GCSE with Chinese Characteristics (East Asian Illusions Part 2)

Ofqual justifies the latest reforms to GCSE in terms of needing to peg grades against those achieved in China and other East Asian countries, even if making these ‘incomparable comparisons’ raises as many questions as they provide answers and continues to ignore an array of other reasons for the staggering economic performance of these countries.   (http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/apr/02/tougher-marking-gcses-peg-grades-chinese-students-results) … Continue reading GCSE with Chinese Characteristics (East Asian Illusions Part 2)

East Asian Illusions.

Martin Allen     (due to appear in Education for Liberation Journal of the Socialist Teachers Alliance, NUT Conference  April 2014) Though his right-wing ideological credentials cannot be disputed; Michael Gove also continues to justify many of his curriculum changes in the context of the UK’s declining international economic performance and says we should import learning practices of … Continue reading East Asian Illusions.

A Great Training Robbery? Initial Research on Apprentices

A NEW DIRECTION FOR VOCATIONAL LEARNING OR A GREAT TRAINING ROBBERY? INITIAL RESEARCH INTO AND ANALYSIS OF THE REINVENTION OF APPRENTICESHIPS AT THE START OF THE 21ST CENTURY                                                                    ESRC Seminar   28/02/14    Martin Allen & Patrick Ainley The new emphasis placed on apprenticeships by the Coalition (achieving 1.5 million starts since coming to office) is a response … Continue reading A Great Training Robbery? Initial Research on Apprentices

South Korea’s never ending schooling.

Another round of PISA tables puts the educational establishment on the defensive about the UK’s mediocre performance.  It’s certainly true the way the comparisons are made is open to dispute (www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10191157/International-school-league-tables-utterly-wrong.html) and it’s also right to argue that Michael Gove’s policies continue to undermine teacher trust and lower morale still further. It’s equally the case … Continue reading South Korea’s never ending schooling.

Education has become like running up a down escalator

http://www.teachers.org.uk/node/19169                                  Think Piece' for National Union of Teachers .                                                       Martin Allen and Patrick Ainley While most teachers rightly consider that education has an intrinsic value and isn’t just about passing exams, for most of their students and invariably their parents, a ‘good education’ enables you to ‘get on’ in life and to pursue … Continue reading Education has become like running up a down escalator

Doing it the German way?

  It is often difficult to be in agreement with Andrew Adonis, but the one-time New Labour schools minister, now a cheer-leader for Michael Gove’s academies programme, does make some creditable comments about apprenticeships. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/01/youth-unemployment-not-age-lack-of-skills  As Adonis observes, just 1 in 10 school leavers are able to sign up for an apprenticeship and many of … Continue reading Doing it the German way?

National Apprenticeship Week : but do employers really want them?

As part of  national apprenticeship week, David Cameron has called for apprenticeships to become the  "new norm" for school leavers who decide against going to university -wanting work-based training to sit "at the heart of our mission to rebuild the economy"  (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21734560) Wanting the UK to emulate Germany –or at least post-war Germany! – Cameron … Continue reading National Apprenticeship Week : but do employers really want them?