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Undercover Teacher: UK Ed System Exposé

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posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 10:23 AM
Alex Dolan, a supply/substitute science teacher who secretly filmed for the Channel 4 "Undercover Teacher" documentary was found guilty of professional misconduct this week and suspended from teaching for a year by the UK's General Teaching Council.

Can't help but note how the government is all camera happy when they have their eyes on their citizenship but when the tables are turned they punish the whistle blowers for witnessing a crime... and in this particular case, such negligence and disregard for our children's future and our teacher's well being is a capital crime.

This year i decided to take the prospects of making a career change into teaching more seriously. I've been volunteering for a couple after school programs and have attended a few education themed conventions. What i find particularly disturbing and intriguing, is that the same stories i hear from Chicago teachers are the same revealed in this documentary. If the US & UK have these issues, i would image that most industrialized nations do also.

Note: this is only one of six parts, at the end of this segment links are provided by the player window to view part two and so on.

[edit on 28-3-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 12:27 PM
Wow, I would never want to be in one of those teachers position.

They should wipe the Upper Staff out, and replace it totally, with Very qualified Management or Psychologists!! I couldn't imagine...

School I went to, noone acted like this, you respected your teachers they respected you, everything was fine. Public School. People just had respect for themselves and others. But this is outrageous!

Good for you for volunteering. But if your going into teaching in classes like this, God be with you! But very admirable.

posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 12:29 PM
reply to post by The All Seeing I

Wow, I really had no idea this was going on. It's such a blatant disregard for our children and teachers. I wonder what would help to change this situation, I fear not much will.

posted on Apr, 1 2009 @ 07:54 PM
To show you how dire of a situation it is for the Chicago Public School (CPS) system. CPS has developed an alternative teaching certificate program, specifically designed to entice people in the private sector to make a career switch to teaching in public schools. As part of the program they pay you as you receive training and assign you a mentor teacher. They all require you to sign a 2-5 contract and to teach either science or math, some include training partnerships with universities so the credits go towards a masters degree in education. CPS also has a partnership with a hand full of banks who provide special home loans to teachers who make contractual commitments to teach in undeserved communities.

I just ran a broader search and it looks like every major city has a similar program in place.

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 04:22 PM
Teaching in the UK has been badly affected by the introduction of league tables. Schools are rated on their exam results; specifically the A*-C results. It's become a numbers game. If a teacher can 'teach to the test' and achieve 70%+ good GCSEs, they are doing well. It's become more about appearance than substance. As teachers apply more and more tests (baseline, NCTs etc) and complete more admin, the quality of learning diminishes.

Ofsted can make matters worse. Many 'good' or 'outstanding' schools face special measures because their league table positions don't reflect the excellent contribution they make to their respective communities. Oversubscribed schools (often Cof E) have the luxury of cherrypicking the pupils. Such schools are destined for success whilst their neighboring schools have a lower ability intake that isn't reflective of the opportunities they offer.

It's a mess with no immediate solutions

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 04:49 PM
reply to post by Kandinsky

WOW... the U.K. "League Tables" sounds just like the U.S. "No Child Left Behind". All the teachers i have talked to, hate it with a passion. All these measures do is add more unneeded stress to teachers and in the process produce even more incompetent citizenship with zero critical thinking and zero creative problem solving skills. Sad and frustrating to say the least.

[edit on 5-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 04:04 AM
reply to post by The All Seeing I
The impact of the league tables is increasingly felt at College and University level. Kids are arriving in these Institutions lacking the core grammar and critical thinking skills. Whereas a large function of Graduate education encouraged independent learning and critical thinking, it is now adapting to a less educated cohort arriving each year. A college psychology lecturer I know, is startled to find that a proportion of her students don't know how to write in the 3rd person.

As the pressure of the league tables continues, teachers and schools are being drawn to lower standards to achieve the magic pass rates. Colleges seek to attract pupils through their results and subtly perpetuate the drift. Nobody will admit to being less than professional. Teachers ARE professional however they are unable to cover their subjects in the way they used to. They teach pupils to do well in the tests because it is what the Government requires of them.

A good saying goes that 'you can't fatten a pig by measuring it'. UK pupils are being measured, scored and tested from reception age. The irony isn't lost on experienced literacy alone, UK pupils are around 17th in Europe. 10 years ago they were 4th (IIRC)

All Seeing Eye, teaching is a great profession and can be one were you 'give back' more than you take. You can make a positive impact on the lives of others. Govts have tinkered with education since the 60s, don't let it put you off teaching. Many teachers advise against joining the profession, but still enjoy what they do. Government guidelines and increased admin requirements are what they hate most. The 'trick' seems to be landing in a school that suits your character. Preppy or inner city? Each has their own advantages.

EDIT to add that the video isn't representative of ALL schools. It's indicative of many although there are much worse and much better. The level a school finds itself on is broadly self-perpetuating i.e. good schools remain good schools because they are good schools etc Failing schools suffer the same cycle and only intelligent and dramatic interventions can improve them (special measures) or stronger management.

[edit on 6-4-2009 by Kandinsky]

posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 02:46 AM
reply to post by Kandinsky

The impact of the league tables is increasingly felt at College and University level. Kids are arriving in these Institutions lacking the core grammar and critical thinking skills. Whereas a large function of Graduate education encouraged independent learning and critical thinking, it is now adapting to a less educated cohort arriving each year. A college psychology lecturer I know, is startled to find that a proportion of her students don't know how to write in the 3rd person.

Well posted, sir or madam.

Why is this happening? Because nowadays every Tom, Dick and Jane wants a degree, for which acceptance at a university, based on one's secondary-school qualifications, is a prerequisite. They want the better jobs, the social boost, that come with a university degree. That's understandable enough, but it should be discouraged.

The quality of university degrees is suffering too, as a result of this same phenomenon.

When everybody gets a degree, most of them get dumbed-down degrees.

I am of the opinion that bachelor's and higher qualifications should be restricted to real subjects, which require some real intelligence and effort to master: science, engineering, the 'liberal arts', philosophy, law, economics and (maybe) political science.

Degrees in business administration, accounting, marketing (and business subjects in general) should be abolished. The intellectual and study requirements for these subjects are not sufficiently challenging that those who have studied them should be considered in the same light as those who study serious subjects.

Universities should be highly exclusive in awarding places on degree courses to students. Places should be restricted only to the very best contenders.

For the rest, an occupational qualification, a polytechnic diploma or something of the sort, should do.

And of course, most people should be content with a high school diploma, which is the qualification that best reflects the average person's intelligence and knowledge.

Wealth and democracy are creating a lowest-common-denominator culture in the West, and its nations are paying the price in global influence and respect.

I am course, a proud elitist myself.

posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:12 AM
I have spent the bulk of my teaching career of 11 years following postdoctoral work in schools like those shown in the films. It appears as if there is complete chaos all over the school. This is an erroneous assumption. Teachers who stay in these schools for more than a year come through a 'baptism of fire' and are then more accepted by students who usually behave well for them. The majority of classes will be reasonably well-behaved in most schools.

They are prone to misbehave when they realise that the teachers will not be committed to them over the long term. Behaviour with supply or cover teachers is normally disgraceful. Imagine the class who has had over 18 supply teachers in a 28 week period in the school. They learn next to nothing and each new teacher teaches the same topic again and again. However, only the bottom sets are exposed to temporary teaching, although this is also unethical because they have an equal right to good teaching as the top sets.

All tough schools suddenly have Senior Management walking around the school during Inspections to stamp down on misbehaviour and are not normally seen around the school due to their absolute commitment to planning PowerPoint presentations and rotas for Sports Days.

I am not defending the educational system at all. Its aims are misplaced. The curriculum is completely wrong to meet the needs of the huge number of non-academic students and our methods are downright wrong and this now will lead us, eventually, to look backwards into time when the top 20% of students who are the academic stream, will be taught separately from the other 80%. Exclusivity has its benefits for both types of students.

posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:25 AM

Because nowadays every Tom, Dick and Jane wants a degree, for which acceptance at a university, based on one's secondary-school qualifications, is a prerequisite.

How very true. It's the speil that we are fed as young people that college/university is the ONLY way to success. That the only success that counts is the kind that comes in dollars and test scores.

I attended university for two years under pressure from my parents and teachers. In the end it just wasn't for me and I quit. I do not count success as how much money I make or what kind of car I drive, and that puts me at odds with the majority. I am happy, healthy and don't go hungry - what else really matters?

Instead of testing our children to see if they've memorized a few facts why can't we teach our children according to their strengths? Why can't we acknowledge that not everyone has to go to college. That the world needs plumbers, truck drivers and shop assistants just like it needs doctors, lawyers and teachers.

Teachers have a hard job. I respect and thank them.

posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 08:24 AM
Maybe this is the answer, or best temporary solution to the disciplinary issue at hand? :

Nightclub bouncers and former soldiers are being hired by schools in Britain to help control unruly students.

A teachers conference has heard that "stern and loud" bouncers were being hired as teaching assistants to help when permanent staff were off sick.


[edit on 13-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Apr, 24 2009 @ 09:09 PM
What Do Teachers Really Make?. . . from a teachers perspective.

A brilliant rant that makes many insightful points that are unique to such a special profession...

posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 11:40 AM
In the states i wasn't very clear on why there was a battle between the unions and charter schools. After watching this 20/20 special i can see how the unions are in large part to blame for the poor school system.

Still what remains after getting the best education is a lack of full disclosure and inquiry on current events and history... we can't expect everyone to find ATS to fill in the blanks.

posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 12:11 PM
reply to post by The All Seeing I
I saw the 'What do teachers make?' diatribe last year and thought it was excellent. Some great points. Unfortunately, he makes a textbook 'bad teacher' error. Long after the class understands what point he's making, he carries on. Any Schools Inspector would bust his ass for that

posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 12:41 PM
reply to post by Astyanax
Substitute bankers for accountants and your dead on. Good Accountants will always need many years of training. Any moderate or large bussiness which skimps on accounting will meet a bad end.

posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 01:13 PM

Originally posted by Kandinsky
Unfortunately, he makes a textbook 'bad teacher' error.

You mean flipping someone the bird?

reply to post by eradown
Business does seem to be more in line with the trades in that you learn more through hands on experience versus scholastics/research... is that fair to say? Vocational schools with an emphasis on interning should suffice?

[edit on 9-6-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 01:23 PM
i have not been to schools during the 90s but when i left secondary school 2 years ago it was shocking. i had a sub teachers for 1 year in maths.

which was unlucky as that was'nt my best subject

My school got labeled the school of shame.
In my local papers. Its gives students so much belief


posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 03:00 PM
reply to post by The All Seeing I
Depends on if by accountant you want someone more like an accouting secretary or someone who can save money without turning the working environment into a Hell. CPA's and good accountants study high level math and law for a reason. Too much reading and studying is involved to dismiss accounting as a trade. Accounting is not a monkey see monkey do sort of job. Most bussinesses will not hire accountants who are trained lackeys. When the government (country or NWO)tries to sue a company for hiding profits the CEO's (even with former engineers as CEO's) want only distinguished, intelligent ,educated accountants taking the stand for them;otherwise, the lawyers will make mincemeat of an undertrained illeducated accounting secretary and the ceo and even some engineers will land in prison. Accountants have had great status since at least Sumerian times. This will not change even with the NWO.

[edit on 9-6-2009 by eradown]

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