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UK Exams - Dumbing Down in Action?

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posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 11:26 AM
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Has anyone actually looked at the current GCSE's? It's rediculous.

I asked a friend who took foundation science to look over a higher level science paper from a few years back and several of the questions from his foundation paper seem to have hopped on over to the modern higher papers.

Basic stuff like labelling the general parts of an atom, naming basic chemical reactions, basic explanation of the electrolysis of bauxite etc.

When i did higher science the questions were a little more taxing than this, the labour government keeps saying that kids are doing better in exams, but is this simply because they made the questions easier?

[edit on 5-6-2008 by ImaginaryReality1984]




posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 03:17 PM
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Welcome to the philosophy of the US education system. If they can't pass the tests, make the tests easier. We have high school grads who cannot read or write at better than 6th grade level. But, we can't hurt their self esteems now can we?



posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 05:58 PM
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Originally posted by Hugues de Payens
Welcome to the philosophy of the US education system. If they can't pass the tests, make the tests easier. We have high school grads who cannot read or write at better than 6th grade level. But, we can't hurt their self esteems now can we?


If that is true then it's not just the UK then. I'm tired of the exams labour has pushed on our country, they teach kids the exact questions needed to pass exams instead of giving them a broad knowledge. When speaking to a college lecturer recently (note college here is not the same as college in the states), he told me how many students coming into his biology class and are completely unaware of so many parts of the subject he spends the first two weeks teaching them the basics.

After that, then h can get into what he's supposed to be teaching, he's so tired of it he's thinking of changing profession. I guess it must get frustrating teaching GCSE standard stuff when you're supposed to be teaching A levels. Even A levels have apparently gotten easier though. Labour keep waving their exam results infront of the press and yet our kids are being taught less and less. I suppose it's one way to improve the exam results, making them easier and restricting the curriculum so much it's less taxing on the memory.



posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 06:27 PM
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To me it boils down to laziness and fear of hurting someone's feelings because we have trained our kids to be wimps. You cannot tell a child anymore that he needs to do better to succeed. You make a spot for him if he does not measure up. It's a shame too because once he hits adult real life, he's in for a rude awakening. I have always believed the tougher a child, is the better prepared he is when he reaches adulthood and the corporate world where no one gives two s**ts about his feelings.



posted on Jun, 7 2008 @ 07:45 AM
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Education, education, education....

Never mind that some kids can't hack it. Never mind theres a need for people who lay bricks, fix pipes and have practical skills and who are practically gifted but maybe not intellectually so. New Labours vision is that every child has a degree in something-or-other and they'll be damned if they aren't going to achieve it, even if it means making maths degrees no more than "what does 2+2 equal"

It is truly shocking. But when the "promise" is a "better future for the kids" people lap it up, even when there are people with degree's serving in McDonalds because its the only job they can get.



posted on Jun, 7 2008 @ 08:33 AM
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Well that's the bad thing about all this. If you even suggest that not every child is suitable for higher education you're called some terrible names. The simple fact is that putting very smart kids in classes with less smart children will hold those kids back. They have to wait for people to catch up, at school i remember this happening a lot.

The old grammar schools were in my opinion a better idea. There was a lot of corruption but if you could stamp that out and go just on intellectual merit then i think it would be far better. I know someone whos girlfriend got into a sociology "degree" with D's at A level standard.

This has got to stop, we're not teaching kids beter or making them smarter, we're teaching them a more refined syllabus which leaves so many areas untouched it's shocking. Worse than that we're letting them get higher marks by giving them easier questions.

This is why universities have started being more thorough with their entrance exams. Certain degrees always needed an entrance exam but from what i've been reading in the last few months it seems universities are spreading these out to other degrees so they can sort the wheat from the chaff, it's a great idea i think. The thing is though that universities will often let lower graded pupils in simply to fill places so a class isn't to empty.

Not all people are capable of getting a degree, that's a fact that labour will have to face.



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