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Achieving full potential within the entire education system – Part 3

04 Feb

A few weeks ago I identified the following aims, which could be considered as potential starting points for improvements to the education system as it stands at the moment.

  1. EVERY pupil/student should achieve their full potential;
  2. EVERY student teacher should achieve their full potential;
  3. There is NO PLACE for politicisation within education;
  4. There is No PLACE for religion in any area of education;
  5. REDUCE the size and influence of local education department to the lowest possible level required to support schools.
  6. EVERY pupil should be treated as an individual and not be subject to a dress code.
  7. Successful methodologies and best practice should be adopted in order to provide the BEST learning experience possible for pupils/students.

I finished off by posing the question – “how many pupils could a teacher genuinely teach to ensure each pupil received the individual attention necessary to satisfy aim number one?”

Having given it some thought, discussed it on-line and discussed it with a teacher I’ve come to the conclusion that the ratio of teacher to pupil would be around 6:1, that’s six pupils/students to one teacher not the other way around. 10:1 is too many 5/6 probably just about right. So I’ll immediately update the aims list as follows –

  1. EVERY pupil/student should achieve their full potential;
  2. EVERY student teacher should achieve their full potential;
  3. There is NO PLACE for politicisation within education;
  4. There is No PLACE for religion in any area of education;
  5. REDUCE the size and influence of local education department to the lowest possible level required to support schools.
  6. EVERY pupil should be treated as an individual and not be subject to a dress code.
  7. Successful methodologies and best practice should be adopted in order to provide the BEST learning experience possible for pupils/students.
  8. The student/pupil teacher ratio should be around 6:1.

The first thought is cost. If the current system is straining to pay for 20:1 then 6:1 would be budget busting, bank account busting and overdraft drowningly expensive. Ah but you may have forgotten about the removal of as much of the local council Education Department. The savings from reducing the number of employees, administration and regulation should adequately pay for the 6:1 ratio.

This ratio would open up teaching as a real career with more layers which teachers could work through to enhance their salary and their standing as the years pass by. However, the advancement of teachers would be based on achievement and experience. There would be far more room for teachers to experiment, build resources, share those resources but advancement would only be measured on single criteria – that pupils/students/ have achieved. No other criteria would be used. Back to the list then.

  1. EVERY pupil/student should achieve their full potential;
  2. EVERY student teacher should achieve their full potential;
  3. There is NO PLACE for politicisation within education;
  4. There is No PLACE for religion in any area of education;
  5. REDUCE the size and influence of local education department to the lowest possible level required to support schools.
  6. EVERY pupil should be treated as an individual and not be subject to a dress code.
  7. Successful methodologies and best practice should be adopted in order to provide the BEST learning experience possible for pupils/students.
  8. The pupil/student ratio should be around 6:1.
  9. Teacher advancement would be measured solely on pupil/student achievement.

The next part is a puzzle. Businesses continue to complain that school leavers and graduates do not have either the skills or the work ethic which businesses require.  I’m not entirely sure they really mean what they say and I can demonstrate it perhaps.

Years ago broadband was being pushed as a business enabler, which every business should have. Business people with a platform warned of the dangers of not having a good quality Internet connection for business to benefit from. I was working with a government agency helping them deliver broadband awareness and options for all sorts of businesses. They kept getting the same complaints and letter were written to the papers saying more should be done.

In order to clarify the demand and the opinions of business people they commissioned a survey. A questionnaire was developed by people who know about these things and more than 3000 businesses were asked about their needs and priorities. The main result provide a top ten list which showed the answers to questions relating to what their priorities were, what they had to have and the effect the wider economy had on them.

Broadband which was expected to be number one was in fact number seven on the list. Rhetoric didn’t match actuals.

I’m sure more progress could be made in helping pupils/students be more suitable for employment. There is a reasonable but neglected mechanism for achieving this.

Any school is at the centre of various communities. There’s the school pupils and staff which is the core, then there’s the parents and families of the pupils which is the first layer. The second layer is the ex-pupils and ex- teachers. The third layer is the community in general where the school is located and the fourth is the assets, which have value to the school within the local community and the local business community in particular.

Involving the business community in schools works although it’s success down to the business people who are involved. Young Enterprise provides access to business people for schools, which provide more of an awareness of the pupils/students of what work and business is about.

Learning how wealth creation works makes pupils/students better consumers as well as understanding how products and services work. It also gives them an insight into the world of work from the viewpoint of recognising an area of activity, which might lead to a potential career for them.

So today’s final aim is added to the list as follows –

  1. EVERY pupil/student should achieve their full potential;
  2. EVERY student teacher should achieve their full potential;
  3. There is NO PLACE for politicisation within education;
  4. There is NO PLACE for religion in any area of education;
  5. REDUCE the size and influence of local education department to the lowest possible level required to support schools.
  6. EVERY pupil should be treated as an individual and not be subject to a dress code.
  7. Successful methodologies and best practice should be adopted in order to provide the BEST learning experience possible for pupils/students.
  8. The pupil/student RATIO should be around 6:1.
  9. Teacher advancement would be measured solely on pupil/student ACHIEVEMENT.
  10.  Schools should EXPLOIT the greater school community to provide a rich content learning experience for pupils/students.
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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Education, Politics

 

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