students have fun without any Santa Claus impersonator. :):):)







Alien 20 | 4,925
17 Feb 2024 #830
I felt I had mistreated her a little

interesting, interesting?
OP pawian 222 | 24,343
17 Feb 2024 #831
Not so interesting. She was 1 year older than me but still expected to go out with a mature boy but I acted like a child. That`s the curse of my life!!! Always man child! I have enough!
OP pawian 222 | 24,343
24 Feb 2024 #832
A shocking article describing the shocking situation in one of high schools in the third biggest city of Łódz where 5 forms haven`t had regular Math class since November when the math teacher went on a sick leave. The school hasn`t been able to find a replacement and the head teacher asked parents to look for one.

Thank you, PiS bolsheviks, for leading to this situation that teachers leave their jobs coz they have had enough!!!

lodz.wyborcza.pl/lodz/7,35136,30728309,nauczyciel-matematyki-poszukiwany-na-zaraz-rodzice-daja-ogloszenia.html

So the head teacher is looking outside. - I contacted universities in Łódź, placed advertisements on the edu board 's website, and asked anyone who might know anything about a possible candidate. This is a drama, she says. - I am ready to employ a retiree or a fifth-year student.

The head teacher admits that there are no volunteers and the conditions she can offer are not encouraging (as she emphasizes, before the planned raises, a beginner teacher can receive PLN 3,690 gross for a full-time position, and a certified teacher PLN 5,560). - There are no certified teachers at all, because they already have other jobs, and students and researchers are not willing. I talked to one person who was initially interested. He said he wouldn't work for that salary.

Principal Felde adds that she sent an e-mail to all parents of children from classes without mathematics, asking them to join the search for a teacher. - I know, this is not a standard method, but the situation requires full mobilization - she says.

What about the parents? They have already started searching. - I ask all my friends and friends of friends - I hear from one mother.

- I posted an ad in a local group - I hear from another one. - I can't imagine school without mathematics.

- Everyone knows that I am desperately looking for a mathematician. If necessary, they will take me out of class to talk to the candidate, says the principal.

OP pawian 222 | 24,343
23 Mar 2024 #833
primary school
To age 11? Surely you mean secondary school.

I meant Polish primary school which starts at 7 and ends at 15.

That list is a long one, definitely into B2 level.

Not quite. Some grammar issues are limited to basic aspects, e.g, Passive is taught only for Present Simple, Past Simple and Future Simple tenses.

Or Present Continuous tense isn`t taught in its irritation aspect. etc etc

you're a creative person so you can meet the challenge. Look at it as an opportunity for something new in your teaching life.

Each year I feel less creative coz I am aging. I won`t make up anything new, I don`t care. Let it be - no homework. Kids will be even more stupid than now and in a year or two I will say: Thank you Tusk Party! :):):)

PS. The problem is that I use the exercises which students do in their home assignments as a material for our tests. I simply tell students which exercises in the Workbook are going to appear in the test and they are supposed to study them.
jon357 74 | 21,980
23 Mar 2024 #834
Present Continuous tense isn`t taught in its irritation aspect

Useful to know, though not a hard and fast rule and certainly low frequency.. I find it overused by some second language speakers who've learnt the always/continuously thing. The same sort of people who've learnt "do you ever" and use it out of context in an aggressive way.
OP pawian 222 | 24,343
23 Mar 2024 #835
certainly low frequency.

Yes, in real life. But in textbooks for high school it is an extremely popular topic. :):):
jon357 74 | 21,980
23 Mar 2024 #836
popular

It's an easy heuristic. Something that leads to overuse among non-natives and of course drags the mark down if used out of context when doing, say, FCE or higher.

I suspect the textbooks rarely cover its positive use however that of course is lower frequency. Harder to teach as well.
OP pawian 222 | 24,343
23 Mar 2024 #837
Something that leads to overuse among non-natives

No worry. Polish students don`t care about the irritation aspect of Present Continuous tense. 98% of them make mistakes when confronted with it in exam papers. :):):)

So do Polish teachers of English not care about it. The last time I used this aspect in the forum was 5 years ago. hahahahaha
jon357 74 | 21,980
23 Mar 2024 #838
The last time I used this aspect in the forum was 5 years ago

I almost never use it. It's something to be used with great care, if at all.

There's a newish textbook series from Cambridge currently selling like hot cakes. Favoured by non-native teachers and would probably work for 1-1. I'd put money on it figuring in their B1 and probably A2 editions.
mafketis 37 | 10,846
24 Mar 2024 #839
a newish textbook series from Cambridge currently selling like hot cakes

Honestly.... British people becoming the biggest publisher of foreign language textbooks is like russians publishing books on civil society....

And I still have no idea how anyone is expected to learn anythiong from most British 'textbooks' I can see a limited use of them merely as practice.... but drip dropping students through six books seems like cruel and unusual punishment....

As soon as students reach something like B1 they should be using authentic materials almost exclusively.

But by and large the industry producing textbooks and those running private schools are not really interested in students actually learning.... so....
jon357 74 | 21,980
24 Mar 2024 #840
British people becoming the biggest publisher of foreign language textbooks is like russians publishing books on civil society

Why?

I can see a limited use of them merely as practice

That's normal, however they do at least have a scheme of work which is tried, tested and usually evolving as new editions/ranges come out.

something like B1 they should be using authentic materials

Authentic materials should be used (even bit by bit) as soon as possible however there aren't the hours in the day to create 6 hours of lessons using solely authentic materials, fitting perfectly into the curriculum and developing productive skills too as well as exam practice where appropriate. A teacher who's teaching several levels and several types of learner would quickly get brain fatigue assuming that they even have the skills to do it in the first place without fvcking it up.

Plus, non-native and/or less experienced teachers need them.

those running private schools are not really interested in students actually learning

Interested in results. It is after all training rather than education.


Home / Study / Various education and school issues in Poland. Opinions, stories, controversies.