How Can Teaching And Learning Be Improved

1One of the most well-known statements of the British Prime Minister is his electoral promise centered on three essential concerns for the future: “education, education, education. “This statement followed a long debate and policy measures in the field of education. Since the beginning of the eighties, a number of radical changes have been made in the English educational system, including in the national curricula. The evaluation tests were standardized and statistics on student achievement were published. The aim of these measures was to raise levels of achievement and to meet the demands of parents, employers and the general public. According to government data on school performance,

  • 3  See Revue Internationale d’Education de Sèvres n ° 33, 2003, C. de Bouttemont: “The educational system (…)

2According to the current provisions, schooling is divided into four cycles and begins with the fundamentals stage, when the child, between three and five years, enters part-time in the education system. Full-time education only begins when he reaches the age of five. Primary schools (in some cases separate schools for the preparatory course and elementary and middle courses) support children aged five to twelve years and devote themselves to cycles one and two of the national curriculum. Secondary schools accommodate students aged twelve to sixteen and cover cycles three and four of the program. Compulsory schooling lasts eleven years, although many pupils continue their studies in vocational or general secondary school, Before pursuing higher education.There are regional variations, with colleges for students between the ages of nine and thirteen, and a specific allocation for high school classes.Most public schools do not practice selection, with the exception of a few schools under Local Education Authorities ( LEA )  3 . In recent years, governments have wanted parents to choose the school and this has resulted in competition between schools to attract students. However, in many areas, due to too many requests for enrollment in some reputed institutions, parental choice had to be limited because schools could not accommodate all students who wished to enroll. Institutions are administered regionally by a local education authority ( Local Education Authority , LEA ) and they are inspected by a national authority The Office for Standards in Education ( OfSTED ). This body is responsible for the publication of detailed reports on the allocations and performances of each institution; It compiles each year its performance in a comparative table and publishes the results obtained on the acquisition tests as well as the rate and degree of absenteeism of the students. Establishments that are rated below the requirements must take measures to improve their performance and are sometimes closed if they do not meet their objectives. LEA ) and are inspected by a national body, The Office for Standards in Education ( OFSTED ). This body is responsible for the publication of detailed reports on the allocations and performances of each institution; It compiles each year its performance in a comparative table and publishes the results obtained on the acquisition tests as well as the rate and degree of absenteeism of the students. Establishments that are rated below the requirements must take measures to improve their performance and are sometimes closed if they do not meet their objectives. LEA ) and are inspected by a national body, The Office for Standards in Education ( OFSTED ). This body is responsible for the publication of detailed reports on the allocations and performances of each institution; It compiles each year its performance in a comparative table and publishes the results obtained on the acquisition tests as well as the rate and degree of absenteeism of the students. Establishments that are rated below the requirements must take measures to improve their performance and are sometimes closed if they do not meet their objectives.This body is responsible for the publication of detailed reports on the allocations and performances of each institution;It compiles each year its performance in a comparative table and publishes the results obtained on the acquisition tests as well as the rate and degree of absenteeism of the students.Establishments that are rated below the requirements must take measures to improve their performance and are sometimes closed if they do not meet their objectives.This body is responsible for the publication of detailed reports on the allocations and performances of each institution;It compiles each year its performance in a comparative table and publishes the results obtained on the acquisition tests as well as the rate and degree of absenteeism of the students.Establishments that are rated below the requirements must take measures to improve their performance and are sometimes closed if they do not meet their objectives.

3Under the current system, all public schools are required to follow the National Curriculum which determines the subjects taught. Pupil progress was previously measured in terms of expected knowledge, skills and comprehension in each subject, according to defined acquisition objectives. However, institutions still have some flexibility in the planning and organization of teaching and learning. For each subject, the official acquisition objectives are on a scale of increasing difficulty graduated from one to eight. There is a detailed description of what needs to be learned at each level. For example, in mathematics, there are four acquisition objectives: use and application of mathematics;Numeration and algebra;Shapes, spaces and measurements;Manipulation of data.

4The use and application of mathematical processes is evaluated on an eight-level goal scale beginning at level 1 where students are expected to “use mathematics in all classroom activities. Their works are represented by objects and images, then commented on. They recognize and use a simple model and relationship. At grade 8, students should be able to “develop and follow alternative approaches. They reflect on their own empirical approaches when they test mathematical tasks. In so doing, they introduce and use a range of mathematical techniques. Students give mathematical or statistical meanings using precise and logical symbols that support their reasoning. They examine generalizations or solutions found during an activity, constructively commenting on the reasoning and logic of the process used or the results obtained;They continue to make progress in the activity “( National Curriculum Online , 2006).

  • 4  NdT: Assessment Standards Tests  : tests to measure student achievement.

5Such acquisition objectives have been the subject of lengthy debate and schools have been accused of placing too much emphasis on the preparation of students for successful testing at the expense of broader learning objectives. Professors expressed their concerns about the “cramming” of students, because it engenders an overvalued score on student performance: the levels achieved by students do not reflect their actual acquisitions. For example, in a report on the transition from level one to level two, teachers felt that the SATs  4 results at the end of level one gave only “biased or even false indications of child acquisition” (Doddington et al., 2002, 27). These teachers feared that problems would arise in the years to come as students were not ready to go to higher levels.It is the same impression that emerges at the end of compulsory schooling when students pass the final exams of the GCSE . Subsequently, as students enter the workforce or enter higher education, there is a discrepancy between their knowledge and skills, both in the workplace and in the university. Furthermore,

6Despite major government interventions on the national curriculum, many characteristics of school and school routine remain virtually unchanged. Although today’s students have access to new technological resources such as computers and electronic whiteboards, they are likely to discover many aspects of classroom life experienced by their predecessors in the 1960s. It would seem that schools, as institutions, are remarkably resistant to changes in structure and habits (Holloway and Valentine, 2003). However, societies are rapidly changing in a global climate of economic, technological and social development. There is growing recognition of the need, in education,To find ways to ensure that children and young adults are ready to face the demands of this change.Looking at how education grants are achieving the desired results, there is a growing recognition that institutions need to rethink their ways of doing things and create a learning environment that better meets the needs Of young students today.

“Speaking to Students”: A New Approach

  • 5  NdT: hospitals are autonomous since 1990 but remain members of the NHS .

7Over the last fifteen years there has been a growing interest in the principles of ” Student Voice” , in the United Kingdom and internationally. This designation covers a number of initiatives. Students are invited to talk about their learners’ experiences in school and therefore have (according to a broader principle) the opportunity to be actors in their education (Flutter and Rudduck, 2004, Arnot et al. , 2004). The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989 was a catalyst for the development of this movement and clearly emphasized the need to listen and respect the views of children and young adults on issues affecting their lives . The United Kingdom has had a strong political will to encourage government departments to consult their users.For example, the National Health Service  5 conducts regular surveys to gather opinions on its services. Similarly, institutions, researchers and policy makers began to develop strategies to find out what students thought about their schooling and what working conditions encouraged and supported their motivation and commitment to learning.

8This consultation process allowed schools to analyze teaching and learning through testimonials collected directly from students. But, as Jamieson and Wikeley show, the accumulation of this information is the first step in a process of developing speech to students. “Schools need to have the best possible knowledge of students’ interests and concerns and use this information to engage in debate and work with young people to develop schooling arrangements” (2000, p. 446). However, as suggested by Nixon et al ., It is not suggested to give an exaggerated weight to the pupils’ points of view, nor to impose a mode of operation on schools.

  • 6  Detailed information on our latest project, Consulting Pupils about Teaching and (…)

9Research conducted in English schools by Professor Jean Rudduck of the University of Cambridge  6 , myself and our colleagues for fifteen years, show that students are usually able to talk about their constructive learning experience And reflective. We found that student and teacher collaboration could have positive long-term benefits for students, faculty and institutions. The professionals said that listening to what students have to say about teaching and learning has helped them to understand that students learn in a differentiated way and know the difficulties they have in class (Mac Beath Et al., 2003).

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